T.G.I.M.- Some thoughts on Rest

Okay real talk. I hate Fridays.

A lot.

And, to be even more honest, I am not a huge fan of Saturdays either.

But I do LOVE Mondays! Fresh start, strict schedule, etc. I often possess more of a “Thank Goodness It’s Monday” (hence the title of this post) mentality than the more normal “TGIF.”

You see, I love to be constantly working; being busy holds me together. Too much down time and I become frustrated. Relaxing is not restful for me because I literally feel guilt when I am not being productive. It is a problem and I know this is not healthy.

A year or so ago I published an article titled “Rest and Laziness: They are Different!” (https://abookishcharm.wordpress.com/2015/07/03/rest-and-laziness-they-are-different/) Well I am guilty of, as they might have said a decade ago, “talking the talk” but not “walking the walk.”

I am quick to encourage others to take breaks, but I do not easily take them myself. I work so hard and constantly throughout the week that by the time the weekend comes around, I am physically unable to keep up with my pace. I still try and work, but because I am so exhausted I end up not accomplishing what I wanted to and becoming angry at myself.

This is unhealthy and I know it. This messed up workaholic mentality  has been my biggest struggle for a long time and I am finally having to confront it.

My ever-wise dad, who has long fought with the same tendency as me, offered these words:

“Sis, you are me. We are the same in this. And you are learning the hard way that you need to take down time. You have to introvert. You need to say no to doing more and just schedule rest time into your day. Find Bible verses on rest and dwell on them; God rested on the seventh day as an example for people like us. Now let me pray for you.”

As always, Dad was right. My hands feel weird not practicing piano right now and my mind is fretting as I write this blog post instead of a homework assignment. But I need to follow the steps my dad suggested.

  1. Introvert: I realized last night as I zipped out of my dorm for an event that I have not really had any time to myself this year. I love my friends, but I finally am at the point where I know that some time to myself is going to help me recharge. So I cancelled some plans and curled up with a book.
  2. Say No: I overcommitted myself this weekend, as usual. But another way of “saying no” is to say no to myself and my consuming perfectionism. This morning, I woke up later than I planned and was determined to go practice extra hard to make up for it…but then I said no. Instead, I called my mom and did some quiet time and feel much better for it.
  3. Schedule Rest Time: One of my friends schedules an hour into her day for chill time. I need to do this. I forget that doing honors institute reading is not down time, even though I enjoy it. As weird as it sounds, I think I might need to make Netflix more of a priority!
  4. Dwell on Truth: I love verses that encourage hearty work. I write them down in my notes and highlight them in my Bible. However, God mandates rest as well and I need to meditate on these passages in my heart. My faith encourages physical rest and, by pondering these truths, I will also find spiritual rest! I have found Psalm 116 to be especially comforting.
  5. Pray: Having my dad pray for me over the phone was wonderful; I was filled with such a peace. I often forget to pray, but this is a spiritual self-harm. Prayer leads me to lean on God rather than myself, granting rest to my soul and direction to my outer life; in short, I need to stop overlooking it.

“Return to your rest, my soul, for the Lord has been good to you.” – Psalm 116:7

Before I conclude and have hot chocolate and introvert time with my amazing roommate, I am going to jot down two final thoughts:

  1. My favorite animal is a sloth. I could learn a few things from their chillness.

Image result for sloth
2. One of my favorite Bible stories is of Mary and Martha, but I have always sympathized more with Martha, who is always bustling about preparing her household. Jesus says to this hardworking woman:

“Martha, Martha…you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed…or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better and it will not be taken away from her.” -Luke 10:41-42

Mary knew when to rest, taking a break to listen to truth with her whole heart. I am naturally a Martha, but I am committing now to following the steps above so that I may learn to be a Mary…

…and also a little bit of a sloth. I mean, come on, look how adorable they are!!!

Image result for sloth

A Rare Open Letter from an INTJ

“You’re funny! I had no idea.”

“We will have to draw you out of your shell.”

“I used to be scared of you.”

These are sentences I have heard often throughout my life and I am sure than many other people like me- INTJs and similar personalities, have had to listen to the same basic statements throughout their lives as well. Just yesterday, I heard another such line. I told my mom that I was planning a few social events and she pretty much congratulated me. 
“What?” I protested. “I can be social!”

Can be. That’s the difference. When you want to be, you can be social.” 

Now I was even more confused.

“You are not anti-social, but when socializing is not your object at the moment, you are very focused, giving off a distant vibe and walking with an out-of-my-way-peasants air,” she continued to explain.

Ouch, I thought. In all honesty, I had no idea that this is how I can sometimes come across and my mother was right; it’s not that I am shy or that I am rude. I am simply focused and this is the case for most people of my personality type. I found myself wishing I could explain this to others and, fortunately, realized that with this blog, I can!

First of all, is the Myers-Briggs Personality Indicator 100% accurate? No. And do people live according to their personality combination? Absolutely not. For instance, I may be classified as an introvert, but I still love being around friends, as aforesaid. Okay, now that we have established that I do not swear by the Myers-Briggs or take it to be certain fact, here are five things that INTJs wish we could tell others:

 

1. We are not always the villain. 

  

Sure, every comic book, movie, and novel seems to cast an INTJ as the antagonist and let’s face it, INTJs can be terrible (take me when I am tired or hungry, for instance…scary…). However, we are more than the Moriartys of the world. We are not all plotting world domination. Not seriously, anyway. Jane Austen is thought to have been and INTJ, as well as C.S. Lewis and even some of the best characters dreamed up by such authors match this personality type. So if you are aware of the Myers-Briggs and meet someone who claims to be an INTJ, you don’t need to call the Avengers or try to solve a mystery before a hospital explodes because that is fiction and we are just people, not supervillains. 

 

2. We want to be included, but do not like being the initiator. 

  

As I have said now several times, I like to be social and I especially like to know that people want to be around me. I am usually too reserved to approach a group and leap into their conversation or host a party of my own, but I do wish to be a part of such things. It is a tricky spot, wanting to be a part but not wanting to be assertive. That said, it means a lot when another person takes the initiative so we do not have to, so do an INTJ in your life a favor and text him/her first, invite him/her to something, or-best of all- just talk to him/her! It will definitely be appreciated, even if the INTJ’s face remains impassive. 😉

 

3. We are not angry or rude: just focused.

  

INTJ personalities are considered “the scientist” of the personalities; people of this type, myself included, have an intense focuse that they find incredibly hard to abandon, even for a few minutes. However, if we brush past you or fail to return your friendly smile, we mean no disregard. Actually, upon realizing that I have done this, I felt absolutely dreadful and wanted to rush out and hug the poor ignored person! If an INTJ does seem unfeeling or brusque, he or she, nine times out of ten, is just deep in thought or focused on something unrelated. Do not be offended; just smile again or try again later. 

 

4. We are not robots.   

  

 I do not cry in public. Scratch that: I don’t cry in front of anyone outside of my parents and even then it is rare. However, while everyone else is sobbing at the theater while watching Les Miserables and the INTJ is sitting there apparently unmoved, it is not that he or she is heartless; he or she just processes things internally and does not feel the need to always manifest this processing as a visible emotion. Okay, that made us sound robotic, which is exactly the opposite of my point. Ugh. I’ll just say that when I found myself surrounded by crying people at the movies, I was saddened by Fantine’s plight as well, but although I yawned and thought of dead puppies and bit my cheek, I could not force any tears to fall. I felt sad too and really wanted to show some of this emotion, but beneath all of this, I could not. You see, INTJs are human too, but just do not have as easy of a time showing their human emotion. In a showdown between logic and feeling, even if feeling ought to win, we will try our best to choose logic.

 

5. Overthinking is just what we do.

  

Ultimately, I do not initiate conversations and such because I have overthought them so much that I have scared myself into not bothering. However, I have realized that the most fun I have ever had has been had when I am not thinking at all. When an INTJ chooses to ditch his or her filter, saying whatever silly comment comes to mind without fear of sounding ridiculous and hugging that friend without worrying about accidentally reinacting the disastrous Voldemort-Draco embrace (*shudders*), he or she not only has a more enjoyable time, but is a more pleasant person to be around. As I said just the other day, I can be really loud when I am comfortable, but many times I just do not know what to do due to overanalyzing and psych myself out into silence. 

 

There you are: five things that INTJs wish they could tell you, a sort of disclaimer and warning for this personality type, if you will. However, once more I want to emphasize that this post is based on generalities and my own personal experience; there are always exceptions. Still, do an INTJ in your life a favor and give a hug, send a text, or say hello. He or she might struggle, forget to reply, or not hear you, but it is still appreciated more greatly than you know. 🙂