The journey towards love has never been predictable for this pair and they’ve often done things out of order (First “I Love You” before the First Kiss??), but their connection is no less real.
I know, you wouldn’t be able to tell it from this blog. Mother’s Day was this past weekend and I requested that Kile take me to see “The Great Gatsby” on Sunday night. I had read the book in high school, like a lot of people, but that was a LONG time ago and I didn’t remember all the details. I knew the major characters, I knew that I was supposed to be side-eying Daisy pretty hard, I remembered some of the visual things like the oculist billboard, the yellow car, the green light…
It was a great movie, I thought. But then, I like Baz Luhrmann movies. I have yet to see one that I don’t like, actually. But I also know that they’re not everyone’s cup of tea. His style doesn’t speak to everyone and while I enjoy it, some others might be turned off by how over-the-top he is. I thought, for a story like “The Great Gatsby”, that style worked rather well. And I was sucked right in. The visuals were stunning, the acting was entertaining (DiCaprio as Gatsby was INSPIRED) and the music was catchy as heck. What’s not to love?
Of course, it had a completely depressing end. Ah well. They can’t all be happy.
Oh but guess what? I am going to talk about Doctor Who. At least a little bit. Saturday’s episode was written by Neil Gaiman who is kind of a big deal unto himself and he wrote the only acceptable episode to air in series 6 (“The Doctor’s Wife”) so I had high hopes. It wasn’t horrible, but I didn’t love it either. Which was disappointing. And Eleven saying Allons-y I’m sure was supposed to make me happy but it made me want to hurt someone instead.
There was some stuff with the Doctor and a “Cyber Controller”/Evil Doctor that was really interest though. I get the impression that Matt Smith has been given more room lately to really spread his wings and that’s been great. I hope we keep seeing that. Watching him do *nasty* was downright fun.
The finale is this Saturday and EVERYONE I know is nervous about it. Apparently, some DVDs got shipped early to a few American fans so there’s a few small spoilers out there but so far, not much has been revealed. It’s Moffat though and he’s excited which means I’m going to hate it. I’ll let you know what I think about it after it’s aired. Fingers are crossed I don’t flip any tables.
Speaking of Doctor Who, I got some GREAT gifts for Mother’s Day this year! The kids got me a Visual Encyclopedia for Doctor Who, a TARDIS safe that’s controlled with my phone and a Dalek lego set. Aww. Liam had fun putting that one together for me. Kile bought me some shirts and, as I mentioned, I got to go see “The Great Gatsby”. I was spoiled yet again! Do I have a great family or what?
I meant to post something last week about how it was a blogging anniversary of sorts. Counting the years gets kind of scary so I’ve sort of stopped doing that. But it’s been a while since I started this here blog. I didn’t post because life and you all know how that goes. So just imagine that I said something about “wow, how things have changed since I started blogging, blah blah blah,” okay?
Right now I want to focus on the end of the year stuffs. I can’t believe 2012 is already over. This was quite a year, a big year for me personally. I was just looking back at my post from the end of last year and am reminded of how awful 2011 was and I feel even MORE glad that this last year was so good.
For one thing, much less tragedy. Oh, there’s definitely been tragedy in the world and strife and war and famine and horrible things. But it doesn’t seem quite as close as it did last year. We also have much less money this year. But that didn’t seem to make this last year any less pleasant so I’m thinking money can just go take a flying leap because it’s presence doesn’t guarantee happiness. It’s absence certainly doesn’t make things terribly wonderful but life can still be good without it so I think that says something. I, myself, am MUCH happier and healthier and better off than I was last year. I found my happy place this last year and I’m not entirely sure if I can pinpoint that to one specific thing. Taking my thyroid meds certainly has helped. Doctor Who has also helped. And maybe I was just tired of feeling sad.
So let’s look at pop culture stuffs! Since that’s what I talked about last year, it seems fitting to do it this year as well.
Music of 2012
My BIG song of the year? That’s a tough one. I had quite a few. I think if I had to point to ONE, though, it would be “Some Nights” by Fun. I absolutely adore that song. It’s stirring and inspiring and I can’t help but sing along whenever I hear it. But it is jostling with a host of other songs that I loved this last year, including:
- “We Are Young” by Fun. (of course!) – same goes, gotta sing along, very stirring.
- “Starships” by Niki Minaj – this is a dance-y song! Don’t be hatin’, I love this one.
- “One More Night” by Maroon 5 – I can’t explain my love for this one. No wait, I *can* but I don’t want to.
- “Glad You Came” by The Wanted – Catchy.
There’s also songs that meant a lot to me this year that either did NOT come out this last year or that I’m not sure if it was this last year or 2011. Those songs include:
- “The Scientist” by Coldplay – this is a new absolute favorite. Piano, guitar and absolutely HAUNTING lyrics. Love love love love this one.
- “Cosmic Love” by Florence + the Machine – I love Florence and this is my fave of hers but that’s saying something because I have like 5 favorites of hers and its a close race.
- “Run” by Snow Patrol – UGH UGH UGH. Perfect song.
This is but a nibbling of the songs I’ve loved this last year. Really, its been a very musical year for me, I’ve found it so inspiring… in a way that I haven’t in a long, long time.
Television of 2012
Oh you had to know this was coming! Obviously, topping this list is “Doctor Who” but you might be surprised to hear that its not the most recent episodes of this show that I love. That’s because back in 2010, the show changed completely and while its not HORRIBLE, it’s not the way I loved it. My favorite are the shows that aired from 2005-2009. That gets hard to explain around people who don’t even know what the show is ABOUT. So mostly I just smile and say, “I love Doctor Who” and let them make of it what they will. I’ve been amazed, actually, at how much public attention the show has gotten since I started watching. It would appear I’m not the only one to be caught by this one! I expect to see that continue this next year since 2013 is the 50th Anniversary of the show. I expect by this time next year I’ll still be grousing over what I think went wrong with the Anniversary specials (since we know there will be specials, we’re not stupid).
But what else did I like watching this last year?
- “Once Upon a Time” – oh lordy… this is a great show. Its like fairytale AU and I love it even with its overly complicated plots here in season 2.
- “Sherlock” – I discovered this one this last year too and its a great show. I feel very bad for its devoted fans tho, having to wait so long for series 3.
- “Downton Abbey” – a show I never expected to enjoy and neither did Kile but yet we were both sucked in entirely.
- “The Walking Dead” – I don’t want to love this show but its just so… DISTURBING AND WRONG. I can’t look away.
HBO kinda fell from favor with me this last year. I didn’t enjoy the usual shows as much as I have before. I didn’t even really dig “Breaking Bad” as much as I have in the past (hopefully that’ll change when it comes back this spring).
Movies of 2012
I haven’t been to the theater too much this year but perhaps more than I was able to the year before. I’d say my favorite theater movie was “The Avengers”. I mean, COME ON. Joss Whedon directing a cast of amazing super heroes? NO CONTEST. And it had Loki, played by the adorable Tom Hiddleston. There wasn’t anything not to love about that movie. Also of note:
- “The Artist” – saw this one on our Oscar movie stroll and LOVED it.
I really didn’t see a lot of movies this year and I didn’t get excited much about what I did see. But somehow I don’t feel very bad about this.
Books of 2012
Okay, look. I didn’t read a lot of books this year but I have been reading a LOT and writing a LOT as well, so that should count for something. But if you’re looking for a book recommendation, I gotta say Jenny Lawson’s “Let’s Pretend This Never Happened”. And let’s PLEASE try to forget E.L. James’ “50 Shades of Grey”.
So that, as they say, is that! The year in a very compartmentalised nutshell! I’ll try to be back tomorrow to discuss resolution type stuffs. Everyone have a happy and safe New Years Eve. Have one for me.
I saw this post on Tumblr this morning and it made me think. I think what the post author said is true for a good number of self-proclaimed anglophiles on Tumblr… they love Sherlock or Merlin or Doctor Who and think that’s the sum-total of British life and therefore, they love it the most.
I don’t think the same can be applied to me, not exactly. True, shows like Doctor Who opened my eyes more to British culture. But neither can I claim that it’s the first thing about the U.K. that I loved. “Love Actually” has been one of my favorite movies (if not my most favorite movie) ever since I first saw it. I’ve always enjoyed “British exports” such as Harry Potter and Monty Python and the like but so do a lot of other people. I don’t think like British TV shows and movies automatically makes you an anglophile. I also don’t think that they have the BEST of everything. Plenty of my favorite TV shows and movies have come from America. I adore Lost to this day, as many of you probably well remember. So many of the series on HBO are simply amazing and incredible. Breaking Bad is sublime and if you haven’t given it a try, I recommend you look it up on Netflix and watch it because it is SO VERY GOOD. I’m also well aware that there’s “turds” on British TV as well. Of course there is! Why wouldn’t there be?
I love British candy and a lot of different British foods and drinks. I don’t love them because they’re British, but rather because of how they taste. I like the lack of high fructose corn syrup and the most natural flavorings that are used. Strongbow is my favorite hard cider. I know there’s more “quality” cider out there, much of it made here in the States. But I know what I like and I like that. I also think there are some British foods that are downright sketchy. It starts with Mushy Peas and goes right on through black pudding. That said, I love cottage pie and bangers and mash and British mustard and malt vinegar on my chips. I just like the way all those things taste. It’s right up my alley.
I enjoy the accents, of course, and that’s not just limited to London. Just a year ago, I probably couldn’t have told you a London accent from a Northern one from a Welsh one. I couldn’t tell Scottish and Irish apart and when it came to different London-area accents? FORGET IT. I’m not perfect at it now but I have a better grasp on what makes Estuary sound different from Cockney and how both are different from Northern London accents. I can tell a Manchester accent from a Liverpool accent and ADORE them both. I’m even not only able to tell Scottish from everything (as it is my favorite of all the accents), but am starting to be able to pick out the different Scottish accents (such as how Glasgow accents sound different from accents in Inverness and those areas). The point is that I love listening to these accents and learning what makes them different from one another. And I could listen to a lot of these read the phone book to me and be perfectly happy.
I love many things about the U.K. I know it’s not a perfect place and that is has plenty of political and economic problems, but I still enjoy the history and the culture and the people who live there. I think that’s what it means to me when I say I’m an anglophile. It means that I am drawn to British things and enjoy them for what they are. I don’t view them as superior to their American counterparts (well, maybe the candy is), but just different and I really dig those differences.
For some greater insight, be sure to check out these YouTube vloggers because they are endlessly entertaining (those are just my favorite two, I’m well aware that there are more). Basically, I guess what I’m trying to say is that I really dig British stuff. I want to ruffle it’s hair and pinch it’s cheeks and make fun of its foibles all at the same time. So again: not superior. Just different. But different in a rather fabulous way. And let’s face it, aren’t MOST differences just kind of fabulous?
I promise not to gush about Doctor Who but I do want to talk about other Brit related stuffs that I am quite enjoying these days. Because I am charmed with the British Isles these days. And frankly, Doctor Who is really but just a symptom of that.
God Bless Cost Plus World Market! They sell a decent (if small) selection of British yummies that we have discovered and embraced.
- Digestives. I know, not the best name. They’re basically cookies, but of course they don’t call them cookies. No, they’re biscuits. Very much like a graham cracker, actually. Full of fiber, lightly sweet. Fantastic when served with tea. I’m partial to the ones that have chocolate layered on one end of the round. Cadbury (they have a U.K. division that I feel is far superior to the US one) makes a variety that I am completely addicted to but the last time I was in Cost Plus they were sold out (who told??) so I got a package of McVities’ with dark chocolate to try instead. And they? Are fantastic. I think I just like Digestives.
- Candy. I swear, the U.K. has the best chocolate. There’s the aforementioned Cadbury who makes not just the Digestives I so love but also a wonderment known as “Flake”. It’s a chocolate “bar” of sorts, very flakey, very crumbly, very light. And VERY YUMMY. It can be hard to get ahold of this as ordering online direct from the U.K. (and not another country and it does make a difference because it’s not quite the same). But so worth it. There is also a chocolate/mint bar from Nestle (again, the U.K. division) called “Aero”. It has a minty center that is filled with air bubbles and is surrounded with milk chocolate. VERY good. Again, light which I’m discovering I enjoy in my candy. And let’s not forget Maltesers. These are pretty much just like Whoppers, but I think they taste much much better. Why? Because, like all the candy (and pretty much everything else) from the U.K., there is no high fructose corn syrup. The sugar is cane sugar and they don’t overdo it like a lot of the candy here in the States. It’s certainly sweet, but you don’t have a sugar hangover from this stuff. You can actually taste the actual flavors and once you get used to that, well, it’s hard to go back.
And it’s not just about candy. There’s a chain English-style pub here in town called The Firkin and Wolf that we’ve gone to a couple times on a lark and have found it to be a fun and yummy place to eat. Seriously, their Bangers, Beans and Mash are sinfully yummy and paired with some English mustard is quite honestly the stuff of my dreams. YUM. Anyhow… where was I? Oh yes! Well, Firkin has a good number of U.K. lagers and ales on tap to enjoy. I’m not a big beer drinker though so it’s never been a real consideration for me. I do, however, like hard cider. And you know what? Firkin has cider ON TAP. It’s called “Strongbow” and I have developed a love affair with it. Before, I drank Hornsby’s like the rest of the cider drinking population in this country. But now, I don’t think I could go back to Hornsby’s. It’s definitely far sweeter and far heavier. Strongbow has a very light flavor and it’s fantastic to drink. And luckily, we have a “wine superstore” here in town that has all manner of booze available and they sell Strongbow both in bottles and cans and I am able to easily feed my addiction. SOGOOD.
We have also developed a fondness for British television. Yes, of course, Doctor Who crests that list for me, but there’s been so much more that we have watched and loved. “Sherlock” comes to mind and if you’re the sort that appreciates really intelligent TV and you have Netflix, go look it up. It is fantastic. And the lead actor is named Benedict Cumberbatch. Come on, in what universe is that not completely awesome? But it’s not just “Sherlock”.
I also have developed a LOVE for a show called “Top Gear” which runs on BBC America pretty much all the time. I’m not even sure if this is the sort of show that I normally would enjoy. I like to think of it as a cross between Mythbusters, an educational program about cars and a celebrity talk show. It defies explanation. But it’s completely awesome. I discovered it when looking up videos on YouTube featuring actors from “Doctor Who”. Because part of Top Gear is an interview with a celebrity and them racing a car around a track trying to beat other celebrities times times on the leaderboard. And I enjoyed the clips I saw so much that I started to watch full episodes. And, well, that was that. I love to watch them test out cars and either rave over them or completely rip them apart. I love to watch their silly little experiments and globe-trotting journeys. It’s truly fantastic and funny and a lot of the time if I don’t know what else to watch, I turn on Top Gear and can be guaranteed to be entertained.
We’ve also recently started watching a show called Twenty-Twelve which is a “mocumentary” style series with plenty of subtle comedy. Think of “The Office” and you get a little idea. It’s about these people who are charged with planning the 2012 Summer Olympics in London and of course hijinks ensue. The cast is lead by Hugh Bonneville (who stars in Downton Abbey so you know he’s awesome) and is narrated by David Tennant (listening to his Scottish accent is a highlight). The show is hilarious and we’ve been really enjoying it. If you have BBC America on your cable, give it a look.
I’ve also kind of fallen in love with Graham Norton’s show on Saturday nights. It’s a talk show of sorts but I love the format. Instead of bringing out the celebs one by one, they all come out and sit on the couches together and just… chat. And it’s fantastic. Some utterly inspired interactions happen on that count and you often get a chance to see celebrities interact together that you might not otherwise get to see. For instance, last week they had the lady who played Professor Sprout in Harry Potter (pardon me, I’ve forgotten her name) sitting next to Will.I.Am from the Black Eyed Peas. And watching the two of them play off each other had us howling with laughter. Seriously. Great show.
There’s all sorts of other TV programs and such that we’ve watched and I’m sure there’ll be more. I’ve already watched a good number of miniseries and have many more that I hope to watch in the future. Most of them are on BBC, but a few have been on iTV. The Brits seem to be the kings of the miniseries. Not quite the commitment of a full TV program, but more than just a TV movie. Brilliant!
I’m sure I could go on and on and on about all the things I’m enjoying about the U.K. these days. But I won’t because I’ve prattled on long enough. And see? I didn’t devolve into drooling over actors and actresses and I kept the raving about accents to a bare minimum. I call that restrained.
So yes, I’m still obsessed. But, to my credit, “Doctor Who” is a show that is very easy to obsess about. I’m starting to think that the U.K. has it in for me. Nearly every British cultural thing I have taken in recently has been so good and so entertaining. I’m turning into an Anglophile! Let’s look at the evidence, shall we? Harry Potter, Love Actually, Torchwood, The IT Crowd, Doctor Who… and I have a laundry list of other television shows that I must check out as soon as Kile and I are finished going through the rest of the “Doctor Who” seasons (they call them series over there, not seasons, and I’m getting so used to it that I nearly almost typed “series” before I realized all these American readers I have, all two of you, would have NO idea what I was on about). Shows like “Secret Diary of a Call Girl” and “Sherlock”. I find myself finding new appreciation for British actors as well… I’ve long since adored Colin Firth, Emily Blunt, Ewan McGregor, James McAvoy, Keira Knightly, Gerard Butler and Andrew Lincoln to name a few… but now I’m adding the likes of David Tennant, Billie Piper, Benedict Cumberbatch, Christopher Eccleston, Tom Hiddleston, Catherine Tate, Chris O’Dowd, Tom Hardy, and Arthur Darvill. I know (I KNOW) I’m leaving out many many many (why are there so many??), but this is supposed to be a post about Doctor Who and not about talented and attractive British actors and actresses. Seriously, if you are in the mood to drool over the pretty, go look some of these people up if they’re not familiar to you. You can thank me later.
ANYHOW. Where was I? Oh yes. Doctor Who. Listen, I know it sounds weird. And truly, it IS kind of weird. But I think it’s the weirdness that makes is so… epic. There really isn’t anything in American television pop culture that is equivalent. This show has been around since November of 1963. That is nearly 50 YEARS, people. Most everyone over there grewup with this show and it is a part of the public consciousness. Yeah, the show has changed a lot during that time. Most notably there was a large gap of time where there was no Doctor Who at all before it was brilliantly revived in 2005. I’m familiar with “Classic Who” as it is called, but my heart lies with “NuWho”. The point being, you don’t need to go watch ALL the “Doctor Who” to get an appreciation for the newer stuff. Enough of the gaps are filled in that you are able to just go with it in the newer series.
If you are interested in giving it a go, catch it on Netflix streaming or find the DVDs somewhere. Just start up with the series that aired in 2005, starring Christopher Eccleston as the Doctor and Billie Piper as Rose. BE WARNED: the early episodes teeter preciously on the “cheesy” side of things. But then, this is sci-fi and when isn’t sci-fi just a bit cheesy? The show as finding it’s footing during these early episodes and if you stick with it, you will be rewarded. Or punished, depending on your view. You will learn rather quickly that the BBC takes delight in making the viewers miserable. But that’s neither here nor there. Don’t be dissuaded! Before you know it, these actors and characters will worm into your heart and you will be left wondering what you did with your life before you discovered that fantastic world. Or maybe that’s just me.
All you really need to know to start out is that “Doctor Who” is a show about a 900+ year old Time Lord from the planet Gallifrey. He is not called “Doctor Who” but rather just “the Doctor”. He has a real name but its kind of a major secret. Sometimes, when he needs to, he’ll tell people he’s John Smith or something. But really, he’s just the Doctor. He’s kind of a rogue, by Gallifreyan standards. He travels time and space in his TARDIS (which stands for Time And Relative Dimensions In Space) which looks like an old fashioned blue Police Box on the outside but is an enormous spaceship/time machine on the inside (“It’s bigger on the inside!”). He doesn’t die; rather, when he becomes mortally injured he “regenerates”. Every cell in his body changes in a somewhat violent reaction and he becomes a new man. He retains his old memories and emotions just fine, but his personality might change a bit. Still, he tends to be a little on the silly side and somewhat socially inappropriate. He has always traveled with human companions before, people he invites to travel along with him for fun, but in between his eighth and ninth regenerations, there was a Time War in which his entire species was obliterated (details are slowly revealed during the course of the show but for now, that’s all you need to know to get going) so he is the last of the Time Lords. It makes him a very very lonely man and he now needs companions for more than just fun… they save him from himself. His first companion, and arguably the most influential companion he has ever had, is Rose Tyler whom he meets in the first episode of the new series, entitled “Rose” (natch). From there, the adventures continue. You just strap in and enjoy the ride!
This show has everything: drama, romance, comedy, tragedy, mystery, action and adventure. It’s funny and it’s heartbreaking. The people who make this show LOVE it and it shows. From everything I’ve heard, working on “Doctor Who” is not a job, it is a delight. Imagine how infectious that is for the viewer?
The show is still on. The fans are anxiously awaiting the 7th series (or season) which has been delayed until the Fall of 2012. Everything I’ve been hearing promises a fascinating and wrenching and wonderful series. I wasn’t as happy with the 6th series because it was more convoluted than usual to keep up with so I’m hoping that series 7 makes up for it some.
So if you’ve ever thought you might want to watch it, give it a try. Don’t be too intimidated by the longevity of the show and the abundant history and fable that surrounds it. I was and I put off watching it for far longer than I should. I heard people talk about it and thought it sounded interesting but you know how it goes. You come in “mid-stream” and you feel like you could never quite catch up. “Doctor Who” is very accessible. Jump right in, the water is warm.
And then come back here and tell me how much you love it. Because I know you will.
I often wonder what life would be like if he were here today. What would be different? What would be the same? Would we still have Liam? Would we have Evie? Would we have four living children instead of three?
I think he’d be in the second grade. What would his favorite subject be? Would he like to read or would he be better than me at math? Or both? Would he have friends? Would he like his teacher?
Would he be mad for super heroes or obsessed with cars and trucks? Would he love playing video games with his older brother or would he rather read a book or ride a bike? What would his favorite movie be? Would he love “Rio” like the rest of his siblings? What song would he love to sing along with in the car?
Would he be quiet and cautious? Or would he be loud and active? Would he drive me crazy on a daily basis?
Today would have been his eighth birthday… What would we be doing to celebrate? Maybe a party tonight with his friends? Maybe going to see a move? (“The Lorax”, perhaps?) Dinner at a pizza parlor? Cake and ice cream of course… What present would he be hoping to unwrap?
What would he look like? Brown hair or blond? Tall or short? What would his smile look like?
These are the questions I’m asking myself today, on the 8th anniversary of the day we lost our second son Jackson William to stillbirth. I think of him often, though the pain has started to fade into wistfulness. I wish for the fun times we could have had together. But I feel like peace has been made. Mostly. I miss him, but I know he is in a better place. Happy birthday, Jackson.
I’ve always enjoyed peacocks, but it seems that lately, my love for them has grown. I love the colors and the ornamentation. What an ostentatious bird! You gotta admire that. Kile will be the first one to tell you, if we’re out at a store and I see something with a peacock on it, I always gasp and point it out. More than I’d like to admit, I exercise restraint and do not purchase. I almost always regret this. It’s like the opposite of buyer’s remorse! My life needs more peacocks in it and my stupid frugal nature is getting in the way of that.
But! Score one for the peacocks, because this last weekend at a routine visit to one of our local Targets, I saw this fine creature in the garden department:
GORGEOUS, right? It was so hard to walk away from that beautiful peacock. But I DID. And for the next 24 hours… I PINED. And Facebook told me to go ahead and get it. And if there’s one thing I know, it’s that you should always listen to Facebook.
So the next day we returned to Target (but not the same store! Variety is the spice of life and all so we went to the one in Reno instead of the one in Sparks like we had the day before) and I located my beloved peacock, yet again in the garden department.
The kids thought it was hysterical, especially because the head bobbed cheerfully as we pushed the cart to the check out. We got a lot of looks from other shoppers. I choose to think that they were jealous that we were getting such a beautiful … whatever that thing is. We loaded the peacock into the back of the van and two issues came to mind that I hadn’t considered before. 1) What do we call this peacock? We can’t just call it “peacock”. That shows absolutely zero imagination. 2) I don’t really wanna put this peacock outside even though that’s clearly what it was made to do. The mere thought of wind and rain and snow taking their toll was just too much to bear. And I’ll have you know it was Kile that suggested we set it up inside, on the dvd storage case next to the TV. So that’s what we did.
But it leaves the issue of the name. A few comparisons were made to that most famous of metal birds, Beyonce. I don’t want to steal Beyonce’s thunder by any means (as if this peacock COULD… I mean… that’s BEYONCE.) But I have to admit when it comes to metallic fowl, you need a diva popstar’s name. But WHICH ONE? So I’m leaving that up to YOU, internets. You need to help me name this gorgeous bird.
Voting is over! Final Tally: Whitney – 5 votes, Adele – 5 votes, Lady Gaga – 3 votes, Rihanna – 1 vote
I’ve known since a relatively young age that I’m an introvert. But the word has all new meaning, the older I get. When I was younger, I was an introvert because I liked to read, I didn’t mind being alone, and I was shy in group situations. Now? It’s kind of like all that on crack.
The problem is that, in general, society doesn’t know what to make of introverts. Are they stuck up? Are they depressed? Are they anti-social to the point of becoming crazy cat ladies? The reality is that all of those are either grand exaggerations or simply false.
The bottom line is that, as an introvert, I cherish my time alone. And alone can and often does include other people. Sure, it’s mostly ONE other person at a time, but it’s still very much low key. Crowd situations cause anxiety for introverts. There is too much stimulation and our brains can’t deal with it.
The best explanation for how introverts function came from a post called Ten Myths About Introverts. So true! I like people, but I like them in small doses. And I like my space.
Right now, my space is my home. That’s my sanctuary. The problem comes from people, often family, who have the “we’ll just pack in! It’ll be cozy and fun!” For me, however, hosting a lot of guests at my home turns it from a sanctuary into a prison. One at a time is fine, mostly if there are rooms to go around (which ere aren’t really these days… Someday we’ll have a guest room!). But people crashing on couches and the floor and ohmygodithinkimgoingtocry. I just don’t do that very well
And I wish I did! It’d be so much easier if I could just relax about such things. Give in to the chaos and pick up the pieces later. I’ve tried, on several occasions. And it’s always ended in me feeling stressed beyond all belief. I wish I could be more of an extrovert sometimes. It’d make life a whole lot easier.
Just try explaining all of this to people who don’t get it. To family. Without hurting any feelings. Yeah, kinda impossible.
Then again, there are some things about being an introvert that I just love. The quiet, the calm, the comfortable… It’s like wrapping up in a big cozy blanket in front of the fire. And when I do subject myself to the crowds (which I do regularly), it’s utterly delightful to come back home to my sanctuary and just unwind. Process the day in my own way and time. Decompress, with or without a glass of wine.
Ahhh… That sounds like heaven to me!
I’ve been busy. Busy is good. Sure it is. It keeps you in the world. But slow is good too. Because while busy keeps you in the world, slow gives you the chance to appreciate the world.
Dominique Browning knows a little something about slow. She’s the author of the book I just read for the BlogHer Book Club, Slow Love. She’s the former editor of House & Garden magazine, one of the many that went POOF in 2008 when Conde Naste folded. As a person who thrived on purpose and being busy, to suddenly have no aim in life was a rough transition for her. While there were plenty of areas where I did not relate to her (her relationship with the aptly nicknamed “Stroller” is one of them, her love of gardening is another), there seemed to be so many more areas where I did relate. Big time. For one thing, she has a passion for pajamas. I can respect that. I love pajamas as well. I related as well to a lot of her motivations and opinions on things.
This is not a thrilling read. But it’s a nourishing one. Reading Browning’s elegant prose is soothing to the soul. I suggest you give it a try, and hop on over to BlogHer to join in the discussion that will be continuing all month long.
I was compensated for my review and provided with a copy of Slow Love. All opinions are my own.