Daily Archives: December 21, 2014

Moving Towards Christmas

This year seems like it has flown by like a “galloping group of giddy greyhounds” (term borrowed from Anne Lamott). As soon as I’ve become accustomed to writing 2014, in about a week it will be the year 2015. Where does all the time go? My mother once said that time goes faster the older you get (I think I was about 15 years old at the time, and probably whining about waiting for something to happen). She was exactly right. I can only imagine that she had a few regrets in her life. I remember asking her once about the one thing she never did that she wished she had. “I always wanted to be a dancer,” was her answer. The only dancing she ever did (of which I am aware) is that she and my father danced to the Mitch Miller Show dance tunes on Friday nights in the 50s or 60s. Two months have passed since I made the decision to jump off a cliff with no financial net. Things are progressing at the shop. Each day there are new visitors who say they are thrilled that the shop is there, and that they love what we have – fabrics, vintage items, workshops, handmade things. I enjoy meeting each person. And each person has a story. Most of the customers are locals and live nearby. Several older women have come in and we’ve had some great conversations about what I’ve done. And I’ve said to each one that I did not want to be 80 years old and regret that I never took the leap to open the shop I have now, and that is one reason why I made the decision to take the risk. So far so good. I love the location and the physical space of the shop. It is really beautiful. Please keep me and my family in your prayers. Merry Christmas!

And please share the thing that you are most afraid of doing, but you know somewhere deep inside that you really want to because it brings you such joy.

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More Writing Quotes

If my doctor told me I had only six minutes to live, I wouldn’t brood. I’d type a little faster.
– Isaac Asimov
Close the door. Write with no one looking over your shoulder. Don’t try to figure out what other people want to hear from you; figure out what you have to say. It’s the one and only thing you have to offer.
– Barbara Kingsolver

Almost all good writing begins with terrible first efforts. You need to start somewhere.
– Anne Lamott
The beautiful part of writing is that you don’t have to get it right the first time, unlike, say, brain surgery.
– Robert Cormier

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Hoping and praying all my writer friends get some writing time in over the next few days!

Writer’s of the South: John Rose

I’ve become part of a group called Writers of the South and for the next few days we are showcasing each other’s blogs, author pages, etc.   Today’s focus is on John Rose, a Mississippi writer. I find it fascinating the diversity of Southern writers, and John represents a unique perspective from the Mississippi Delta.
Click here to see John Rose’s info.

An Introvert in an Extrovert World

When I was a child, I thought I was abnormal because I enjoyed being alone and making up stories in my head. In my first marriage, my now ex-husband would try to change me into an extrovert my putting me into what I experienced as embarrassing situations, and often asked, “What’s wrong with you?”, or “Why don’t you come out of your shell?” when I was reluctant to party all night or be the center of attention. Needless to say, he is an extreme extrovert. 

Several years into that marriage I discovered my personality type (INFP on the Myers-Briggs) and suddenly understood that I was not what society considered ‘normal’ (INFPs being only a small percent of the population), but that being an Introvert is not abnormal at all.  Finally understanding who I am has freed me to be the person I was created to be.  I grew to appreciate my “differentness”.  

As we live and move toward the stages of our lives, usually introverts move toward extroversion, and extroverts move toward introversion. 


According to Elizabeth Wagele, “
Introversion is a turning within. It is a pilgrimage to one’s own mind and being; a journey that all people must take at various times throughout our lives. We turn within for greater clarity, for new perspectives, for creative inspiration, for the joys and solace of solitude itself. Every person will have some such moments in life of turning within.”

Have you ever read something and it’s as if that person bored inside your head and pulled the very words out that you wanted to say, but did not know how? Today’s post is one of those, and is Carl King’s response to the book, 
The Introvert Advantage: How To Thrive in an Extrovert World, by Marti Laney, Psy.D. I found this post on King’s website and found his Top Ten Myths very familiar.  King says:

“Unfortunately, according to [Laney’s] book, only about 25% of people are Introverts. There are even fewer that are as extreme as I am. This leads to a lot of misunderstandings, since society doesn’t have very much experience with my people. (I love being able to say that.)

So here are a few common misconceptions about Introverts (I put this list together myself, some of them are things I actually believed):
Myth #1 – Introverts don’t like to talk.
This is not true. Introverts just don’t talk unless they have something to say. They hate small talk. Get an introvert talking about something they are interested in, and they won’t shut up for days.
Myth #2 – Introverts are shy.
Shyness has nothing to do with being an Introvert. Introverts are not necessarily afraid of people. What they need is a reason to interact. They don’t interact for the sake of interacting. If you want to talk to an Introvert, just start talking. Don’t worry about being polite.
Myth #3 – Introverts are rude.
Introverts often don’t see a reason for beating around the bush with social pleasantries. They want everyone to just be real and honest. Unfortunately, this is not acceptable in most settings, so Introverts can feel a lot of pressure to fit in, which they find exhausting.
Myth #4 – Introverts don’t like people.
On the contrary, Introverts intensely value the few friends they have. They can count their close friends on one hand. If you are lucky enough for an introvert to consider you a friend, you probably have a loyal ally for life. Once you have earned their respect as being a person of substance, you’re in.
Myth #5 – Introverts don’t like to go out in public.
Nonsense. Introverts just don’t like to go out in public FOR AS LONG. They also like to avoid the complications that are involved in public activities. They take in data and experiences very quickly, and as a result, don’t need to be there for long to “get it.” They’re ready to go home, recharge, and process it all. In fact, recharging is absolutely crucial for Introverts.
Myth #6 – Introverts always want to be alone.
Introverts are perfectly comfortable with their own thoughts. They think a lot. They daydream. They like to have problems to work on, puzzles to solve. But they can also get incredibly lonely if they don’t have anyone to share their discoveries with. They crave an authentic and sincere connection with ONE PERSON at a time.
Myth #7 – Introverts are weird.
Introverts are often individualists. They don’t follow the crowd. They’d prefer to be valued for their novel ways of living. They think for themselves and because of that, they often challenge the norm. They don’t make most decisions based on what is popular or trendy.
Myth #8 – Introverts are aloof nerds.
Introverts are people who primarily look inward, paying close attention to their thoughts and emotions. It’s not that they are incapable of paying attention to what is going on around them, it’s just that their inner world is much more stimulating and rewarding to them.
Myth #9 – Introverts don’t know how to relax and have fun.
Introverts typically relax at home or in nature, not in busy public places. Introverts are not thrill seekers and adrenaline junkies. If there is too much talking and noise going on, they shut down. Their brains are too sensitive to the neurotransmitter called Dopamine. Introverts and Extroverts have different dominant neuro-pathways. Just look it up.
Myth #10 – Introverts can fix themselves and become Extroverts.
A world without Introverts would be a world with few scientists, musicians, artists, poets, filmmakers, doctors, mathematicians, writers, and philosophers. That being said, there are still plenty of techniques an Extrovert can learn in order to interact with Introverts. (Yes, I reversed these two terms on purpose to show you how biased our society is.) Introverts cannot “fix themselves” and deserve respect for their natural temperament and contributions to the human race. In fact, one study (Silverman, 1986) showed that the percentage of Introverts increases with IQ.
“You cannot escape us, and to change us would lead to your demise.” – Carl King
“It can be terribly destructive for an Introvert to deny themselves in order to get along in an Extrovert-Dominant World. Like other minorities, Introverts can end up hating themselves and others because of the differences. If you think you are an Introvert, I recommend you research the topic and seek out other Introverts to compare notes. The burden is not entirely on Introverts to try and become “normal.” Extroverts need to recognize and respect us, and we also need to respect ourselves.
Let me know your thoughts.
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Let me hear from the Introverts out there! (and from the Extroverts who love them.)

We all have those days.

My friend Susan Cushman posted that she has had a visit from her old friend “Acedia”. I had to do a little research on the word Acedia. I was familiar with the word, but not its exact meaning. I though it might be some sort of skin rash. (My attempt at humor) But not so. Acedia … “describes a state of listlessness or torpor [inactivity], of not caring or not being concerned with one’s position or condition in the world. It can lead to a state of being unable to perform one’s duties in life. Its spiritual overtones make it related to but distinct from depression. Acedia was originally noted as a problem among monks and other ascetics who maintained a solitary life.” (Wikipedia).

Such an interesting state of being. I suppose we all have a visit from that state of being from time to time. And it’s not always a bad thing. in the West, we tend to think that we need to constantly be on the move, we are human doings instead of human beings. But perhaps Acedia is God’s way of slowing us down, of forcing us to meditate on the moment. This has given me some sermon material – this Sunday the Gospel is about the Kyphotic woman, and her healing. She had become a spiritual “pretzel”. I’m thinking that’s what aceticism can do to one – bend us in ways we don’t think we can go, but we do. Susan had lots more to say on this matter. Check out her other blog posts above.