Screw the Rat Race


Everywhere I look lately I feel like I see & hear people praising the idea of being busy.  “Oh, she has such a busy life but she still does xyz.”  “How have you been?”  “Oh, just so busy, you know!”  And it’s true: real life IS busy.  Yet part of me can’t help but wonder if all this busyness (is that a word?) is worth the stress it so often causes us.  I can’t help but feel like maybe we are missing out on the simple pleasures of life in our constant quest to always be DOING something.  I worry that our children are kept so busy with school & extracurricular activities that they’re missing out on the beauty of being children who don’t NEED to be busy all the time.  What it comes down to is I fear that many of us are so busy making a living (& I don’t mean just working) that we forget to make a LIFE.hustle.png

I’ve learned a lot over the past almost eight years of being a nurse.  But the most important thing I’ve learned is this- & it’s really quite simple: Life is short- way too short to be anything but happy as much as we can.  What I’m getting at is people don’t get to the end of their lives, whenever that may be, & think “Gosh, I really wish I had been busier.”  People often wish they had traveled more, spent more time with family & friends, or just experienced more things.  But they don’t usually wish they had worked more or generally been BUSY all the time.busy

Now if you know me, you know I am by no means lazy.  I’ve always been a hard worker at everything in my life, but that being said the older I get the more I value my “down time,” the more I realize the power & necessity of not always being busy rushing from one thing to another.  For our own emotional/mental well-being I think it is truly vital for all of us to have some time to just unwind & feed our souls.  For me that means making sure I have time to listen to music, play my flute/piano, read books, etc.  For others it might mean something else entirely & that’s ok.  As an introvert I truly value my alone time & now realize it is absolutely vital for my sanity.  And furthermore I realize it is not selfish or lazy to make that a priority in my life.self care

As some of you may know, in addition to being a nurse, I am also a Rodan + Fields skincare consultant.  I am about as a far as possible from a natural saleswoman but I truly love these products & what they’ve done for my skin.  Therefore I do enjoy sharing them with others & of course making a little extra money in the process.  But could I do a lot more with this business than I do?  Absolutely.  I could do what I’m “supposed” to do & message everyone on my friends list about the company.  I could carve out time in my day to constantly try to drum up sales.  But the truth of the matter is I just don’t have the mental energy for all that.  I’d either have to take time away from my family, stay up late or get up extra early, or take time away from my own self-care activities in my already limited alone time.  And frankly I’m not willing to do any of those things.  Obviously it would be a completely different story if I were truly strapped for cash & desperate for any extra income I could generate.  But thankfully I’m not.  To be clear, I don’t look down on anyone who works their R+F business (or any other direct sales gig) like a real business.  In fact I greatly admire them.  But it’s just not for me, at least not at this point in my life.  I need all the mental energy I can muster to care for my toddler & stay on track at work & home.  So if I don’t make as much money with my side gig as some others, that’s ok with me.  My sanity is more important in the end.rodan and fields

On a different note, I’ve been haunted lately by some words that were spoken to me many years ago when I was a teenager.  My boss at my first job told me more than once in no uncertain terms that I would never live up to my full potential in life if I didn’t become a doctor.  I’m sure he meant well but for many years those words hung over my head as I wondered if I was “wasting” my potential by being “just a nurse.”  But a full scholarship to nursing school was a hard thing to turn down . . . Plus I always planned to work just a few years as a bedside nurse & then go back to school to become an FNP which I always figured was just as good as being a doctor in my mind.

smart nurse

Despite the challenges & frustrations of my career, I’m still glad I chose nursing over med school.

Well, here I am almost eight years out of nursing school, & the last thing I want to do right now is go back to school.  I graduated nursing school with a 4.0 GPA & I always thought I’d be one of the first ones from my class to go to grad school.  Yet I’ve seen many of my classmates go back to school, some of whom did not have the grades I did, meanwhile the thought of going back to school right now just makes me feel sick.  Sometimes it’s hard to see other advancing their careers while I remain “just a nurse,” but for me the extra stress & time away from my family wouldn’t be worth it right now.  In ten or fifteen years I may well change my mind.  But I work with NPs & I see the workload they carry home with them & the time it costs them away from their families.  And I simply don’t want that right now.  To be honest the longer I’ve been “just an RN,” the longer I am thankful to be “just an RN.”  And honestly, especially with the vulnerable population I serve, patients today need the smartest RNs possible.  As a nursing friend & I were discussing over dinner last night, just because you’re smart enough to do something, doesn’t mean you have to do it or that you should do it.  I have no doubt that I am smart enough to be an NP but I also have no doubt that it isn’t the right path for me right now.  And that’s ok.  My yardstick for success isn’t the same as everyone else’s.  And that’s ok too.sucess

The point of is this post isn’t to discourage people from going back to school or advancing their careers.  My point is simply that we need to ask ourselves what price we are paying for all of the busyness to which we so often commit ourselves.  If it isn’t costing you your mental health or time away from loved ones, then that’s great.  But if it IS costing you those things (& I suspect it is for many of us), I challenge you take a step back.  Stop & smell the roses a bit.  Consider what will be important to you when you reach the end of your life.  Remember that being busy isn’t a worthwhile goal in & of itself.  Being happy & mentally fulfilled is far more important.  Remember that success has different definitions for each of us- & that’s ok.  We aren’t all on the same path so there is no need to endlessly compare ourselves to others. walk two moons quote

I’ll end this post by sharing one of my favorite quotes from one of my all time favorite books, Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech.  “In the course of a lifetime, what does it matter?”  I think about this phrase often & it helps me not to stress as much about everyday worries & fears while it also helps me to focus on the things that really DO matter in the course of a lifetime.  I challenge you to do the same.

The Other Side of Being a Mom with Anxiety


I saw my therapist last Monday for the first time since Christmas & it was so therapeutic that I left there thinking “I’m never skipping a monthly session ever again.” It was amazing how I could feel months worth of tension easing so much just from one therapeutic session. I also saw my NP last week for my annual physical & she reassured me that being a “Type A” person who struggles a bit with anxiety does present some unique challenges as a mom & that I should never feel the need to compare myself to other moms, especially those with different personalities &/or who don’t struggle with anxiety.

hello-my-name-is-anxiety

I struggle with anxiety, but I’ve found that this blog is a great way to tame the “anxiety monster.”

Anyhow, all that left me thinking about what being a mom with anxiety is like. No, I don’t have crippling anxiety that makes me unable to leave the house or to have a professional job or anything like that. But once I got into therapy as an adult & eventually started Prozac for my anxiety I realized how much anxiety has affected my life for a very long time, dating back to well before adolescence. In fact my blood pressure was actually elevated at times during my senior year of college & my first year after college because of my anxiety. However, once I got my anxiety better under control, especially after starting Prozac, my BP has never been high again (other than when I developed preeclampsia while pregnant, but that was obviously a whole other issue). My point is there are obviously people out there who struggle with much worse cases of anxiety than I do, but that doesn’t invalidate my struggles. Nor does it mean that my story isn’t worth sharing.

anxiety

When people think of moms with anxiety they probably think of the mom who can’t stop worrying about her child, who is obsessed with incessant “what if” scenarios: “What if I’m in a car accident with my child?” “What if he falls & hits his head?” “What if she chokes on that piece of popcorn?” Or the mom who runs in her child’s room every hour to check that she’s still breathing. While I’ve certainly had those moments as a mom- I think we all do- that really isn’t how anxiety affects me as a mom. I’m actually remarkably “chill.” For example I’ve never been a worry wart about germs. If my child eats something off the floor (at home anyway) or after the dog licks it, I just shrug & say “She’s building a good immune system.” When she was a newborn I rarely ever felt a compulsion to check her breathing while she was sleeping. Even when she had her tonsillectomy earlier this year, I was remarkably calm.

touched out

The ways anxiety affects me as a mom are a bit different. For example, I get touched out really easily. When your toddler routinely uses you as a jungle gym, this can be quite trying! As a devout introvert, I fall apart if I don’t have enough alone time– which is why nap time is so incredibly sacred for me- & also why I could probably never survive as a true full time SAHM.

Anxiety also causes me to feel like whatever stage I’m in as a mom will last forever. When my daughter was a newborn & she breastfed CONSTANTLY I felt like I was going to lose my mind because I just couldn’t imagine that things would ever change. (Talk about being touched out- breastfeeding a newborn is the ultimate way to get touched out. Ha!) Now that she is a toddler thankfully I have the knowledge that I survived that crazy period of her life so I have the reassurance that if I can survive that- which at the time seemed like it would never end- I can survive anything else she throws my way. But even so when she is in the midst of a tantrum it is very difficult for me to remember that this too is just a phase- & that it too will pass.

introverts cats

Anxiety also causes me to constantly feel inadequate as a mom. I talked about this in my last post, but I look around & see all these moms who seem naturally “gifted” with babies & toddlers & I feel like I’m an impostor. I’ve always been very honest & admitted that I’m not a “baby” person, nor am I a “toddler person.” As I’ve written in previous blog posts, for most of my life I never even wanted to be a mom, largely because I feared I’d never be able to survive the first five years or so. Eventually I changed my mind & I’m so glad I did, but I’ll be the first to admit that I highly doubt the baby/toddler years will ever be my favorite. Yes, I will have loads of wonderful memories from these stages- I already do- but I truly believe I will “come into my own” as a mom when my child is a bit older. (I suppose it isn’t “normal” to be so honest about these things but I know that somewhere there has to be a mom who feels the same way as me- & if she reads this I want her to know she’s not alone.)

Frustrated Mother Suffering From Post Natal Depression

Here lately, I’m bombarded by people telling me “Oh just wait, 3 is so much worse.” “If you think she’s difficult now, wait till you see her in a year or two.” “God help you when she’s a teenager if you think THIS is hard.” And every time I inevitably want to slap these people of course. First of all, these kind of comments are so incredibly unhelpful- in fact they’re downright discouraging- & second of all, how do you KNOW that 3 or 4 (or whatever age) is going to be harder for me? As someone who is very logical & pragmatic I think the toddler stage is particularly challenging for me because toddlers are pretty much the exact opposite of logical. Most moms are terrified of their kids growing up & having to discuss difficult subjects like war, sex, & death- but those things really don’t scare me. I know I can handle that stuff. I’m not saying it will be easy- I’m sure it won’t be. But I can handle it. I know I can.

jewish proverb

But these tantrums? The blood curdling screams- not to mention the kicks- every time I have to get my child dressed? Of if she doesn’t get the exact food she wants at the exact second she wants it? Whew, this stuff is hard, y’all. I’m not rushing her growing up, I promise I’m not. I’m just saying this toddler stage is really hard for me. I know it’s not easy for any of us, of course it isn’t. But my anxiety has definitely been on an upswing since around the time Rachel turned two. And the last thing I need is for anyone to tell me “Oh, it only gets worse from here.” So please, the next time a mom tells you she is struggling (whether she actually says it or you can just read it on her face), take a second & remember that no matter how put-together she seems- or how completely un-put together she seems- you really have no idea how she is feeling on the inside. And the last thing she needs is you telling her things are only going to get worse. After all, her child may be very different than yours. And she may be very different than you. Just give her a smile, a hug, & a quick “You’ve got this.” You might just make her whole day.

tantrum

An Anxiety Update


It’s occurred to me that I’ve never done an update to let my readers know how I’ve been doing since starting Prozac for my anxiety last August.  I wrote a post back in August about how difficult it was to actually agree to take medication for my anxiety & yet how much of a relief it was at the same time (you can read that post here: https://athicketofmusingsblog.com/2014/08/05/slaying-the-anxiety-monster/).  Perhaps the fact that I’ve rarely blogged about my anxiety since then is proof of how effective the medication really has been.  In any case, I’m having a high anxiety day today, & I thought it would be an appropriate time to share my experience with Prozac.anxiety meds

Within a week of starting the Prozac I could tell a real difference in my mind; I just felt a lot more relaxed.  The “endlessly chattering squirrel” in my brain was not banished, but she was quieted a great deal.  And what a relief that was!  I can say with great certainty that handling my husband’s diagnosis of severe sleep apnea last Fall & his subsequent journey into treatment for that would have been far, far more difficult without the Prozac.  As lame as that may sound, I know it is the truth. hello-my-name-is-anxiety

I realize there are some who feel like I have chosen the easy way out by taking medication for my anxiety, & that’s fine.  Maybe it is the easy way out.  But I can assure you that I tried every non-medicinal thing I could think of for the first 25 years of my life (essential oils, therapy, journaling, etc) with only minimal success.  And Prozac has been far from a “quick fix” for me.  If anything, it has just helped to quiet my mind enough that I can actually better utilize my non-medicinal approaches to relieving my anxiety.  For example, since starting Prozac my monthly therapy sessions have become more therapeutic than ever, & I’ve experienced a renewed pleasure & relaxation in writing & music.  Part of me still regrets being “dependent” on a medication to manage my own brain . . . but then I remind myself that this is really no different than being dependent on a medication for blood pressure or any other medical condition, especially if it’s something that you tried to cure with a healthy lifestyle but could not.Anxiety mental health symbol isolated on white. Mental disorder icon design

As I said, I’m having a high-anxiety today, as usual for no particular reason.  It’s just one of those days when I feel more potently my introverted tendencies, when the idea of interacting with anyone other than my husband, closest friends or family, or my dog feels like too great of an effort to bother.  The great news is that with the Prozac these days are much fewer & much further between.  Indeed I can’t even remember the last time I had a day like this.  Trust me, friends, this is great progress for me!

Additionally, over the past 6-9 months I’ve become increasingly more comfortable with the idea of having children in the next year or two.  It may be coincidence of course, but I have to wonder if taking the Prozac & thus gaining better control of my anxiety has influenced this.  If so, I’m certainly not complaining!  The thought of having children is still one that is riddled with lots of questions & a good bit of anxiety simply because it is something I’ve obviously never experienced before & indeed something that for most of my life I was quite sure I never wanted to experience.  However, I no longer feel like I’m completely unsuited to the task.  Like I said, it could just be coincidence, but I can’t help but think the Prozac has something to do with feeling more confident in my potential motherhood.social anxiety party

I’m not really sure where I’m going with this post, but I guess I just want my readers to know that if you’ve struggled with anxiety or depression or any other mental health condition, please don’t feel like taking medication is a weakness.  It isn’t.  If you are able to manage your condition without medication, that’s great, more power to you.  Maybe someday I’ll be there.  Maybe not.  But I’m finally getting to the point that I’m ok with either outcome, whether I take Prozac for the rest of my life or not.  It doesn’t really matter to me.  What matters is that I continue to live a life that is less plagued with anxiety than it was for the first 25 years of my life.  Lastly, to those who have encouraged & supported me on this journey, I can’t thank you enough. anxiety

Also, if you need some inspirational music look (or should I say listen?) no further than this, one of my all-time favorite classical pieces, Pictures at an Exhibition by the great Russian composer Modest Mussorgsky.   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DXy50exHjes  This version from the Chicago Symphony Orchestra is simply too beautiful for words.  I was lucky enough to find a CD copy of it at the book/coffee store in my hometown quite a few years ago.

Modest Mussorgsky

Modest Mussorgsky

 

Three Reasons Why I Won’t Be a Good Mom


**DISCLAIMER. I AM NOT PREGNANT, NOR AM I TRYING TO BECOME PREGNANT, NOR DO I PLAN TO TRY TO BECOME PREGNANT ANY TIME IN THE FORESEEABLE FUTURE (AKA, NEXT 1-2 YRS).  Just wanted to put that out there before anyone gets too excited & reads way too much into this post.

As I have mentioned in a few previous posts, I’ve found myself thinking a lot about having kids over the past year or so.  It’s not something I want to do RIGHT NOW; it’s just something I THINK about often which is a huge step considering just two years ago I was pretty sure I never wanted children (though on some deeper level I think I always knew I would someday; I just thought that someday would be much further in the future).  In any case, the recurring theme in my mind seems to be that despite my new-found desire to be a mom I’m not sure I’m really suited for parenthood.  Here’s why.

1. First of all, I am truly an introvert at heart.  I value my alone time very highly.  Trust me, the idea of actually living alone scares me because I do crave human interaction, but at the same time I really value having alone time to listen to music, play my flute, read books & blogs, & generally just relax.  It’s this alone time doing these types of activities that allows me to rest & recharge.  Being an introvert does not necessarily mean that I’m shy or don’t like social interactions.  It simply means that my ENERGY comes from my alone time, not from my time spent with others.  Well, one of the most common themes I hear about motherhood is that you will NEVER BE ALONE AGAIN.  Let me be clear & say that the idea of having a toddler follow me to the bathroom bothers me very little.  But the idea that I might not regularly be able to allot a few hours of time to spend by myself reading & catching up on the things that keep me sane?  That’s scary.  I don’t know if I can handle that.  I truly believe that in order to be an effective parent you have to keep your own sanity which means taking care of yourself as much as you take care of others.  For me that means I need a certain amount of alone time every week . . . But how is that going to happen when I have children, especially since I don’t have any family in the immediate area?  It will be a daunting challenge to put it mildly.  Additionally there is the challenge of never again having alone time with my husband.  That scares me greatly because it’s our alone time together that keeps our relationship strong  .  .  .

2. Secondly, I’m not sure that I’ll ever be suited to being a mom because there is so much about life that I don’t know & that I’m quite sure I’ll never know.  I’ve always had this idea that parents need to have a very firm set of beliefs to give to their children & I know that I will never have that to give to my childrenThere are just too many things in life that can never be fully answered.  The world isn’t black & white, no matter how much we might sometimes want it to be because we (wrongly) think that would make life easier.  Deep down I know that I do have a lot of values that I will try to instill in my children, values that are not based on strict rules or regulations but rather in the simple knowledge of doing what is right in this world.  But the world is full of shades of grey & parents are tasked with teaching their children how to navigate such a terrifying yet wonderful place.  And I am just not sure that I am up to the task.

3. Perhaps I should have started with this point but lastly I have never really liked babies & young children that much.  I often hear moms say “I just wish they’d stay little forever” & I have to resist the urge to laugh & ask them if they are insane.  You mean you LIKE the fact that your kids are completely dependent on you & don’t allow you even two seconds to think peacefully on your own?  How is that fun?!  When I think about having kids, I think about taking them on trips, going to the beach, hiking in the mountains, showing them how to cook, teaching them about life by analyzing everything from movies & TV shows to books & music, & most importantly of course showing them how much I love them every day.  I think about how much fun it will be to watch my kids play sports or participate in band or graduate from college & find an exciting career.  And the joy of becoming a grandparent someday.  Basically most of the things that I think sound fun about parenting all involve kids who are at least 5, if not closer to 10.  Indeed I’ve often said if kids could just arrive at age 5, that would suit me just fine.  But the idea of having an infant who is completely & utterly dependent on me for EVERYTHING for every second of its existence?  Wow, that is just incomprehensibly scary.  I know most women look at babies & just see a bundle of joy.  I see that too but I also see all the WORK that goes into those little bundles of joy: the long nights without sleep, the pain of trying to breastfeed, the upset tummies, the dirty diapers, & the never-ending fatigue from dealing with all of that.  Sometimes I wish I weren’t so capable of visualizing the REALITY of motherhood because then maybe I’d doubt my ability to handle it a lot less.  On the other hand, maybe realizing how difficult motherhood really is will make me less resentful of it when the day finally comes.  I don’t know.  I just know that I’ve never been one of those women who picks up a baby or a toddler & just knows exactly how to interact with them.  I’ve always felt completely clueless & like I must be missing some “nurturing mommy” trait that other girls clearly inherited & I didn’t.  I’m reassured when some moms tell me that they’ve never been particularly thrilled with other people’s children but they love their own to death.  I believe them.  I really do.  Additionally,  when I hear about someone else being pregnant, I fully believe that the moment they hold their child for the first time, their heart will be so full of love & suddenly they will find the strength to raise that child, no matter how scared they are.  But then I see myself in that same situation & suddenly I am full of nothing but doubts & I find myself facing the horrible fear that I might give birth to a child & not feel that inherent connection that mothers are supposed to feel.  That if I don’t know how to relate to other people’s children, I won’t know how to relate to my own either.  Why do I have faith for other people but not for myself?  Arghhhhh.

I don’t know why I’m writing all of this.  I guess I’m just trying to vent my frustrations & make some sense out of what is obviously a very complicated topic.  The reason these thoughts bother me so much is that when I have kids I really want to love them with every fiber of my being.  I want to be the absolute best mom I can be.  I am fully aware of the fact that this does NOT mean having a perfectly organized house all the time but rather spending TIME with my children & showing them love every day of their life.  I know that being the best mom I can be does not mean my children will always have perfectly coordinated outfits or even perfectly CLEAN outfits every day of the week.  Rather it means never forgetting to say “I love you,” always being there to kiss & hug them after a hard day, building up their self-confidence, & experiencing that love between mother & child that is like nothing else on Earth.  In my heart I know that having the maturity to understand these things probably means I actually WILL be a good mom.  But my heart is still full of so many doubts.

I feel like most girls grow up strongly visualizing themselves as mothers someday.  But I just never thought of myself that way.  So I have no idea if it’s normal to be full of so many doubts & questions regarding the subject of motherhood.  If there are any moms out there reading this, I would be very appreciative to hear your thoughts.

The “Aha!” Moment: I Finally Understand Myself!


Today a friend of mine from nursing school posted a link to a personality test on her Facebook. I’ve always been intrigued by personality tests, though quite often they seem to be mostly crock. However, this one appeared pretty legitimate (it’s quite famous actually; I had just never taken it before) so I decided to take the test. The resulting description inspired quite an “Aha!” moment for me. Never has a personality test described me so accurately as this one! I want to share this because I really feel like reading this is helping me to understand myself & to focus on the positive aspects of my personality, & I believe it could do the same for you! Here’s part of the description for my personality type,INFJ (introverted, intuitive, feeling, judging):

“Even though their presence can be described as very quiet, INFJ personalities usually have many strong opinions, especially when it comes to issues they

consider really important in life. If an INFJ is fighting or something, this is because they believe in the idea itself, not because of some selfish reasons.

INFJ personalities are drawn towards helping those in need – they may rush to the place of a major disaster, participate in rescue efforts, do charity work etc. INFJs see this as their duty and their purpose in life – people with this personality type firmly believe that nothing else would help the world as much as getting rid of all the tyrants. Karma and similar concepts are very attractive to INFJs.

These tendencies are also strengthened by the fact that INFJ personalities have a unique combination of idealism and decisiveness – this means that their creativity and imagination can be directed towards a specific goal. Few other personality types have this trait and this is one of the most important reasons why many INFJs are able to eventually realize their dreams and make a lasting positive impact.

INFJs are masters of written communication, with a distinctively smooth and warm language. In addition, the sensitivity of INFJs allows them to connect to others quite easily. Their easy and pleasant communication can often mislead bystanders, who might think that the INFJ is actually an extrovert.”

See http://www.16personalities.com/infj-personality for the full description.

Anyone who knows me reasonably well will probably agree that this is a pretty darn accurate description of me. I am often described as quiet (see my last blog post about being “too nice” to like rock music) & yet I do have many strong opinions, though I like to think I’m flexible & capable of seeing other points of view as well. (I always want to laugh when people call me quiet because I think “If they only knew all the things I’m thinking in my head!”) Despite being somewhat “quiet” I don’t mind voicing my opinions & I don’t shy away from leadership positions. In fact I often volunteer for them, not because I like telling people what to do but because I love having the power & ability to make a positive difference. This leads right into the next part of the description about helping others. Obviously I do love helping others or I wouldn’t have chosen to become a nurse. And as the description states, I do strongly believe the world would be a better place if we got rid of tyrants. (I have strong opinions on freedom & individual liberty as some of you may know, but that’s a blog post for another day.)

My favorite component of this INFJ description is the part about the unique combination of decisiveness & idealism that makes this personality type capable of fulfilling their dreams & making a “lasting positive impact.” Ever since I was a child I’ve always dreamed of making a difference in the world. When I was a kid I thought I would be a failure in life if I didn’t become famous someday. Now I realize of course that was a silly way to think, & I actually cringe at the thought of being a celebrity. But I still want to make a difference in the world, even if it’s just the small sphere that I inhabit for whatever time I’m allotted on this Earth.

INFJ’s are also talented writers which I like to think I am. At the very least I certainly enjoy writing which is one of the majors reasons I started this blog!

Lastly, I do think I connect & empathize easily with others, which probably explains why I scored so high on the F (feeling) part of the test. I like to think this is part of what makes me a good nurse, both for my patients & their families as well as for my coworkers.

I hope I don’t sound arrogant or self-centered in writing this post. As I explained earlier, this test has really helped me to understand myself. I’ve always felt like I’m a little strange or “off” which probably is true considering this personality type is considered to be quite rare. I have also struggled throughout my life with being very detail-oriented, focused, & perfectionistic which has its benefits but can also be very tiring. There have been so many times in my life when I’ve thought I would give almost anything to just be a more relaxed, “happy-go-lucky” person. However, reading something like this that focuses on the positive aspects of my personality really encourages me. When I read this I thought “There really ARE other people out there like me!” And if you look at the bottom of the web-page it lists famous people who are thought to be INFJ’s. I was quite gratified to see several of my heroes in life listed: Mother Teresa, Martin Luther King, Jr, & Nelson Mandela. Not bad company if I do say so myself!

I am sharing all of this because I truly believe this test can be beneficial in helping us to understand ourselves as well as others we interact with, whether it be at home or work or elsewhere. I seriously think this might be a good test for couples to take prior to getting married or moving in together. Not because I think there are certain personality types that are necessarily compatible or not compatible (though perhaps there are; some research on that would be fascinating), but because I believe it could be very beneficial in helping couples to understand each other better. (Definitely going to try to convince my husband to take this test. I am very curious to see his result.) One of my strong opinions about life is that self analysis is extremely important because the more self-aware you are, the more empathetic you can be to others. And more empathy in humanity can only lead to a better world for all of us.

You can take the test for free here: http://www.16personalities.com/free-personality-test

I’d love to know your results so feel free to post them as a comment along with whether you feel the result is accurate or not.