It’s not just a matter of sleeping better in my own bed. It’s because I’m an introvert. Even when I was in my 20s, I hated spending the night in someone’s guest room or kid’s room – that uncomfortable feeling of “when should I take my shower” or “is anyone else up yet” or especially just the non-stop close companionship of people I’m not accustomed to that much time with. I remember going and spending the night at the home of some friends of my fiance, when I was about 24. I enjoyed a lot of the time we were out and about, but the actual bedtime arrangements then getting up the next morning were awful. My fiance got annoyed with me because I woke up early then stayed in my room miserably waiting until I was certain that every other person in the house had had their shower and started their day. I just didn’t want all that interaction! I wanted to “appear” in the house clean, dry, and dressed, after everyone else got out of the way! Nowadays, I just avoid that whole situation if I can. I know most of my friends and relatives in other cities would not understand the “I” word, and I really don’t care to open up my personality for discussion anyway. Instead, I often say, “Yes, we’ll have to do that!” then we never do. About once a year I do spend the night at one sweet relative’s house. When I am exhausted from all the fond but unfamiliar interaction, I simply announce that I am about to “go to bed.” Once I “go to bed,” I’ll sit up and spend some delicious time reading a novel, ALONE. That is so refreshing – it feels just like taking off too-tight shoes and walking around in stocking feet. Anyway, once I have my ALONE time I have learned to get up the next morning, put on a robe, and go out to see what’s going on and when I could take my shower. After all, we’re all human and no one is going to be shocked that I need to shower or drink some form of caffeine. When I was in my 20s I was very rigid and self-conscious with outsiders, but I am a much more comfortable introvert now and just try to plan my time in a way that is not exhausting.
As I explained to one friend who had recoiled at the “I” word last weekend – it doesn’t mean I don’t like people. Imagine I run on a battery, which I charge at home. I go around all day and enjoy talking to others and laughing with them, but eventually my battery runs down entirely, and the way I recharge is by going home alone and reading or just doing whatever I want. Without saying a word. I’m sure when she hears the word introvert she still gets the picture of a strange and possibly dangerous loner, but at least she will not be surprised next time I tell her my battery is drained and I need to go home to recharge!
Photo credit: baslow