“What did you do on your vacation?” they may ask when I return to work next week. Let’s see . . . I laid a floor in my kitchen, painted the living room and hall, installed a ceiling fan, replaced the clunky ventilation fan in the bath, arranged my furniture, finished unpacking, and installed a new sink. “But didn’t you have any fun?” they’ll ask. Yes, I did. I thoroughly enjoyed having the time to do these lingering projects. I bought my house three months ago and have been living in rooms filled with scattered furniture and unpacked boxes ever since. But even if that weren’t the case, I’d have spent the time mostly at home, reading or listening to music or watching movies. Yes, that’s my idea of a good time, even if alone. I know that sounds bizarre to many extroverts, who can’t imagine the horror of such a vacation for more than a moment. But true introverts thrive on having the time and space to just be – with themselves, with their surroundings, with life.
Too much of this can become overwhelming, to be sure, and some contact is desirable. This can be as simple as a trip to a store, where I am around people but don’t have to interact too much with them, or going out to dinner with family and old friends I hadn’t seen in years, which was most enjoyable. Yes, I can savor such occasions quite easily – so long as I’m not already burned out by excessive contact such as a long day at work. It’s all about social energy levels, which need recharging after use. We introverts are like NiCad cell-phone batteries that need constant recharging, whereas extroverts are the Energizer bunny – they just keep going and going and going.
Vacations recharge all of us, introvert and extrovert alike. I found it difficult to find the energy for all these home projects while I was in the midst of working full time, but the time off fixed that. Now my house is in order, and I’m ready to go back to work – at least until my second vacation next month.