Start at the Beginning

“I do love the beginning of the summer hols,’ said Julian. They always seem to stretch out ahead for ages and ages.’

‘They go so nice and slowly at first,’ said Anne, his little sister. ‘Then they start to gallop.” 

Enid Blyton, Five Go Off in a Caravan

What an odd week this has been!

To me, a retired person no longer in the traditional workplace, this has been a week filled with Mondays and Fridays. These days must have been a nightmare for all my friends out there still punching the clock every day.

With the early summer heat I’ve had the perfect opportunity to continue to read, write, and learn about myself and my past. I’m finding so much to share I am overwhelmed with where to begin.

I know–what’s so hard–begin and the beginning.

The catch is–I’m not sure where the beginning really is.

So, I’m taking this journey the same way I do any other trip–pretty much flying by the seat of my pants. Lucky for me, I won’t be alone because I’ll be pulling you all along with me. Learning is always easier and better when you can share it, cementing all that knowledge in place.

Over these past few years of serious introspection, I’ve become aware of just how much  I’d adapted in order to survive. I feel this is one of the reasons I’ve had such a difficult early retirement–I no longer knew who I was–my work and my career were everything to me.

I was surprised to learn I really was much more introverted than extroverted. As time went by and all those different roles I played and the masks fell away, the real Barbara began to emerge. I started to understand why I’d had difficulty during some of the stressful times in my life.

One part of my reading has been about personality types and traits. I’m discovering I’ve spent most of my life forcing my more introverted self into situations where I had to be much more of an extrovert.

No wonder I was exhausted most of the time.

In case you’re wondering whether you are an introvert, check out this website for some excellent information and take this quick introvert quiz:

One of the first things I read that sparked this line of questioning was the manifesto I am closing with today. See if it stimulates some thoughts for you as well.

“A Manifesto for Introverts

1. There’s a word for ‘people who are in their heads too much’: thinkers.

2. Solitude is a catalyst for innovation.

3. The next generation of quiet kids can and must be raised to know their own strengths.

4. Sometimes it helps to be a pretend extrovert. There will always be time to be quiet later.

5. But in the long run, staying true to your temperament is key to finding work you love and work that matters.

6. One genuine new relationship is worth a fistful of business cards.

7. It’s OK to cross the street to avoid making small talk.

8. ‘Quiet leadership’ is not an oxymoron.

9. Love is essential; gregariousness is optional.

10. ‘In a gentle way, you can shake the world.’ -Mahatma Gandhi” 

Susan Cain, Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking

I am…

B…simply being…

God bless you. Have a safe and spectacular weekend.

~Peace be with you~


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