recluse status

I used to get in trouble for reading.

I have 5 sisters, and I'm an introvert, so that was bound to happen. "They" hadn't yet invented iPhones when I was growing up, so books became my escape. When we were supposed to be having family time, my nose was buried in a book, probably in my room. And, I mean, I can't blame 12-year-old me for opting to stay in the car and read instead of going into Menards. Especially because once I remember I was running my hand along a shelf at Menards when I was little, and my hand smelled funny the rest of the day. So that kind of turned me off to the whole "tools + boring house stuff" kind of stores. And also, I think I would still rather stay in the car and read than go into Menards or Home Depot or JoAnne Fabrics. 

But I digress. 

As an introvert, I feel like I start each day with a stack of dollar bills. Each email that necessitates a response, each phone call, each social interaction, playing with my baby, chatting with my husband, and basically any time I'm around other people, I give away one of those dollar bills. I often end the day with no dollar bills left.

But that doesn't mean I didn't enjoy spending the dollar bills. 
I just don't have any left. 
And the only way to rebuild my supply of dollar bills is to be alone. 

My husband, an extrovert, cannot understand this impulse. He cannot understand why I get upset when I have to go to an unplanned social event, because I need to mentally prepare myself for small talk. The poor guy receives the brunt of my ape-like communication skills at the end of a long day, when I literally feel like I cannot carry on a real-life conversation with real words. And though he may not understand what it's like to experience these things, he respects it, and is amazing at giving me alone time whenever he can.

So when I came across this quote, I nodded my head vigorously, because I was too "talked out" to make an exclamation of agreement:

Oh boy. If I could sit in a hammock in the sunshine with no obligations and no one talking to me, that would be the epitome of extravagance. 

In all seriousness, though, when I feel like there are too many demands on my time, and I have had too many social interactions without time to myself to pray, read the Bible, read for fun, or just sit and think, I start to become rude, anxious, and scatterbrained. 

I admire Daniel, of Lion's Den fame, for his unwavering commitment to escape from the hustle and bustle of his important job in order to be with his God three times each day. 

So maybe I need to become more of a recluse:


  [n. rek-loos, ri-kloosadj. ri-kloosrek-loos]  Show IPA
a person who lives in seclusion or apart from society, often for religious meditation.

I always feel so refreshed when I take the time to separate myself from society, whether it's for my faith and prayer life or my sanity. It simply needs to be a priority rather than an afterthought.

Getting up a half hour earlier than the rest of the household is one way for me to incorporate prayer, devotion, and introvert coffee time into my day. 

Do you have any tried and true methods to sneak in some alone time?

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