This week I had a speaking engagement in Lexington, KY. Lexington is about a three and a half hour drive from my home in Nashville, TN. After an extremely busy week last week, this trip was an introvert’s dream.
I had three and a half hours in a car. By. My. Self. I stayed with a friend who also happens to be an introvert It’s interesting how introverts find and befriend each other. After I got settled we went out to dinner. This shouldn’t surprise anyone who’s introverted; my friend chose a restaurant that wasn’t noisy and didn’t have a lot of extra stimulation going on such as TVs in every corner. We had a wonderful time catching up. After dinner we took a tour of Lexington. I am smitten by this city. It’s gorgeous, clean, and we never experienced the mind-numbing traffic that defines Nashville. Once we arrived back at her house she asked what I wanted to watch on television. I felt no need to stay up and visit in order to show my gratitude for the free housing. She didn’t mind a bit when I told her I was going to turn in. She gets me.
The next morning we grabbed breakfast before my presentation. Again, another restaurant free of a lot of noise. She knows how to pick ’em. Then it was on to the presentation location.
I enjoy public speaking and when I present, I am a very animated speaker. If you didn’t know me and only heard me present, you wouldn’t know I’m an introvert. I thought the presentation went well. I enjoyed meeting the attendees. They were friendly, made astute comments, and laughed in all the right places. In true introvert fashion I was a little drained afterward. Before heading back to Nashville I spent about an hour with my cousin, a Lexingtonian, at a nearby deli. It was a blissfully quiet location and as we talked I could feel myself unwinding. Then it was back in my car for three and a half hours of decompression.
I have a coaching client who says about herself, “I like to have a lot of margins around my day.” I think that describes me as well. When I have several back-to-back meetings, I like to have some desk time afterwards to decompress. I don’t like to jump from one activity to another without some downtime in between. And downtime doesn’t mean a nap. I’m working during downtime, I’m just alone and silent.
I’m grateful for a trip that included plenty of margins.