"You've never been very social", my mother confirmed to me a few months ago in a conversation. I was a little shocked.
I don't consider myself as an extravert but social. I thrive in a small circle of people I know well and that know me well. There needs to be a trust level. I want to be able to be vulnerable and vice versa. My friendships usually date from decades ago.
But I like company, I dislike solitude. Before I had children en Jan was travelling, I hated to work at home all alone. I need other adults to have conversations and when commuting part of the week to Amsterdam, I sometimes spent the other working days in the Belgian office rather than at home. However there was absolutely no need or obligation to do so. More recently, whenever Jan travels transatlantic in the weekend, I usually tour the family with the children to have some adult company.
True, I am not the one always found in big companies taking the word, I don't constantly seek new contacts, I am not part of a hundred organisations, my hobbies as a teenager were playing the flute and reading books :p.
Since I have children it also became more apparent to me that I am introvert and I need quiet time to reload my batteries. My favourite weekends are with the family in the woods of the Ardennes or on city trip without anything on the agenda, no obligations. My hobbies are low or hardly existing at this moment and that feels fine. I know it is a phase in my live and when my children become more independent, I'll be able to boost my hobbies again.
As many introverts, the lockdown didn't feel threatening. The empty agenda was fun to me. I benefited a lot from daily digital contacts and distanced conversations on the street. Which doesn't mean I didn't enjoy the ease of measures as of June and I enjoyed meeting up with some friends again and having them over for dinner or going out for dinner together. Nevertheless, I took it easy and didn't exaggerate at all in seeing a great number of people. Just when I truly started to make plans again, we were no longer allowed, and I was disappointed. I was just looking forward to returning to the office now and then and boost up the social contact a bit, but continued to work at home full time. But I cope. I enjoy the time with my family and I've seen some friends or colleagues at distance. I praise myself lucky to share the house with 4 people which gives me constant noise, adult and child conversations and nonsense. I can hug, kiss, tickle and split up fights. The majority of my working time is spent in video calls.
In August, the blogosphere seemed to fill with people that had enough, that die for more social contact. Lots of introverts that were quite happy in the lockdown, cried up that it had been enough. And I start to feel abnormal to not feel totally fed up yet. Yes I'd love to meet more friends more regularly and I'll take any upcoming opportunity to do so but I can continue like this for another month or more. I have also always been someone sticking to agreed rules. I do not possess a lot of rebellious genes in my body.
All the outcries of people that cannot or do not want to follow the rules anymore (and not because of any complot theory or anarchy or polarization but because of lack of well-being) make me uncertain. Am I so abnormally asocial? Or am I just more resilient, searching the silver lining in each situation?