Saturday, January 15, 2005

All by myself

Know that song? "All by myself, I wanna be, all by myself".

That's my song. I know, that would be shocking for many people to hear, seeing as I'm a minister's wife and we're suppose to be "people" persons. Well, my hubby is, but that seems to extend to being a requirement for me too.

Truth is, I like alone time. I rarely talk on the phone - I sometimes cringe when it rings, but then again, some days around here, it seems like every other member is calling us for something or another. Not every day, mind you, so it really shouldn't bother me. Besides, they're not usually calling for me, but then again, like I said, it all kind of extends to me.

Email and the internet had to have been created by people just like me. Who can turn off their computers, thus shut themselves off from the rest of the world and engage only when they're good and ready to. I have an uncle who's just like me. He never talks on the phone - we both prefer in person discussions. But here's the thing, he really takes it to the extreme. He doesn't go visit other people - rare is the occassion. But he doesn't mind people stopping over. He also doesn't go to church, prefering to tune into christian TV or talk radio for his sermons.

So when his family leaves for church. He turns on his church. Now, I'm not that extreme yet. But honestly, I noticed in the last few weeks with sick kids and cold weather (we'll have a high of 0 degrees today with a wind shield of around 20 below), that I've been tuning into a service aired on Sunday's and I really wouldn't mind just doing that.

Part of it has to do with struggling with kids at church (we don't really have a solid nursery program going - nor the facilities for it right now) and so I often don't feel like I get much out of it. So attending a service on TV seems to work out just perfectly. No one is disturbed if my kids are running around playing. They don't cry, cause I'm not trying to keep them still or quiet. And everyone is a lot less stressed because of it.

So I'm still working on my read of The Purpose Driven Life, and the author says "you are called to belong, not just believe...we are created for community, fashioned for fellowship, and formed for a family, and none of us can fulfill God's purposes by ourselves."

Yes, I see the truth to that - but are you sure we were all created that way? While I do crave fellowship - those cravings usually only occur once every month or two. I enjoy a good girls night or a fun dinner with friends like the next person. But honestly I can get by without them a lot longer than many people it seems.

I'm not exactly a home body. Although I do appreciate a day in my pajamas, with a good book or an old movie, hot chocolate or flavored coffee in hand. But I also like going out, shopping, spending a day at the park or traveling to far away places. I need to do those things. I need variety.

But the thing is, I would be just as happy doing them all on my own. I'm not a herder. I don't find it necessary to move in groups - actually I find it too restrictive. Too much compromise is necessary, and you don't always get to see, or do, or get accomplished what you could if you were just alone. I guess I'm a loner. Which is ironic, because in high school, I was known as the social butterfly - interacting with every "group", friend of many, involved with much and always surrounded by people. When did I change? Did I burn out?

The author also said, being a member of the church means being a vital organ of a living body, and indispensable, interconnected part of the Body of Christ. That's a tall order. One I filled for a long time, still do, but that is so exhausting, demanding - rewarding- but just as frustrating most times.

But I suppose I tend to want to shy away from people because I too often expect the things they expect from me. To be an exemplary member, wife, minister's wife (a whole different category in most people's minds), mother, friend, person. Expectations that are too high, unrealistic for anyone to achieve. Except there ARE those who seem to make the grade. Those people just undo the curve for the rest of us.

So - to avoid disappointment, from myself and others, I think I tend to retreat from others. Hmmm..all by myself. I really do like to be all by myself - too much maybe.

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