I turned 32 yesterday.
I saw no one.
I communicated with no one.
I sent no emails, posted nothing on Facebook (not even a Like), and nothing posted to Twitter.
I didn’t talk to anyone in my family. And I didn’t talk to my girlfriend (She was the only one who knew I’d be cutting off for the day). In spite of being told “Happy Birthday” via Facebook and text messages and phone calls, likely more than I ever have in my life, I responded to none of the messages.
And it was perfect.
I spent the day laying around, intentionally doing nothing or as little as possible. I made food, stayed home, fed my worms in my worm bin and, other than that, didn’t do much else except think about some things or think about nothing. Not even YouTube or music…I didn’t want to distract myself, I just wanted nothing.
For the first time in quite some time, I let myself completely relax. And after about four weeks of persistent back pain and a couple weeks of intense stress, it was much needed.
I’d never had a day where I didn’t communicate with someone in some way, shape, or form, but it was wonderful.
We often talk about disconnecting from technology as a regular practice, but we rarely (ever?) talk about disconnecting from people.
As an introvert who does a lot of extraverted things, most connections with people are exhausting for me. After meeting with clients, I often have to come home and just lay down for an hour or even two. After leading workshops, I’m completely wiped for at least the day before in anticipation of the workshop, the entire rest of the day after the workshop, and the entire day after a workshop.
I spend a lot of time simply managing my energy so that I can interact well with others, and have found that I’m not very good at giving myself the time, energy, and care that I need in order to keep myself solid for the sake of serving others.
So I did that today. I figured it was my birthday, and that’s really all I wanted. My own day with no interactions with others so that as much of my energy as possible could be restored.
If you’re an introvert, give it a shot and see how you feel. Take a day to yourself, completely to yourself, and see how it works for you. If you’re an extravert, see what the quiet calm offers to you when the only other person there is you.