A book club made up of introverts. Imagine.

Although there are extroverts who read and who join book clubs, I’m sure. Just not ours.

Sunday night was my re-entry, so to speak. I’d been on book club sabbatical for several months, trying to do all the things that had become pressing, suffocatingly so, in my life. I’d missed it. I’d missed the gathering of these women, the conversations about thoughts and words.

The book was Quiet, by Susan Cain. Interesting to discuss this quiet book in this group of quiet women.

Most of us liked parts, agreed with parts, and skipped parts of this book. It’s dense, and it’s study-based, and honestly, it took some work to get through it. It didn’t grab me, not really. Even though I’m introverted by nature, it wasn’t a book with which I related. I’m not sure why?

Maybe we aren’t such a tribe, we introverts. Maybe we don’t need to make ourselves one. Maybe the fact that we are introverts makes the whole idea of there being a group of us a bit ridiculous. Maybe there are as many differences among introverted people as there are among, well, people.

Honestly, the tag line threw me a little. The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking.

Why power? Why does everyone need to be powerful. Why not The Place of Introverts, or The Peace of Introverts, or The Purpose of Introverts?

I know why, actually. The word power is a marketing word. It tests better. It sells books better. But, whatever.

I was struck, though, by the re-realization of how noisy the world is. Introverted or not, there’s just a whole lot going on out there. Earplugs are required. Filtering out the noise, the distractions… this is the skill I need. This is the challenge I face. The challenge we all face.

Today I’m baking. The children are studying. For the moment, the house is quiet. Soon, it won’t be. Something will come up. A phone call, a kid with a need, a husband coming home.

But the quiet minutes, they are a gift. I’m thankful for them.

Whether you work, whether you parent babies or teens, whether you are single, whether your career is inside or outside of your home… wherever you are at in the wide wide spectrum of personhood, I pray you find ways to make space for yourself in your day. And treasure that.

I’m going through the exercises for the “Once Upon a Time” conference that I teach with two of my very best friends in the whole wide world. I’m working through the Core Values exercises, where questions like what excites you?, and what gives you energy? are asked. And I’d like to say that people excite me, and that being with people energizes me. But I realize, with a bit of a shock, that this is not true. And I immediately feel like a bad person. And especially, a bad Christian.

I love people. I am, actually, passionate about people. About relationships and communication and all the things that are a part of being in a community. But I’ve come to the realization that as much as I am passionate in these ways, these passions are not part of my inherent nature. These passions, actually, exhaust me.

I am an introvert.

I’m an introvert with skills, mind you. But an introvert, none the less.

My family and I attended the graduation ceremony for my nephew and niece on the weekend. These beautiful young people gathered with their classmates, in caps and gowns, to mark the culmination of twelve years of education. It was a joy to be in the audience and to hear the speeches and to watch the students clap for their classmates as the awards were handed out. I was struck, though, as the afternoon went on, by the common personality characteristics of the winners of most of the awards. These students, the winners, were not introverts.

The winners of most of the awards were the natural leaders, the easy to talk to, the funny, the athletic, and the outgoing. And something in me ached a little for the rest. For the message that loud is better than quiet. That external is better than internal. That the shy person is less valuable than the outgoing person.

I don’t know. Am I wrong? These are the thoughts flitting around in my brain today.

Congratulations, Kyron and Kirstin!