A few years ago, in an attempt to learn how to better deal with Max's very intense personality, I read "Raising Your Spirited Child" by Mary Sheedy Kurcinka. I can't say enough about how wonderful this book is - I felt like it was totally written about him. It really helped me understand how he sees the world and why he behaves the way he behaves. What surprised me though, was that it made me understand a little bit more about myself too. I was familiar with the terms "introvert" and "extrovert" but her description really resonated with me. She says that an introvert is a person who finds that social gatherings deplete their energy, and that solitude recharges it, and an extrovert is exactly the opposite. Most people have some combination of both kinds of traits but tend to lean one way or the other overall. I am pretty strongly an introvert. I usually feel completely wiped out after a social gathering - even one that I have found enjoyable. There are a lot of great people in my life who I care about and whose company I enjoy, but it still requires a certain degree of conscious effort for me to be in a social setting. I am most comfortable when I am by myself, or with people I'm very close to (i.e. Shane and the kids). And that's ok. It's just the way I'm wired.
Yesterday, I got together with a fabulous group of women who I've gotten to be friends with over the past year and half. We started out as a book club, but this time around none of us liked the book much and had abandoned it, so we just hung out for a few hours and had some good quality female bonding time. It was really nice to just be in a room with all of these great people who are all at similar stages of life to me, but with different personalities and perspectives. I truly like and respect each of them. Afterward, on the way home, I realized that I actually felt energized instead of drained, which is kind of a big deal for me. I have always been the kind of person who has just a handful of close friends who I'd hang out with one-on-one, versus being part of a group. So the realization that I had just spent time with a group of people and felt comfortable enough to come away from it feeling energized is a really cool thing. I am so very glad these people have come into my life. :)