Friday, March 24, 2017

Lots of work and some insight

One of the good days. A nice rain, without the predicted thunder, lightning, and tornadoes, this morning. Sunshine, a slight breeze, and 70s this afternoon—happy hour on the patio was delightful. Jordan, her good friend Amy, and a surprise but welcome guest—Rae, our favorite of my caregivers. And three dogs. Much laughter, a few tears, and a wonderful sense of caring.

It had been a good day up until then anyway. I often fritter away the morning with emails and Facebook, and I did today, but my conscience got me, and I also edited another chapter of my novella and read a chunk of the book I’m reading to report to a competition. Usually by two my face is falling in my computer because I’m so sleepy but today I was so engaged by what I was doing that I didn’t even feel sleepy when I went to nap at a little after three. Made me think that maybe I’m back in the working groove. Hope so.

When son Jamie was here yesterday, we talked briefly about being introverts. Jamie is my natural salesman, never met anyone who didn’t prompt him to hold out his hand and say cheerfully, “Hi! I’m Jamie Alter.” His brother once said, “I don’t want to have to talk like Jamie.” Although Jame owns his own company selling toys on behalf of manufacturers, he is still primarily a salesman-and he’s wonderful at it.

When something came up about how loudly he talks on the phone, he said, ‘That’s my extravert personality. But I always feel there’s an introvert deep inside me.”

He got me to thinking. I think of myself as an introvert, but I realize I feed on people. I’m not a recluse. I need people in my life. Particularly when I was running TCU Press, I was outgoing and was praised for my people skills, my self-confidence in social situations, etc. I managed large parties, greeted authors, went to conventions, talked to groups, all with ease (well, mostly so) but I always knew I was playing a role. My position as press director was like a shield I hid behind. Put me alone in a cocktail party with no relation to my job, and I became a wallflower.

I realized though, talking to Jamie, that I miss the days of being an extrovert, being the center of attention, getting all that praise. Oh, sure, I have people around me, and I’m grateful for their company, continued presence, loyalty.

But those glory days are gone, a part of my past, just as my glory days of being a gourmet cook and entertaining large groups are over and done with. It’s part, I guess of growing older. And part of downsizing.

Someone said today that it’s good to plan for inevitable changes in our lives, and that’s what I did in downsizing and moving to the cottage. But it has its drawbacks and things that I miss.

I don’t mean this blog to be a downer Don’t get me wrong. I’m a happy camper, couldn’t be happier. Those are just some thoughts that came to mind with a slight twinge of regret. It really has, though, been a good day.


Randy Eickhoff said...

It really wasn't a good day out here, Judy! So windy that it dang near blew Miss Bella off the patio! My rose garden took a bit of a hit!

Judy Alter said...

Sorry. Maybe today will be better. It's not supposed to be quite as warm. I am going to cook an ambitious supper for a friend--mushroom ragout! Might almost be on your diet.
The other day I missed commenting on the anniversary of your parachuting into Vietnam--I imagine it was significant and wonder how you feel about it all these years later. I have a friend who just went as a tourist to Vietnam and Cambodia--not a part of the world that intrigues me. I'll take Scotland.
Have a good day.