Frank and I laugh that, if we could create a new branch of the extrovert/introvert labels we’d add “lazy extrovert” and “active introvert.” On the occasion when we have no weekend plans, our personality differences are more apparent: I’m content to lounge and read but also get energized when we have brunch plans with friends. Frank would be happy hiking or working around the yard all weekend, outdoors and active without having to talk with anyone.
This was a point of frustration when we first fell into our roles as extrovert and introvert. I expected Frank to be happy reading, napping, and resting during the weekend. After all, he is energized by alone time, right? I also figured that, once he was rested, I could pack in the plans with friends, since we’d had a quiet day.
Since I’m not an extreme extrovert, I still need that quiet recharge time. But once I’ve been able to be alone, I’m up for meeting up, for socializing, for connection. What I failed to see is that Frank would be content without the second part of my day. Sure, he loves dinners with friends and the community we’ve built, but I think he’s equally happy when it’s just our little family. I’m the driving force behind our social calendar.
We went on our first family-of-four camping trip this weekend with friends and as we played in the dirt and explored the forest and lay in the hammock, I found that this activity met all of our needs. We were away from the city, out in nature, relaxing. We were with friends and socializing. We had an activity but it didn’t include many other people or stimulus.
We’re at the point in the summer where we’ve had a few weeks of quiet rest, some visitors, and a small lull before a family reunion with loads of activity. We’ve caught up with friends and have had playdates with those we missed during the school year. People are traveling so we see friends but it’s not with the same urgency as at the beginning of the summer. In many ways, our playdates seem more organic and spur-of-the-moment. Rest hasn’t gotten old yet, and unstructured play is still welcome.
I have a friend who said that the last week of summer before school starts should be the most boring so that the kids are ready to go back to activity and structure. I can totally see that. I’ve caught a glimpse here and there of that safety found in routine. After a week of VBS, Bea was ready for preschool to start again immediately. The structure and definition of autumn can be welcome after the laziness and spontaneity of summer.
I’m certainly not wishing away this time together, and I’m thankful for this week of calm and rest before a packed one of good chaos and stimuli. But I’m also starting to feel the tug of autumn and its lure of cooler weather, structured days, and the excitement of something new.
Do you identify with the labels of lazy extrovert or active introvert? What’s your ideal pace for summertime? Do you get anxious for autumn to arrive?