Becoming a parent has hit me like a ton of heavy, sleepy bricks. What was once a fairly regular sleep and work schedule has become secondary to the whims of a tiny little baby named Sloan. Sloan loves to sleep, just not for very long and when she falls asleep Dad does too. Except in the mornings. Mornings are when I find myself in the most creative and stimulated mood. I believe in quiet mornings and loud afternoons where my stamina for individual work gives way to a need for variety in the day. This week, I’ve had several quiet mornings that have put me in my most creative space, alone, with a sleeping baby nearby and the time and ability to think.
I am an introvert. It takes all of my energy to muster the courage to speak in front of a group or to spend a day in a committee meeting. I prefer alone time to think through a problem and one on one time versus a big team with people at work. Introverts are sometimes overshadowed by their extrovert counterparts. Extroverts are outgoing, gregarious and find much of their stimulation in their relationships with other people. Society needs both.
Susan Cain wrote the book “Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking.” She explains how society values the contributions of extroverts due to their ability to engage a group, motivate, inspire and lead. She says we mistakenly look past introverts by telling folks to come out of their shell or to speak up when we do not fully understand their proclivity for solitude. Whether you are an introvert or extrovert, I would recommend you read “Quiet.” The lessons and examples have impacted my thoughts, behaviors, and helped me understand others. If you only have twenty minutes, here is her Ted talk.