My husband is gone.
Not in a bad way, mind you. As I’ve mentioned before, he’s writing a book, and he’s gone off to the Great Plains, Pacific Northwest, and Midwest, covering about 14 states, give or take. (It was supposed to include the Great Lakes states as well, however the trip got delayed, and I’m not exactly sure how he’s decided to divide it up). Next spring, he’ll do the Southwest/California, and next summer the Upper Great Lakes, and that will conclude his 48 state journey.
For this trip, he’ll be gone about six weeks. In a couple of weeks, I’ll be meeting up with him in Portland, to see our dear friends get married at a Willamette Valley vineyard, however I’ll only see him for a few days, and then I’ll fly back to Albany, and he’ll have about another month on the road.
He did a long trip like this last year, too, shortly after we got married. I think having him gone in November/December was a lot harder than it is now, as it was cold and dark and November-y in NY. It’s summertime here, and lots of things to keep me occupied. Even still, I miss him. I also miss the company.
A few months ago, my friend Swati, while volunteering at HOBY, put on a mini-Myers/Briggs evaluation for the ambassadors. It was there that extraversion and introversion were correctly defined, to me, for the first time. It does not simply mean outgoing and shy – you can be an outgoing introvert and a shy extravert, as it turns out, though it’s more common in the reverse. Rather, extraverts gain their energy from being around people, whereas introverts recharge better through moments of silent reflection. I do value my times of silent reflection, but I think it is more because I don’t do it all that much. My nature is that which prefers to be around people, in a social setting, even if that setting is virtual (though I prefer actual contact). Hence, the shy extravert, for example, may find great comfort and energy in online forums.
I find myself restless and bored when I spend too much time by myself. If Chris were here, for example, we wouldn’t necessarily do anything at all today – maybe take the dog to the Pine Bush, maybe go get something to eat later, but otherwise we might just relax. However, because he’s not here, because I don’t have someone else to interact with, I feel like jumping out of my skin. This is because I’m an extravert. (This is, also, because I miss my husband, of course.)
Sometimes knowing the root of the problem is half the battle. I’m planning to fill my free time with fun things and projects. Maybe, hopefully, write a little more. Try and teach myself to cook all of the vegetables from our CSA that Chris won’t be here to help me eat. Go see The Producers. Join Bootcamp. Spend time with friends.
In other words, derive my energy in the best way I know how to, rather than mope around and wonder what is wrong with me.