For the first 40 years of my life, I loved being involved in everything! Things from music, sports, academics, theater…you name it. I literally started kindergarten on the day I turned 5 years old. Not because I was super smart, but because I was “social” and “got along with everyone.” I was born an extrovert and wore that title proudly…and with sparkles!
As a young adult and a mom with small kids, I continued to be involved with organizations, non-profits and school counsels. I loved knowing what was going on at my kids’ schools and relished having a say on various committees in our community. I wanted to use my energy and extrovert personality to do good.
When my husband and I built our house in 2004, we built it so that our house would be where our kids and their friends would hang out. We’ve had more unplanned pool parties, watch parties and sleepovers than I can count. I learned to have extra snacks and drinks on hand so that our “impromptu” parties were seamless. I loved it…
…until I didn’t.
When I hit my 40’s I felt a shift.
It wasn’t an all-at-once major shift, but a gradual one. I started noticing that I no longer cared to be constantly on-the-go. I no longer felt the need to entertain family and friends. I didn’t strive to be on a counsel or board. I didn’t want to go check out the latest movies, restaurants or attend various fundraisers.
At first I thought this might a sign of depression. I’ve never struggled with this issue, but here I was in my 40’s, finding myself not wanting to do things that once made me happy. I had to really dig deep and ask myself “What makes me happy?” When the answer came back and it wasn’t the committees, gatherings and being on the go, I knew it wasn’t depression.
I knew that what brought me joy had simply changed.
I’m fairly certain my friends and family noticed this shift. Maybe not right away but after a few years, they did. My friends may have thought that my absence at events and meetings meant I was just “busy with something else.” My family may have thought that my lack of conversation meant I didn’t like them or I was just turning into a “mean person.”
The fact is…I learned to like peace.
When I look back at my life in my 20s and 30s, it was busy, loud, messy and down right exhausting! Having four small kids touch me all day, ask me questions all day, and physically playing all day was anything but peaceful.
Now that I don’t have those stimuli, I have learned to love the peace and quiet. I love writing, reading, listening to podcasts and just being in my own little world.
My life is peaceful now and before it changes again…I’m going to soak it all in!
So, if I have offended you by not chatting or being at some get-together you have invited me to, I’m sorry. I haven’t said “no” to hurt you, but rather to enjoy the “peace.” I’ve said “no” and held back on conversation because I like how peaceful my life is and I know that at any minute that peace can be changed into chaos. I’ve said “no” to make sure I don’t get back to where my life was busy, loud, messy and chaotic. I’ve been there and although I loved my life at that stage and having small kids, I don’t want to go back to that.
I’ve also learned that I shouldn’t feel bad when I don’t show up for a girls night or if I choose to go out with just my husband instead of a big group date. I’ve learned that if I do something unintentional to someone and they are offended, I’m not going to feel anxious about it. I like the feeling of peacefulness too much to let outside things taint it. So, I will guard my peaceful life and the feeling it brings as long as I can.
…because I like being in my own little world!
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