CGjenny

What it’s like being an introvert

I have people ask me often “how do you know that you’re an introvert?” I addressed that in THIS post, but I thought I’d talk a bit more today about what it’s like being an introvert–some of it might surprise you!

Believe it or not–I enjoy being social:

If you met me, you might find me to be rather social. I enjoy talking with people and can carry on a conversation like a champ. In fact, I can even be energized by good social interactions. However, BAD social interactions set me back. Certain personality types turn me off to a degree that I have trouble recovering and often close up my “shell” in the presence of those types of people. One step forward, two back.

I need alone time, but not TOO much:

I’ve started trying to save Mondays just for myself. If possible, I don’t make appointments or commitments on Mondays, so that I can spend some good time to myself, writing or just doing things around the house. But, I don’t think that I could do this for more than 1 day in a row. I’d be lonely if I had to spend multiple days without interacting. I know….I’m a mystery even to myself.

I really enjoy going out for coffee or lunch with friends:

Granted, two hours before I’m due to meet up, faced with changing out of my beloved jammies and putting on (gasp!) real clothes, I often consider canceling, but once I’m committed to going, I am typically excited to talk and socialize with friends over coffee or lunch. Some of my most invigorating days have been spent having long conversations with friends over lunch.

Truth

So, that’s my introverted life in a nutshell. I don’t believe that anyone is 100% on either end of the introvert/extrovert spectrum all of the time but I’m definitely more introverted than extroverted most of the time.

What about you? Are you more of an introvert or more of an extrovert? 

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CGjenny

On sadness and anger in early sobriety

I was looking through old photos this morning–trying to find photos of me drinking that I could share with you (I’m not sure why, but it seems important to show you who I used to be).

Sadly, (or maybe fortunately) I couldn’t find much. I think that our photos from that time period aren’t on this computer, but what I found instead were lots of photos of me in those first few months of sobriety.

Continue reading “On sadness and anger in early sobriety”

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CGjenny

Resting Bitch Face

“Smile, Jenny!”

“Are you mad at me, Jenny?”

“What’s wrong with YOU?”

These are things that I’m often asked.

I blame it all on one thing: my raging case of “Resting Bitch Face.

Resting Bitch Face

The photo above is of my late grandmother, Laurel Don. This photo was snapped as she (with my toddler-mother in tow) and her lady friends were meeting up at the downtown drugstore for a Coke and some gossip, possibly about the year 1950-ish.  

Granted, she had a lot going on in her life during this time. There’s a chance that my fighter-pilot grandfather was off, stationed in some far-away place, dealing with the aftermath of World War II or shipping out to help with the Korean War effort. Imagine: she’s stuck in sweltering South Texas with a toddler and no air conditioning and likely wearing polyester pantyhose. If ever there was a time for Resting Bitch Face, it was at this point in her life. However, there’s also a really good chance that she WAS having a great time and WAS rather enjoying herself. This is the plight of those of us suffering from, “Resting Bitch Face.”

What is “Resting Bitch Face,” you ask?

RBF is when a person (typically a female)–unbeknownst to her and sometimes incongruent with her mood–has a face that appears to be perpetually pissed-off when at rest.

Unfortunately, I inherited her “RBF.”

Exhibit A: Recently, I was at a concert with friends. Toward the end of the night, as the music got less and less appealing and my fellow concert go-ers got more and more drunk, I found a comfy wall to lean against (standing room only) and took up my favorite pastime: people watching. As I stood there, back against the wall, arms crossed (because that was how I was most comfortable) some drunk dude wandered up to me and said, “Who you mad at? Did your man run off on you? You don’t like the music? What’s your problem, anyway?”

Up until this time, I had no idea that I must’ve had a horrendous scowl on my face the whole time. I can’t help it–it’s just my Resting Bitch Face.

Resting Bitch Face

If you suffer from RBF, you might find it exhausting to constantly feel the need to over-smile in order to make everyone else at ease with your happiness levels. I can remember dancing recitals, when I was a little thing, and the teacher yelling, “Smile, Jenny!” and me thinking, “But, I AM smiling…I think?

Also, when I was single, I was never the girl that got hit on at the bar and I’m a terrible flirt–like, I just can’t do it. So, I came across as a cold bitch. This sure weeded out the weak dudes at the bar. Or, conversely, it attracted only the drunkest dudes, to whom my RBF was a fuzzy blur of ambiguous facial expressions that didn’t compute.

Somehow, I did manage to attract my husband, Kevin and get married and now, my family legacy lives on. My son, Jack, seems to have inherited the RBF gene:

Jack RBF

Do you, or someone you know suffer from RBF?

(Contact your doctor if your RBF lasts for more than 4 hours, as medical intervention might be necessary)

cheers-jenny

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CGjenny

5 things I do every morning

I like to write the kind of posts that I enjoy reading. I always love to get a glimpse of a blogger’s ordinary life–call me a voyeur, but it’s what I like.

So, in the spirit of voyeurism (this should amount to some super-strange Google traffic) here are the 5 things that I do most every morning. 

5 things I do in the morning

 

  • Apple Cider Vinegar/Lemon Juice cocktail: I drink a full glass of water with about a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar mixed in, as well as a few squeezes of lemon juice, first thing when I walk in the kitchen, after waking up. I had a trainer at my old gym who first turned me onto apple cider vinegar years ago. She claimed that it’s a miracle, cure-all. Judging by her perpetually glowy skin and taut body, I went along with her advice. I’ve read that ACV lowers blood sugar levels, which wards off diabetes–among many other health benefits. I’m going on about 7 years of drinking ACV every day and it’s the first thing that I crave when I’ve been away from home and am settling back into a routine. As for the lemon juice, I’ve read a lot about the benefits of lemon juice–especially for those of us with Type A blood. So, just like the ACV, I figure that it can’t hurt. And it’s important to hydrate upon waking, so I feel like I’m killing 3 birds with one stone. (But I love birds, so I’d never kill one, of course)

lemon coffee

 

  • Coffee with coconut oil: After my ACV/lemon juice concoction, next up is my cup of coffee with a teaspoon of coconut oil in it. Again, another tidbit harvested from Dr. Pinterest, but I’ve read that coconut oil speeds up your metabolism and boosts your immunity. Plus, it tastes good. Bonus: my lips get a nice glossy-look, thanks to the coconut oil. 

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  • I make our bed. I have to make the bed for a number of reasons. If I don’t, our room looks that much messier. Also, I can’t stand to get into an unmade bed at night–sheets all wrinkled and tangled. (First world problems, fo sho) Besides, it’s rare that there’s not an animal snoozing on our bed at any given point in the day, so I like to keep the sheets clean and fur-free by making the bed first thing in the morning.

 

  • I empty the dishwasher. We run the dishwasher at night and my least-favorite morning chore is unloading the dishwasher in the morning but, if I don’t, our whole world falls apart. We don’t eat off of paper plates in our house, so we use–and thusly–dirty-up lots of plates, bowls and cups at each meal in this house. If we forget to set the dishwasher to come on before bed, then the next morning is a bust, so it’s important to me to stay on top of the Managing of the Dishwasher. 

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  • I walk the dog. Angie is a Weimaraner, which is a “sporting breed” (although, if you could hear her snoring and farting, while sleeping on the sofa with Judge Judy on the tv right now, you’d beg to differ) so she needs a good bout of exercise daily. I’ve found that, if I walk her at least 2 miles a day, she’s calmer for the rest of the day and doesn’t get into as much mischief when left alone. The walk is good for me too. During our daily dog walks is when I dream up the majority of these blog posts and get all of my good thinking done. 

On any given school day, all of these activities happen before 8am. Morning is my favorite. Mornings are way better now that I don’t drink. I don’t ever take mornings for granted anymore.

Tell us about your morning rituals.

cheers-jenny

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CGjenny

“You don’t drink?”

I get asked often why I don’t drink. This happens especially in new social settings; among new people and it inevitably comes up in conversation after the drinks are ordered. After a few years of fumbling around, undersharing, oversharing and joking my way around it, I’ve come up with a few different ways to handle the questions and I thought I’d share them with you today.

You don't drink?

First of all, how I answer depends greatly on a few factors. Mostly it’s based upon how much I feel like going into my story on this particular day and if I think that these people will show up in my life (and in my social circle) again.

You can often spot the people who will take your answer in stride and those who’ll be butt-hurt by it a mile away. Here are a few scenarios where the question comes up:

Scenario 1: At dinner with a rowdy group of my husband’s co-workers.

You don’t drink, Jenny?” 

“Nope…not tonight”

I like to keep it simple, truthful(ish) and blunt in situations like this. There’s no need to go into the why’s and how’s of my sobriety, so I keep it short and sweet and don’t offer up any additional information on my life choices.

Scenario 2: Meeting up with new mom-friend acquaintances for happy hour at a local restaurant.

You don’t drink, Jenny?”

“Actually, no. BUT, I certainly don’t judge those of you who do

People–especially peers–seem to really get their feathers ruffled if they think that you’re judging their drinking habits, so I’ve learned to bypass that by stating upfront that, while I don’t drink, I don’t give a flip if they do–because it’s true. Go right ahead and drink your face off tonight. More power to ya. I’ll text you in the morning and see if you need someone to hold your hair back and pick up some Sprite on my way over.

Scenario 3: A neighbor that you don’t know shows up at your dear friends’ house, with a valuable bottle of Ouzo that he wants to share. (True story)

Do you want some Ouzo, Jenny?”

“No thanks–I’m good.”

“But this is very special stuff. You have to try it.”

“Thanks a bunch, but I don’t drink”

“Oh, come on. It’s just a sip. You won’t have this opportunity again.”

“No, really. I don’t drink, but I appreciate your kindness”

“Come on. Just a sip”

“Nope. Thanks..”

At that point, the neighbor stormed off, clearly offended that I didn’t try his special Ouzo. I think of this incident often and wonder if I should’ve handled it differently.

The fact of the matter is that some people will just not accept that you don’t drink. Many people will think it’s no big deal (and I recommend sticking close to those who aren’t mortally wounded or offended by the fact that you don’t drink) but be wary of the ones who can’t process your sobriety because they very likely not be supportive.

For emergency use-only: In a pinch you can also use the “I’m taking some medication” excuse for why you aren’t drinking, but this isn’t a long-term answer to the age-old question of why you aren’t drinking, as it’ll likely come up again the next time you see these people. I’ve also used the, “No, I don’t drink anymore, but, believe me–I used to!” which implies that I’ve been around that block a few times and I’m happy to be where I am now. That typically shuts people up, while also letting the group know that you’re not a total fuddy-duddy.

Lastly, absolutely feel free to share your whole sobriety story with people, if that’s what you feel is best. Your story isn’t helpful unless you’re willing to tell it and you might help others by sharing. The more we’re willing to be vulnerable, the stronger we get, so share as much as you feel comfortable with.

No Mess, No Message

How do you handle the questions about your drinking (or lack thereof)? 

cheers-jenny

 

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CGjenny

How I know I’m an introvert

I’ve known for quite awhile that I’m an introvert. As a kid, I was often called “shy” or “a snob.” But, as I got older (and after the Myers-Briggs confirmed what I already knew) I finally had a name for who I was. It was refreshing to find that there wasn’t anything wrong with who I was.

introvert text

Believe it or not, a lot of people don’t know if they’re introverted or extroverted. I don’t believe that anyone is 100% on either side of the coin, but here’s a list of my personality quirks that are aligned with introvertedness.

So, you think you’re an introvert…

I’m a planner. I live and die by my calendar–my paper and pen calendar, none of this iPhone calendar app nonsense. I always have running lists and to-do’s ongoing in my various notebooks. I rarely can handle flying by the seat of my pants. It stresses me out. I need to know what to expect and plan accordingly.

I’m a writer. Writing is the best way that I know how to express myself. If we were to have a face to face conversation, I’d either clam up or fumble and stutter my way through. I’m just not articulate on my feet, but given a few extra seconds to backspace through a poorly-chosen word or colloquialism, I’m much better.

I have lots of extroverted friends. If I was friends with only quiet, reserved people, I’d be bored out of my mind. I greatly enjoy being around people who keep the conversation flowing, laugh loudly at my under-the-breath remarks and get the party properly started.

I crave alone time. Being in a large crowd, mixing and mingling and having to be “on” for long periods of time stresses me out. This is not to say that I can’t do it. I can host a party for 50 like a champ, but after being in a situation like that, I need to “actively introvert.” Actively introverting for me, looks like hanging out in my room alone (except with a cat or two and the dog), watching trashy tv and regrouping. Another way I like to reboot is by going to Target alone. I don’t mind being around people when I’m “actively introverting,” but I just don’t want to have to interact with them too much.

Crowds aren’t my favorite. Being in a large crowd, with people invading my personal space all willy-nilly, drives me insane. I’ve been to many concerts, where you’re packed into the venue like sardines, and inevitably, the girl next to me has long hair that she keeps tossing in my direction. Her hair gets stuck in my lip gloss and that almost sends me straight over the edge. (It’s one thing for your OWN hair to get stuck in your lip gloss. Totally different situation when SOMEONE ELSE’S hair gets stuck in your lip gloss.)

Meeting new people is awkward. You see, I really super-suck at small talk. I either don’t ask enough questions (which comes across as aloof and uncaring) or I go too deep, too soon (which…well, creepy). The pleasantries of “where do you live?” “how old are your kids?” “what do you do?” wears thin with me quickly. I tend to either not ask those important things or dive immediately into questions like, “did you have a vaginal birth or a c-section?” Inappropriate. But, those are the things I want to know…not how long you’ve lived here.

Go around room...

These are only a few of the traits that I have that would fall on the “introvert spectrum“–which I’m calling a thing, whether it is or not. I have others but…guess what? I also have some extrovert characteristics too.  Luckily, we’re not all made by a cookie cutter and we’re each unique and quirky.

So, tell me…what traits do you have that are introvert or extrovert?

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