Being a Hermit is Okay Sometimes

It’s a fact that I enjoy my alone time.

Friends who have known me well and for a long time often jokingly refer to those periods throughout the year when I withdraw from social interactions as going into ‘hermit mode.’ Maybe I’m weird, but I find that without occasional periods of isolation scattered throughout the year I start to get a little frazzled and resentful, and that can lead to long stretches of negativity and strained relationships.

I’ve never really understood folks who need to be around others all the time. I enjoy my time around naturally social personalities, but when it comes down to it they are a major mystery to me, and probably always will be. That’s not to say that I don’t enjoy company, but I’m also equally happy during those times when I can just kick back and have a nice long chat… with myself.

January is typically one of those times during the year when I feel the hermetic pull particularly keenly, and 2012 is turning out to be no different than any other year in that respect. One way that it does differ, however, is that I am no longer ‘allowed’ to go off into my proverbial shack in the wilderness to the degree that I am accustomed. These days I need to charge my batteries on the go, so to speak. In other words, I’ve made new friends in the last year who just wouldn’t understand that I still like them even if I don’t answer any phone calls for a month…

I’ve made a point of becoming more socially engaged in general over the past year, and now I’m in the unfamiliar position of having to seriously consider and accomodate the rightful demands of others to my time, all the time. It is challenging in ways that are fundamental to my character and personality, but I also recognize an important opportunity for personal growth.

We’ll see how it goes, but in the meantime here’s to a happy and productive new year. Maybe just a day or two of hermit mode wouldn’t do any harm. ;o)