Type A Personality On A Type B Day | Giftie Etcetera: Type A Personality On A Type B Day

Monday, October 6, 2014

Type A Personality On A Type B Day

Be gentle with me. Today has been rough.

It started with a six year old child who demanded that I speak to him, at length, during the entire duration of carpool. Yes, that means BEFORE coffee. (He is my spawn, after all. I talk a lot. Just, you know, not before coffee.)

(Tell me that the corner on the wall in that picture doesn't bother your Type A!)

Then, during yoga class, I got really sick to my tummy. After spending some quality time in the bathroom in the YMCA (a feat that involved locking no less than 3 older ladies out of the only women's restroom for 15 minutes), I drove out of town to my great aunt's funeral. I was probably sick enough to miss it, but I had the honor of doing the second reading at Mass.

Parenting, yoga, and a Catholic Mass are all very Type B activities. Type B activities stress me out.

People (and by "people," I mean my Type B friends...you know who you are) tell me to relax and enjoy this special time with my little ones. And I do, truly. But I don't get enough sleep these days and I get bored with hours of talk of super heroes and Legos. I like the tone in my arms, legs, and core that I get from yoga. But I never close my eyes in class or focus on my breathing and clear my mind, as those things make me feel trapped and panicky. Mass is restoring for my soul, but my mind wanders. I never truly hear the the readings or the sermon. Instead, during Mass, I was busily outlining the final paragraphs of my current work memo, glancing at the crying great-grandkids (that first relative dying when you are ten years old is so difficult), and dutifully concentrating on getting the new, modern Mass responses correct. (We go to Mass almost every week. But my church has a cheat sheet that I, apparently, rely on very heavily instead of relearning the new responses.)

I feel weird writing this here, for two reasons. First, maybe I should go to confession about the Mass thing. Second, it doesn't, at first glance, seem to relate to this blog's main goal - order.

Only, it does...

I think, sometimes, that Type B people don't understand that for the planned, organized, overachieving Type A sort, Type B behaviors can hurt our psyches and our internal balance as much as our Type A behavior drives them crazy.

A typo in a memo? Makes my heart race and my red pen twitch.

Late for dinner (or, really, anything past 5 minutes early)? I get nervous and assume you hate me.

No schedule? No plan? No driving directions? No list?

I feel my brain try to turn inside out on itself.

So, on this Type B day, I compensate. I sip my coffee, even though it's too hot, while trying to convince my six year old to play rhyming games instead of imagination games. I make (and meet) mini-goals in yoga (and pointedly ignore the "close your eyes and relax" mantra). I memorize the Mass, challenge myself to sing in tune (which is pretty much not going to happen), and read the rules about non-Catholics and Communion at the back of the hymnal. (I have read the Catechism of the Catholic Church cover to cover... because I am Type A.) I check off all the Type B tasks as I complete them. I balance my discomfort with an afternoon diet of memo drafting, blogging, and grocery list making.

So, Type B friends, next time you find yourself wanting to tell me to relax, please realize that knowing my schedule, packing my bag for all eventualities, and having my planner with me at all times IS how I relax. Control of my life is how I achieve relaxed. I'll still do yoga, but only because Pilates class is not until 9:45, and that doesn't work with my schedule.



V- said...

Brilliant post! I thought I was the only person to feel this way. I am sharing it with my husband.

Your new Type A friend,

pattygardner.com said...

Oh, yeah! Preach it sister!!!

And that's why I'm losing my mind! I'm a Type A personality stuck in a Type B life with no way to fix it.

Unknown said...

Boy, you hit the nail on the head (and drove the nail perfectly straight with three well-timed strikes).