Raise your hand if…

raiseHandRaise your hand if you’re too hard on yourself.

Uh, huh, that’s what I thought.  Look at all those hands up in the air.  It’s nice to know I’m not alone, but do we really have to do that to ourselves?  Wow.  Life would be a lot easier if we weren’t so demanding, exacting, and critical, wouldn’t it?  Why do we do that to ourselves?  Did we really come wired that way?  Or did trying too hard to fit in slip us into that mold?

I’d like to go a little crazy, if only for a day.  Now that would be a good vacation.  Just go a little wild, quietly crazy, and let go.

I’d dye my hair blue.  Not old lady white blue, but royal blue, electric blue, shocking blue.  Let it spike out all over the place.  (Please, god, let it wash out quickly before anyone sees me!)

I’d ride a zip line from high above the trees, down through the canopy to let the forest floor catch me in its arms.

I’d sit on the stage at the symphony.  I’d put my chair right in front of the conductor, my back to the audience, my eyes closed, and let all that incredible sound vibrate every cell of my body.

Oh, or this would be fun…. to be in the choir loft of a church with a really fabulous pipe organ and an equally talented organist.  I’d listen to the music and get caught up in watching the organist.  Now there’s an Olympic sport for you.  Playing a massive pipe organ is a whole body activity.

I’d like to sit on the deck of a tall ship, the sun on my back, watching the sails catch the wind and billow out, then feel the tug as the mighty ship starts to cleave the ocean water.  (Can you cleave water?  And why does cleave mean “to split” and “to stick fast to”?  Ah, the glories of English.)  I’d laugh with the dolphins as they came out to play with us.

I’d like a good cook to fix me something that I’ve never eaten before.  Nothing fancy.  Just something I can buy at the local market.  Parsnips.  I’ve never had parsnips.  There must be something interesting you can do with parsnips.

Golly, just make me a kettle of fragrant vegetable soup.  I’d be happy with that.  I haven’t acquired that knack yet.  I love soup, but making it intimidates me.  I should throw caution to the wind and go on a soup making marathon.  All my other cooking experiments have been very successful, so now maybe it’s time to tackle the art of soup-ing.

Or I could make up my own language and speak nothing but that for a day.  I could make the shop clerk think I was from a foreign land and see how well we could communicate in pantomime.

I could walk around the park backwards to see if anyone would even notice.  I bet I’d get some kids following me.  They know how to let loose and just be free.

And after that I could just sit on a park bench and laugh.  Just laugh.  Laugh every way I could think of to laugh, like the song from Mary Poppins.

Wouldn’t that be wonderful?  Would you like to join me?  What else could we do on our play day?

Hi.  I’m Chris.  I’m an introvert.  Look for my ongoing series celebrating introvert talents (Sunday), the Introverts Blog Quietly (IBQ) weekly writing prompt (Wednesday), introvert cartoons (Thursday), plus anything else interesting that I find in the meantime.    Come and share with like-minded introverts.  I also contribute to the new food blog Three’s Cooking, learning to cook from the heart, for the soul.





19 thoughts on “Raise your hand if…

  1. I am an introvert with a capital I (according to all the tests) but in the past few years (since turning 40 as it happens) I have coloured my hair (the last but one had 6 different colours including bright blue and pink), pierced my nose (admittedly gone now – it got boring and annoying after a few years), travelled to Peru without my family to build a bridge in an Andes village, performed with a singing quartet, joined a theatre company and performed on stage, written and performed my own songs, taken my family to challenging places like Cambodia and Morocco. All the while feeling completely terrified. My advice? Don’t just do it, EMBRACE it!

  2. I’m much less hard on myself since I retired. I don’t really have to prove anything to anyone, not even my DH. I’m not perfect but then I don’t want to be. Perfect is stagnant and potentially very boring. But, that being said, I liked your blog post on this subject.

  3. I’ve always envied those who could feel free and enjoy life so fully. But maybe I just have to learn to appreciate the fullness of my life, even if my joy isn’t as visible and obvious as the Mary Poppins laughers? 🙂

    As for what I’d do… I’d have a cooking show. Make fabulous, spectacular food to rave reviews. I’d hang glide and go up in a hot air balloon. And being in such close proximity to people I don’t know wouldn’t even faze me! I’d drive a silver sports car and take a biking tour through Belgium. Or Tuscany. And spend two weeks in an Italian kitchen watching them cook (and eating!). I’d play Mozart so loud that the house would shake. Or maybe Beethoven? It would depend on the day, of course. I’d climb Machu Picchu and hike all of the Appalachian trail.

    Whew. And then I’d sleep for about 3 weeks straight.

  4. My hand is raised. I’m definitely too hard on myself. But there must be something in the air today(perhaps the full moon approaching?) because I’m feeling like doing something outside of my usual box. But what to do when husband and friends are all working? Hmmm. Maybe go to the upscale grocery store and buy a fruit or vegetable I’ve never tried? I totally recommend parsnips by the way!

  5. I’m very hard on my looks, but am not motivated to doll myself up, so it’s a cycle. In other words, I’m too lazy to do more than WISH I had natural beauty.

    I’m very much introverted in that humans drain me of energy, to the point where I should be more productive once I’m off work, but am too tired to do much more than refresh the same websites over and over, for hours. That said, some would argue that I live a “full life” based on all the writing that I’ve done (and keep doing), artwork, and miscellaneous things like playing drums at church. For some reason I don’t have a lot of trouble with public speaking / performance, if I think I can be entertaining. For this reason I would never do a Scripture reading, because I would be overwhelmed by the temptation to do it with a funny voice or perform a melodramatic reading of it. Try to make people laugh, in other words. Generally frowned upon for that part of the service.

    re: making people laugh, I tried standup comedy while in college, and learned that doing impressions gets me laughs, but straight-up jokes do not. It only took one “bomb” for me to walk away from that forever.

    My Happy Fun Ball Time is usually spent at Disneyland. I haven’t been there since October 2013, so you can guess how often I have HFBT. In general I don’t think of myself as a wild woman restricted by society’s mores, but as a naturally boring person. A good time for me is a time spent at home quietly. In which case, one could argue that I am, right now, living the good life??!

  6. Love this post Chris

    I am reminded of this great and very funny poem about all the crazy things a woman wants to do when she gets older


    Ever since I read this first, perhaps some twenty years ago, I’ve kept this in mind as the way I want to age!

    Thanks for the blog and the prompt to read this again. Do you know it Chris?

  7. Half the being hard on oneself is the worry about what other people think of one’s actions. If one doesn’t give a hoot, it is liberating. I indulge myself in small ways – like zipping along on a little scooter, or skipping – or swimming in a Speedo!

  8. Unfortunately I would not want to join you in any of your crazy making schemes because most of them would be too noisy for me. My perfect get away would be a deserted sugar sand beach, turquoise water, a shade tree & a good book.
    But then I think I may be older than you. I think I may have learned some lessons you may not have learned yet. During the menopause years, I gave up trying to be a people pleaser or trying to “fit in.” I became me. It’s lonely sometimes, but a lot more peaceful.

  9. Ummm. My hand is raised, but I’m not sure you can see it. I’m behind the crowd over there. (I’ll stand on a box.) IBQ is perfect for me. Just found it on Cee’s Fun Foto page. I’ll be following along.

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