Little Wren napping after her first bath.
We painted our front and back doors 'yam' from Martha Stewart's color line.
The reptile exhibit at the Clackamas County Fair.
It was over this last weekend that the lateness of the season finally hit me. I was watering my garden, staring blankly at all of my ripening tomatoes, when I realized it was chilly enough outside to warrant a sweater. I hadn't felt that cold since spring.
To tell you the truth, I'm a little anxious about fall this year. Usually end-of-summer/beginning-of-fall is my favorite time of year, but Matt is starting classes again this September, so things are going to change for us, and change is always stressful. In this case, it is the type of stress that is decidedly good and exciting, but I still have little knots in my stomach.
To relax, I've been reading Susan Cain's Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking, which has completely captivated me. I didn't mean to buy this book (I've got four other books on my reading list), but after I read through the sample on my Kindle, I was inspired to keep going. As an introvert who is also highly sensitive, I've always tried to blend in - often poorly - with the extroverted culture I live in. This puts me at odds with others, and especially myself, and makes me feel like there's something wrong with me. You can imagine how liberating it would be to read a book like this, and to realize there might be a way for introverted people like me to embrace our nature, and to coexist with extroverts without pretending, performing, or sacrificing something of ourselves.
As I read this book, I find myself highlighting furiously because there's so much I can relate to. For starters:
The same person who would never raise his hand in a lecture hall of two hundred people might blog to two thousand, or two million, without thinking twice. The same person who finds it difficult to introduce himself to strangers might establish a presence online and then extend these relationships into the real world.
I always found it difficult to participate in class discussions when I was in college. Not because I was shy or wasn't paying attention, but because I needed time to mull things over. There was something about the pressure of in-class discussions that kept me from being able to organize my thoughts, and this was always a source of upset for my professors who wanted me to participate more.
Still, I managed to do well in school because of my written work. Expressing thoughts through writing has always been easier for me than verbal communication, which is a phenomenon that many introverts experience in common. It also explains why I can write this blog, where I have no problem discussing anything that interests me to anyone and everyone (I figure you wouldn't be here unless you were interested in what I had to say), yet I rarely discuss anything that's important to me with people face-to-face unless I feel really comfortable with them first. I tend to be very quiet except with close friends and family.
Anyway, I highly recommend this book to both introverts and extroverts alike. Not only does it debunk some of the stigma attached to the word introvert, but I think it has some really valuable ideas about how we can help balance the scales in society so us introverts have the opportunity to prosper, too, instead of being made to feel like we're doing something wrong.