Wednesday, January 02, 2008

A New Year: Time for Resolutions and Reassessment and Questions

Many of us have made our traditional New Years resolutions by now: often "traditional" in the sense that we repeat the same ones each year, always hoping we'll finally be able to keep them and see lasting results. For me, it's losing weight.

I may be making some progress. No, I didn't become slim and trim. In fact, while I lost some weight off and on during 2007, the usual holiday feeding frenzy got to me again. However, there's some good news. As I took down my 2007 kitchen calendar, where I periodically recorded my weight during the year, I noticed that I am now seven pounds lighter than I was at this time last year! Not much of a loss for a year, but surely better than gaining.

This very small triumph started me thinking about new years and new beginnings. Who am I? Where have I been? Where am I going? Am I O.K.? I've dealt with those questions before, but two things inspired such thoughts.

First, I read an article in the January-February 2008 issue of Arthritis Today, "Loving Life as a Loner," by Polly Campbell. I especially liked this statement: "Although an estimated three-quarters of the population are extroverts who thrive in social situations, the rest of us feel best only after we've had time to ourselves." How nice to feel validated!

Basically, the news is good: according to Elaine Aron, PhD, as an introvert, I "have a good life balance and a rich inner life," and I tend to nurture my creativity. "Highly sensitive introverts think carefully, observe and then react."

This article helps to explain my objections to organized senior activities, no matter how well-intentioned. It explains why "idle chitchat and large social functions can be an energy drain" for me and others who crave quiet.

The article concludes that, "If frequent socializing simply isn't your nature, don't feel obligated to join the party crowd in order to live well and feel good." I guess I'm O.K. At seventy-five, it's a bit late to change anyway.

Soon after reading that article, I came upon an online personality survey at, thanks to Grandad's Irish blog "Head Rambles." The survey takes only about ten minutes, and it's fun. The only drawback is that after completing the survey, you're asked to sign up for a $39.95, 100-page feedback report. The only free report I could find was a short excerpt sent to stimulate my interest, I guess. I passed on the $39.95 offer.

Still, from the free excerpt I learned this: my Extroversion score was 30, vs. the average female score of 67. My Emotionality score was 41, vs. an average female score of 76. "My balanced way of dealing with emotions is a guiding part of [my] personality."

Update 1/4: I just got a "special offer" of my complete personality report for only $9.95. Still no sale. When it's free, I may download it.

So I am, indeed, an introvert. As the Arthritis Today article says, I "think carefully, observe and then react," at least quickly enough to avoid paying $39.95 for what I already know. I guess I really am O.K. Maybe I will lose twenty pounds this year, but it won't involve organized social activities.

Copyright 2008 by Marlys Marshall Styne


Kay Dennison said...

I'm an inveterate quiz taker and I took this with interest. It didn't give me any scores -- just took me straight to spending 40 bucks on something I really don't need. That's okay. In my heart of hearts I probably don't want to know. LOL I've gotten comfortable with myself at this point and don't want anyone rocking the boat!

Gilly said...

Glad to find someone who also dislikes the organized playtime for seniors. LOL
I am also an HSP - Highly Sensitive Person - easily drained by the frantic energies of others.
Enjoyed your article very much.
Blessings, Gilly

seniorwriter said...

Thanks for your comment, Gilly. I hope people will begin to realize that all seniors are not alike.

MMH said...

Right on. Time alone is never boring - instead, those hours are always highly creative and happy times - or simply times to regroup and recharge. Happy new year. I do like to read your blog.

seniorwriter said...

Thanks for your kind comments. I can't understand why some people seem to think that being alone is always bad.