Thursday, December 12, 2013

Out of Office

You may have noticed the "Out of Office Notice" I posted on Facebook last week:

I had posted many Out of Offices for my career life. Admittedly, last week was the first time I ever posted an Out of Office for my personal life.

Whenever I posted an Out of Office during my career days, it was always wonderful to see how the number of emails added to my inbox dramatically decreased with each passing day.

Although I scheduled a tickler on my calendar reminding me to turn off the notice upon returning to the office, occasionally I would "forget." 

In this case, a co-worker would send me an email saying, "Aren't you back from vacation today? Just so you know, your Out of Office is still turned on."

Dang -- caught red-handed! Now I would have to turn off the notice. Let the hungry, hungry inbox be unleashed!

I am an extroverted introvert. I wish I was an ambivert -- someone who comfortably dances in both worlds. But I'm not. I'm an introvert, with the ability to pretend like I'm an extrovert. 

Deep down inside, extroverted introverts are loners. When necessary, they don masks and act the role of an extrovert in order to get by in society. 

(Society, for the record, is very social. Both words share the same root, socio-. But you don't need me to tell you this.)

For what it's worth, I could be totally peachy living in a sunshine-filled cave all by myself for the rest of eternity. Alas, I live in a reality where being social is not only praised, but necessary in order to avoid being thrown into the Ted Kaczynski bucket. And so I'm social. As I must be.

But I pay a price for being social. It wears out my batteries. 

For the most part, a small amount of time to myself will recharge those batteries. But that's not always the case.

The last month has been an extremely social month for me. I spent the few moments I had to myself attempting to recharge my batteries. Tackling my to-do's and wanna-do's fell by the wayside.

After time, my batteries did not respond to recharging. And my to-do's and wanna-do's became overwhelmingly burdensome. I did not need to merely recharge my batteries; I needed to replace them. And I desperately needed some me-time to do me-things.

Hence, my Out of Office. Calgon, take me away!

Just so y'all know, I'm totally fine. I'm not mad at anyone. I'm not depressed. I'm not anti-social. I'm just needing some hardcore me-time. 

It took me a few days at first just to chill. But after the chillaxing, I made some pretty good progress tackling my to-do's and wanna-do's. 

My time to myself has been restorative. Not being bombarded with emails, texts, and phone calls, and having big blocks of me-time on my calendar has felt really good. It sort of makes me want to chuck my computer, my phone, and my social calendar -- I could go on like this forever.

With that being said, I do very much enjoy my friendships.

It will be a little longer until Sarah once again becomes communicado. I still have some things I'd like to do, such as getting back into the habit of regularly writing blog posts.

Many thanks to all my friends who have respected my need for my personal space. When I return to the office, please know that I'm going to guard my me-time much more closely.


  1. I love your honesty, it's really refreshing!

    1. Thanks, MaryJo. Susan Cain wrote a fantastic book called "Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking." Her books argues that our culture neither understands nor values the nature and capabilities of introverts. It is wonderful to *finally* hear someone provide praise for loners! :) Susan gave a great TED talk, which can be found here:

  2. "Extroverted Introvert" -- Ah, I never had the term to describe this! This is me, too -- I'll stand up on a stage, exude ideas, get folks talking/working, whatever it takes, but then I need to hide and become reclusive.

    Good luck on the recharge!

    1. Dave - I would have never guessed that you were an introvert; you always seemed like such a natural extrovert in the workplace. You are worthy of an Academy Award, my friend! :)


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