Daily life

The Summer break and the introvert.

9:58 AM

Summer takes the toll of just about anybody in Mumbai after a point. But, for many, that is not just the heat and the humidity that become taxing.
When you have kids, it is the mental exhaustion that end up being as sapping as the climate. Every single mothers I know have one sentence on their lips these days : "I can't wait for school to start again". And for most that starts in the second half of June.

Two months of Summer will see moms run around to drop kids to Summer camps, sports classes, and try to have a moment to sit down to catch their breath in the day. Kids will get bored the instant they come home from said classes, and  the days are too hot to do anything outdoor. Plus, there are only that many activities you can plan for them at home without burning yourself out.

My being an introvert, having a breather during my day is vital. Introverts re-energise themselves by being alone and in a quiet environment.
We aren't odd, diseased people, it's just how we roll. All we need in a day is a few hours of no noise, a cup of tea, and a book...or a craft project. Sadly, the school Summer break efficiently kill that breather and for two months I pretty much find myself surrounded by people. Even if said people are my husband and daughter.
I spent my days running to gymnastic class, rushing back home to cook breakfast, lunch, dinner. Ishita yack away the whole day long asking a billion questions and wanting many things. And if we aren't home we are at the playground or at a friend's place. My two months of Summer is a constant stream of social interaction.
All of which, is enough to get an introvert exhausted.

Add the heat to this and comes May end I am on edge. I reach that point at which I make list of all the creative ideas I might have instead of getting involved in them. I cant get involved in anything but liquifying on my bed in a darkened room as this point. 

This past weekend has been particularly extroverted and energy sapping considering my nature. It started Friday night when one of Ishita's friend dropped her birthday party invite for the next day. The party was at 11am, Ishita was in gymnastic class until 10. The plan to go just sit in a park while her class was on was efficiently ruined, I found myself grocery shopping and gift buying instead. Ran back home to get her out of her gym clothes, and back to the party venue in a party dress.
Two of her friends then spent the rest of the afternoon at our place to play. By 5pm I was glad the day was over, and looking at the prospect of a quiet Sunday with minimal work. That is when my downstairs neighbour came up for another of Ishita's friend party that was to take place on Sunday evening.

This had me run to the hospital in the morning to get my scheduled rabies shot, then to the supermarket to get the rest of the grocery shopping done, then to get ourselves to Pizza Hut to book Ishita's July party and secure a weekend, only to learn they were closing for renovation at that time. Straight to Papa John's we went. DH sensing the day would be hectic, proposed we ate a pizza there before heading to the toy store and home. Another gift bought, and back home we went.
Ishita not doing naps anymore submitted me to four hours of "when is the party starting" bouncing off the walls in the process. And, by the time the party did start, our neighbours pressed me to just stay to chat.

A thing I hoped I could have avoided, but neighbourly relationships are something important enough. And here I am on Monday, back to running to gymnastics class at 8.30, and off to Starbucks by 9.
Today a hot cup of tea in a AC coffee shop with no people to entertain felt like an emergency. Just me, my cup, my iPad and soft background music. It is just one hour of my day, but this hour is vital to my personal sanity at this point. Fellow Introverts will understand...extroverts might find it puzzling.

And, while waiting for the rain and back to school, I keep making lists of things to cook, write, tidy, decorate and create.

4 comments

  1. Susan1:59 AM

    Hi Cynthia - Great post! I can totally relate to being an introvert. I also need my daily time by myself to get some peace/quiet and to recharge. I work all day with middle school students and need my lunch break to just sit by myself. I don't find large group events like birthday parties very fun, in fact, I usually find them stressful. I'm probably in wrong profession seeing how much I crave peace and quiet time!

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  2. Have you read the book "Quiet, the power of introverts in a world that can't stop talking"? I knew I was an introvert for the longest time and made my peace with it eons ago, but the book still taught me a couple of things. there are many introverts that are in extroverted professions, they do what you do to recharge by isolating themselves at lunch time and spending their free time alone. I learned to cope at big intimidating parties :-) there is inevitably someone I can sit with and have more than a small talk without having to go do the rounds and mingle, because i totally suck at that social mingling and small talk making.

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  3. These days children have so many option summer camps, swimming classes etc. In our time, there was nothing. We had to do boring holiday homework which we hurridly completed in the last week of the vacations. Father used to take us to Patna, Bihar, to our maternal grandmother's place which was equally hot. We were exicted as children because we got to travel by taxi the railway station. In those days for an average middle class family, travelling by taxi was more like travellig by aeroplane, a very rare experience. Father, being government servant, got advance for travelling/ticket reimbursement from the Government which made things little easier. The railway employees got free passes to travel anywhere in India. Apart from these two groups, travelling was expensive for Indians. It basically meant travelling to the relative's place most of the times. With increased income, people are now starting to travel for fun both inside and outside India.

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  4. When I was a kid my parents who loved to travel used to take us on road trips in our car and go camping, camping had to be done at registeed camping grounds, but renting your tent space was far cheaper than any other accomodation. The first time I took an airplane was when I was 11 that year between my mom having a job and my father inheriting money from his grand father we could afford to go to Kenya on a packaged tour which of course was the vacation of a lifetime back then, it took a few years after tha

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