March 31, 2013

An Introvert's Survival Guide to Easter

Being an introvert adds some unusual stress to what is otherwise the holiest day of the year, Easter. There's nothing more powerful than Mass on Easter, although Christmas Mass is a close second. But for me there's a lot of unnecessary worrying involved. (Side note: For help dealing with unnecessary worrying, check out the book I mentioned a few weeks ago.)

Let's set Easter aside for a moment. In general, I need the following parameters to be met no matter where I'm going in order to remain calm:

  1. Early departure: Wherever I'm headed, I want to leave early. You never know what unexpected delays you'll encounter on the way, such as traffic delays, flat tires, bad weather, road closures or anything else.
  2. Early arrival: #1 helps to ensure #2. If I'm going anywhere that has a specific start time, why would I want to walk in at the last second? I'd much rather get there early, even if it means having to squat in the car for a while. Why squat in the car? Because, of course, an introvert wouldn't want to get anywhere too early. Yes, I know. I can't have it both ways.
  3. Known destination: This one's much easier now that we live in a GPS-guided world. If I don't know where I'm going, my phone will tell me how to get there, as long as I'm not using Apple's map program! Thank goodness for Google Maps on the iPhone. Before everyone had GPS, there was nothing worse than a group of people getting in the car and starting to drive somewhere but realizing that nobody knows how to get there.
  4. Known parking accommodations: This is an interesting one for me. I don't mind parking farther away from a destination if I know that the far away spot has adequate parking. Let me explain it another way. I'd rather park in a more distant lot where I know there's going to be a space instead of enduring the extra time and uncertainty of circling closer parking lots hoping there's going to be a space. A restaurant or any other destination that doesn't have adequate parking (or some other good option to get there like mass transit) is going to be less appealing to me. That doesn't mean I'll totally avoid it. But I'll be less desirous of going.
  5. Available seating: If I'm going somewhere potentially crowded, I don't want to have to wander around trying to find a seat. The good thing is, if I've followed #1-4 above, then chances are good that I've arrived in plenty of time to be able to find I seat.

So what does this have to do with Easter? Well, Easter Mass (and other Christian church services, I'm sure), are always extra wildly crowded thanks to all the CEOs in attendance. You know, those are the people who ago to church on Christmas and Easter Only. I'm happy that they are there and hope they'll decide to come back next Sunday. But it makes driving to Easter Mass, finding a safe place to park (especially with two small children) and getting in the door and seated extra stressful for my introverted brain.

But of course, it's all worth it. Have a joyous Easter.

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