Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Small Joys

Over the past year-ish, I've been beginning to own my introversion. Before, I just wrote myself off as socially awkward, but that's a narrow and not {always} accurate definition. The aspect of introversion that I've most fought is that of parenting and the idea that some of us need the ability to step away from the noise and just breathe occasionally. I at least recognized enough of myself in Brooklyn to grant her that ability (she practices peace every afternoon, more if circumstances call for it, spending time playing quietly alone that sometimes turns into a nap). Without her decompression time, she becomes a delicate and easily-triggered mess, and she knows it, sometimes actually asking to practice peace. The same thing happens to me, I'm just a little more emotionally mature than she is and generally manage to (unhealthily) internalize everything for awhile.

One place that I've found a lot of affirmation and validation is Quiet Revolution (glorious day, there are others like me!). One article that they reposted recently really stood out to me - it talked about how introverts have more sensitive dopamine receptors than extroverts, so it literally takes less to please them (and less to overwhelm them).

It explained a lot about some of the differences between Adam and I. He tends to keep "adding on" in an attempt to improve an outing or experience; I often would have been happiest just stopping after the first step, and wind up exhausted and possibly cranky by the end (it should be noted that he is usually content at that point).

We had a date night in last week. He stopped by the grocery store to pick up a few requested items, got flowers and bonus ingredients while he was there, then made dinner for us after Brooklyn and Tobin were in bed. We sat on the couch and ate next to each other (I love seeing couples both sitting on the same side of a booth at a restaurant - it seems so sweet to me - but that's not something that ever happens with two small persons to look after), and after our meal we looked over the devo that we're doing together and talked about what had stood out to us that day. He apologized afterwards, thinking that it wasn't enough - I assured him that it was perfect.

I have always been "easily amused," deriving joy from a pretty mug, a favorite shirt, a simple comment, or the discovery of pretty feather, leaf, or stone. It led to my half-jokingly saying the easily amused are more often amused whenever someone challenged the level of delight that I was deriving from something that they deemed insignificant.

But ultimately, there's nothing wrong with finding delight in the small things. So I'm learning to embrace it, and to pursue those little joys. Turning the choosing of a mug for my tea into a delightful ritual. Actually writing with the while gel pen that I love, even if I'm writing a grocery list that will be thrown away later that day. Pointing out all the green cars we see when Brooklyn and I run errands. Prettily hand-lettering the alphabet in chalk on the balcony for her. All of the tiny one-ups that help me get through my day are not something to be mocked or suppressed, but celebrated. So if you'll excuse me, I have cup of tea to make.

Beautiful dwelling is celebrating what brings you joy and not questioning whether it's "worth" being joyful about.

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