Thursday, September 30, 2010

Confession: I'm a heathen

I have a confession to make. I did not attend the Relief Society General Broadcast on Saturday. I do watch it every year, even the Young Women's broadcast. But I'll watch it on the internet at home rather than with everyone else. And now that I'm married, I watch it while my husband goes to Priesthood the following week. But back to the big reason I didn't go this year.

The big reason - it would've utterly exhausted me and I would've been wound so tight that I wouldn't have been able to enjoy it or feel the Spirit.

I'm an introvert. Large crowds of people take a lot of energy out of me. I came home from our Visiting Teaching Conference earlier this month in such a fowl mood because I'd gone straight there form work/school and I was already exhausted. And then I had to be sociable for over an hour and it was far too much for me.

Visiting teaching I'm generally okay with once the appointment starts. That's only three people total. But I much prefer a half hour appointment to an hour long one. And getting me to set up the appointments is like pulling teeth since I sincerely hate the telephone. I set up appointments with one of my sisters through emails and I love her for that.

So when our stake planned a five hour day for the broadcast, I knew immediately that it wasn't something I'd put on my calendar. They did a three hour service project where they sewed aprons for women's and children's shelters before a light dinner and then the broadcast. FIVE HOURS!!! That would have me as emotionally exhausted as I am physically exhausted at the end of a five hour marathon. Especially since it was a stake wide activity. That's just way too many people.

One nice thing about being married is that my husband acts as a buffer for me at church now (he's an introvert too, we get along great). There aren't as many random people sitting right next to me as much any more (I've never attended church to socialize). And in Relief Society I've learned that if I sit on the aisle and put my bag on the chair next to me, I still get my breathing room and can enjoy the lesson. I've always known I was not someone who needed someone to sit next to them all the time to make me feel welcome.

Thinking about that recently I finally realized why I supremely struggled with Relief Society three years ago to the point where I walked out of the lesson a few times. The new president was a huge extrovert and wanted everyone to sit right next to everyone else and be shoulder to shoulder and all hunky-dory like that. She did that by only setting up enough chairs for the number of women she counted in Sacrament meeting (meaning half the room was empty space). And that just makes me far too uncomfortable to enjoy the meeting. Throw that in with the already amazingly tough time I was having then, and it was too much for me.

So there we have it. I'm a heathen. I didn't attend the Relief Society Broadcast with my stake. And I don't attend church to socialize.

Installing lightning pole now.


Jennifer said...

I'm the exact same way. I participate as I can and refuse to feel guilty for the times that I just can't bring myself to go. I prioritize. Is this activity something that is important for my spiritual well-being, or for someone else's spiritual well-being? No - skip it. Yes - grit my teeth and get it done.

Visiting teaching is a yes, so I get it done, even though it's one of the things I find the most difficult. I do go ahead and explain to all my new visiting teachers, however, that I am perfectly happy to get letters or phone calls instead of visits. They're usually happy to ignore me after that. :D And I have found that there are rewards for doing my visiting teaching - unexpected connections and friendships that were well worth going so far outside my comfort zone.

Wouldn't life be easier if the Lord didn't insist on us doing all that nasty stretching and learning stuff? LOL

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