I recently finished reading Gift From the Sea by Anne Morrow Lindbergh for the second time. I didn't like it the first time I read it and I didn't like it much better the second time either. Both times I've read it was for ladies book clubs.
The author goes to the beach for two weeks and thinks about the "shape of her life". She loves the slow pace, the solitude, the quiet. She compares life and relationships to different sea shells. She questions, she philosophizes.
I do not doubt that this book speaks to some people. It just doesn't speak to me. I've been trying to figure out why. This is what I've come up with. This woman is an introvert--meaning she gets energy from being alone. It is probably very draining for her to be around a lot of people. I'm sure she does feel fantastic after being alone at the beach for two weeks. I would be depressed.
I am an extrovert. I love being around people and it is energizing to me. I feel great after quality time of being around people. I rarely get tired of being around my children. If I need a break from them I want to go be with Abe, or my sister, or my girlfriends.
When I have babies I always plan to take time off, away from social responsibilities and church and such, but I miss the interaction so much that I always jump back in sooner than I planned.
As a mother of many children with different and distinct personalities, I have come to appreciate this introvert/extrovert difference. I admit, it is easier for me to understand what motivates my extroverted children, because they are much like I was as a child--never tiring of playing with friends. It took me a while to comprehend that my introverts were happy to be alone sometimes. That they weren't sad or upset, rather they just needed some time to recharge.
We went to our family book club this evening and I feel very recharged. I'm so grateful for the good people who enrich my life so much. I'd be very lonely without you.