I'm not lazy! Okay, I just realized that. Something BlackCat said about the differences between how introverts recharge and how extroverts recharge has been on my mind. I may be behind the curve on this, but do other introverts have trouble truly relaxing? Do you find that a lot of the activities that drain the energy of extroverts (thus allowing them to relax mentally) are the very activities that give you a lot of energy?
For me, activities like reading or surfing the internet are not relaxing at all. They can be pretty invigorating and energizing, which is a good thing, but if I engage in these activities all the time then I am not truly getting to relax, and relaxation is important. Color me dumb, but I didn't realize this until today.
I was talking to someone about this feeling of pressure and perfectionism that is there sometimes and she asked me if I take the time to relax. And I was like, what do you mean? I don't do anything productive, not really. I spend most of my day doing what I want to do. I don't get up and slave at work 8 hours a day like my father has since he was a teenager. I don't go out and volunteer every day like my mother. I am not socializing or engaging with people frequently. I am not the picture of American productiveness at all. I should be the epitome of relaxed.
But I think I just realized that these stereotypes of a "productive person" were based on extroverted Western ideals. When I looked at what I had done today, I had:
spent hours in fruity loops composing
written several long internet posts (and here is another one) on theories interesting to me
engaged in a lot of self-reflecting and analysis in preparation for and during a therapy session
watched a few hours of a television program I find particularly stimulating and interesting
wrote some stuff for my college class
read a bunch of blogs and articles
discovered a new website
played a computer game
done a lot of thinking
What I have realized is that all of these activities are stimulating, not relaxing. But since so many of them are introverted activities or things associated with "play" and not "work", I didn't realize just how relaxation-deprived I have been. So I have learned something new and now I think I actually have to schedule time to sit and do nothing (take a long bath, sit on the porch at dawn). Usually to drain myself of energy I end up socializing in some way, but that's not relaxing even if it's useful.