By that definition, I'm an extrovert. No, make that a capital-e Extrovert. Or even an all-caps EXTROVERT. I love to be around people. I would almost always rather be with someone than be alone. I might be doing something solitary--reading, frittering away my time on Facebook, folding laundry, you name it--but I'd rather do that solitary thing with someone else in the same room. I might not even be in the mood to talk or interact in any way, but no matter what I'm doing, I find the presence of another human immensely comforting and affirming. Either I'm an extrovert or I have some serious self-esteem issues. I'm going with extrovert.
I'm also an optimist, and I can generally find something to like and appreciate about any given situation or person. I enjoy the company of a wide variety of people and I am blessed to have a lot of friends. I like to do social things with those friends because I like to be around people because I'm an extrovert.
On top of all that, I have two extremely verbal children, one of whom is undoubtedly an extrovert like me and one of whom might be an introvert and might be an extrovert but who is adaptable to the presence of others out of sheer necessity given the extroversion of his sister and mom.
Plus I have a job at which I spend 8.5 hours a day once you count commuting. Which seems neither here nor there in this discussion until I present to you this equation of words and ideas:
extrovert + optimist + lots of friends + 2 kids + job = social time black hole
By this I do not mean that we don't spend enough time being social. Quite the opposite. We have so much social time that we have no unsocial time. Our weekends are packed to the gills almost all the time. There are playdates and brunches and dinners. There are outings and gatherings and parties. Occasionally, we have a random, unscheduled day and we talk like we're just going to do nothing, although we usually end up doing an impromptu social event because that's what we all crave. Even if we don't get together with other people, there are still three of us hanging out together; we're our own little social event.
I'm not complaining about this, because, hello, I'm an extrovert and I truly enjoy it. What's starting to eat at me, though, is how to manage it. I am terrible at saying no to social events because I want to do them all, hence our packed schedule. But Maddie, Riley, and I don't get a lot of time for just the three of us because we're often doing things with other people, and when we do get that family time, we all really value it and wish we had more of it. We don't see my extended family as much as I'd like. There are certain friends I don't see as regularly as I'd like too because we're so busy with so many friends that we don't see anyone all that frequently. I've been awful at maintaining my Boston friendships because I'm so busy with what's right in front of me.
And now there's this Significant Person in my life, so that's a whole other priority for both me personally and me and the kids as a family.
I don't know how to do it. It's the world's biggest embarrassment of riches to have so many people to love in one's life that it's hard to see them all. It feels icky to me to start prioritizing who I spend time with. Kids, Significant Person, extended family . . . OK, there's the first tier. But then what? Then what do I do? (Rhetorical question, although if anyone has ideas on this, I'm happy to hear them.)
This is why I haven't been blogging much. See what's on my mind these days? Oh, gosh, my life is hard I have SO MANY FRIENDS. The truth is, I'm bursting with the goodness of it all. I just want to share the goodness with everyone. Feel the love!