The Curmudgeonly Hermit
Who else is finding that staying at home as a patriotic duty is the best holiday they have had for a long time? Okay, I know that this is an unutterably difficult time for very, very many people, but the thing is, I can't do anything about that, all I can do right now is stay home and look after my family. And apart from the fact that there is no hugging for my extended family and that I can't see my darling oldest childers who live in another state, I am actually loving it.
I am a very sociable introvert. I love the company of other people but I don't need it to function well. Also, I find it really, really difficult to say no, so my typical week is cluttered up with social get-togethers that I don't want to go to, that I enjoy when I get there, and then fume about because what I really want to do is work in my garden and write and lie in the hammock and read and think about what I am going to write next. Consequently, enforced social isolation finds me living the dream. Once a fortnight I go out and buy groceries. I see Paul about once a week because he is madly working away up on the mountain with a deadline looming. I go to visit my parents once a week, taking groceries if it is grocery week, and we sit in their courtyard and drink tea then do some gardening with appropriate social distancing. Sometimes Rosy drops around to say hello. Yesterday I went to hers and we picked golden delicious apples from her apple tree. For the rest of the time I am living a very slow life that revolves around gardening, cooking, darning socks, mending, sweeping the floor, reading and writing. Oh, and having conversations with Posy, such as the one we had this morning when we were both sitting on the back verandah watching the rain in companionable silence. Eventually Posy said, "I like the way the rain makes little sparkly balls on the granny's bonnet leaves. It doesn't do that on the other leaves."
I sat and observed all the leaves for some time and then answered, "Huh, look at that. That's nice." End of conversation.
I think that in 'normal' times my life goes at too fast a pace. This, from me who has spent years trying to slow down and live mindfully. But still I fritter bits of life away doing things that don't need doing. The groceries, for instance. I have discovered that it isn't at all difficult to shop for two weeks and invent substitutes if I am out of something. Previously, in my 'normal' life I would pop out and pick up any little thing I was out of several times a week. I didn't want to do this, didn't enjoy it, but felt obliged to, somehow. I also felt obliged to catch up with friends and join in social occasions because it is a 'nice' thing to do, and I am always 'nice'. Well, honestly, not really, but I feel like I ought to be.
I don't quite know what to do with this revelation. If I don't keep up with people, will I ever have any friends? I like having friends. I just don't want to see them all the time. Some of my friends will be reading this. Hello friends! I love you, you know that! If I don't see people I may turn into a curmudgeonly hermit. Oh, but I really love the idea of being a curmudgeonly hermit. Maybe I could be a curmudgeonly hermit then invite all my friends over for lunch once a month. Or even better, every other month. Or go out once a month to some event then regretfully turn down all other invitations because I have reached my quota. Oh dear, I actually don't even deserve friends, do I?
Are there any fellow introverts out there who manage to be curmudgeonly hermits and also retain the odd friend? It appears to be a difficult course to steer. In the mean time, I will be the one happily watching the rain from my verandah and working on plans to never go anywhere ever again.