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Chitty Chatty

Happy Birthday E this one’s for you! How delightful to hear your charming tales of an early birthday breakfast from your son and a return home from your husband. To hear you giggle and chatter one moment and then within a nano-second change tack to something deep and meaningful is uplifting and reassuring. Thank y9u foe finding me again after so many years apart.

Twelve years ago I undertook to participate in the Myers-Briggs psychometric test. I was surprised when, after analysis of answers, the conclusion was that I was INFJ (introvert, intuitive, feeling and judging). These terms are not as you might expect and Introvert does not mean that I am backwards at coming forwards, or shy, but rather that I need to have ‘downtime’ with no physical interaction with others.

Being a teacher and being ‘Introvert’can be difficult as there is an inherent need to communicate, collaborate and consolidate. This can be happily achieved from 0800- 1700 but after that the need is often to have some time, alone, quiet and able to be contemplative and reflective.  A study showed that many teachers are naturally introvert and this is why burnout is so prevalent.

When I look back I realise that I put myself in so many compromising situations when i was growing up because I believed that in order to make appropriate connections – personally and professionally – I had to stay on the treadmill, smiling, waving, talking as was required of me, but in fact I was unable to cope with my own pressures and actually needed time-out.

Of course I now appreciate that in order for me to be socially comfortable, I need to strike a balance between having close personal contact and being incommunicado.

Today I achieved another 10k run (3minutes quicker than last week), and maybe it was due to the sun shining, and therefore a promise of a decent Summer, but I noticed so many groups and couples chatting while walking, cycling or running.

This took me back to a time when Linda and I would plan and execute a 20mile bike ride in Clackmannanshire – from Dollar, through Sauchie and round Gartmorn Dam. We would chat and laugh, and occasionally cry, but the main thing was that this was our time for our chat and involved no-one else. I know that those times are precious to both of us, as re-acquainting with E will be.

I am now acutely aware of recognising when enough is enough so that in the words of Super tramp I can ‘Hide in (My) Shell’ and be as Simon and Garfunkel sang  ‘a Rock/ an Island’.

Chitty Chatty – a poem

Chit chat, gossip and share

knick knack, ogle and stare,

flick flack, go your own way,

smokestack – it’s not what you say.

It’s how you respond and look like you do

that makes me want more of all that you do.

Keep chipping away

I’m sure you will find

It’s not what I say

But what’s in my mind.

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