Running on fumes

Before I leave town for a week’s vacation with family in Florida, followed by a week with friends in Missoula, Montana, I wanted to stop by and tell you that I’ve had a breakthrough.  I am not fixed; my life is still not perfect, but I now have better understanding of myself and my “issues.”

The Introvert Advantage has helped me realize what I’ve suspected for three years but couldn’t articulate, though simple as it is.

I am an introvert, and as such I focus inward to recharge my batteries.  Being a stay-at-home mom means I’m focused externally nearly every hour of the day.  Answering questions, preparing food, changing diapers, watching, playing, and answering questions (again).  The activity, noise, and constant touch of little bodies are unceasing.  My energy is zapped.

That’s it.  That’s what drags me down more than anything and makes me feel like I’m constantly running on fumes–always having to be external when I don’t just want, but need, time to curl up inside myself, to stare at a wall and think deep thoughts.  And I need a lot of that time.

I have no solution for how to bring more of this into my day, but identifying the problem is a start.  It feels good.  I already feel like less of a nutjob than I did last week.

OK, that’s all.  Carry on.

One thought on “Running on fumes

  1. Hey Ashley, thanks for posting something that hit so close to home (again). I often want to comment on what you write, but the minutes pass, then the hours, and before I know it, you’ve posted something new that gives me all new things to consider, validate, own, and honor. Since Jeff (good ol’ DH) has off for a few days, I thought I would take a moment to do that which I’ve been considering for some time…finally commenting!

    You know me…I’m not really an introvert (hardly!), although I will say that I my extrovert tendencies are much more balanced now that I’m in my mid-thirties. Despite that, I find that I, too, am zapped of energy, get frustrated, need a break…as you say, I’m running on fumes. I think this happens to a lot of moms (or parents), especially those who have made the courageous decision to stay at home with their kids, at least in the early childhood years. This isn’t to undermine what you say about being introverted, but rather to serve as an additional point of validation. (Also see: Jamie Martin from Steady Mom blog wrote this piece recently:

    One thing that I have come to realize is so very important for me is to have an identity of my own outside of being a mom. To some, this may seem like heresy…so be it. Yes, I love being a mom, but as you so eloquently put it a couple of weeks ago, sometimes I don’t love my “job” of staying home with Ava. This does not mean that I don’t absolutely and unconditionally love her, but rather that, as a complex and spirited person who relishes in the multifaceted texture of my path, I need different outlets to nourish different parts of my Self.

    In order to fully serve, we need to be nourished. We need to recharge our batteries. We need. a. break. for. goodness. sake. I believe that everyone needs to take some time each week (if possible, even each day, although that can seem impossible at times), to do something that reminds us of who we are. We need to reconnect to the Source to be reminded of who we are. I like to say that we can only serve authentically, with love, from our overflow. All too often, though, we keep giving and giving and giving OUT without refueling and putting more IN.

    I say all this in support of what you write. Yes, you do need a break, and you deserve one. I think of you as being one of the most awesome women I know. I feel so blessed to know you and your beautiful family. I honor and thank you for being so real and giving the rest of us moms permission to own what we’re feeling: tapped out and in need of rejuvenation.

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