I’m an introvert. People usually don’t believe me when I state this as a fact, but it’s true. I’m able to laugh and joke and spend time with groups of people for a few hours once in awhile, but I must then take refuge in a quiet room with the lights dimmed to recharge my batteries.
Monday mornings are particularly challenging because my weekends have become busier and more exciting over the past several years. I am an online entrepreneur working alone in front of my computer for three to four hours most days. But the people I care about most are living the Monday through Friday, nine to five lifestyle I walked away from in 2006. As a classroom teacher in the inner city of Los Angeles, and also working part-time as a real estate broker and residential appraiser, my 9 to 5 was more like 6am to 8pm, six days a week.
But most of the people I consider to be friends, colleagues, and acquaintances in the physical world are primarily 9 to 5ers. In order to be a part of their lives I must take a deep breath and venture out into their world on the weekends. I love it, until I don’t. Then I head home to take solace in my sacred space. I’m an introvert who has recently begun a meditation practice. This is what I most look forward to after spending time with even small groups of people for an extended time.
This morning is a typical Monday morning for me. I allowed myself to sleep in, which means I did not get out of bed until 5:15. At first, I will feel like I am already behind and my business will cease to grow and people will find alternatives to what I have to offer them and…
And then I take a deep breath and slowly slide my feet on to the floor. I think about how fortunate I am to be working from home. After three decades of getting up at 4:30, making the mad dash to let my dogs out, eat breakfast, brush my teeth, take a shower, get dressed, gather my belongings, let the dogs back in, make sure to be in the car no later than 5:30 drive over an hour in horrific traffic, arrive at work, do the work, go on to my other work, and drive home to arrive no earlier than 6:30 and sometimes much, much later than that, let the dogs out, fix something to eat, go to bed by 9, and do it all over again the next day, I finally said goodbye to that life and started my online business.
I make my own hours. I choose the projects I will work on. I decide who I will work with. Lots of “I” has replaced lots of “they” in my life. It is a charmed life. My lack of confidence and low self-esteem has been replaced by the satisfaction of work well done, each and every day. I’m an introvert who is living the dream, for sure.
My Monday Morning Mellow meditation this morning included an emotional tribute to a friend I lost the day before Christmas in 2005. Today would be his 62nd birthday. Tory was a friend since childhood who made a difference in my life, as well as in the lives of people in all corners of the world. He did not live long enough to have gray hair or to hold my first book in his hands. He was a Renaissance man who never embraced technology but could tell you the times and patterns of the ocean’s diurnal tides. I love you and miss you, Tory. Safe travels on your eternal journey.
My world has expanded as my business has taken me global, both physically and virtually. I have friends and colleagues in every corner of the earth. I spend time every year with family and friends in Europe. At a moment’s notice I hop on a plane and arrive in a foreign land and make new friends. Connie, the introvert who travels the world. I dreamed of this life but never spoke it out loud until becoming an online entrepreneur.
The first year I taught school my class was made up of 5th and 6th grade students from Russia, Mexico, Yugoslavia, El Salvador, Armenia, Guatemala, India, and the United States. Every Friday I would have dinner with the family of one of my students. They were proud to share their culture with me through music, food, customs, language, crafts, art, and more. Little did I know that year would be the training ground that would help me to appreciate the people of our world so deeply and passionately more than do decades later.
My Monday morning is mellow because I am living each moment on my terms. My goal is to serve those in my community, whether they live down the street or on another continent. This is my life’s work that gives me meaning and purpose.
I am Connie Ragen Green, author and speaker and entrepreneur. Oh yes, and I’m an introvert who travels the world. Connect with me if you have a burning desire to live life on your terms as an author and entrepreneur.