I’m sitting in my local coffee shop again writing this article, mostly because it’s inside. Not only is it indoors, but it’s an indoor place that is not my apartment. A change of scenery like this helps me to be funnier. The weather has been rather droopy around here lately. It’s rainy, and when it’s not raining, it’s just plain grey. We can still tell the difference between night and day, it’s not that dark, but man, would it be nice to have a few sunny days together. It is Spring after all, and the sun also makes me funnier.
I hope the grey-ness of the weather doesn’t seep into this article. Instead, I hope the article lifts your spirits.
In a previous article I wrote about indoor activities for winter, in case a person is not an outdoor enthusiast. I’ve been wondering if indoor spring activities would be any different, so in this article I’ll explore that subject.
It seems to me that Spring indoor activities are very similar to winter activities, but with a higher proportion of cabin fever. We’ve been stuck inside all winter (those of us who are averse to freezing, anyway) and now that temperatures are slowly creeping upwards, we want to go outside. We might even want to see some people. For us introverts, even we like to see somebody every now and again, and breathe in some fresh air. We need to go outside to do this. With rainy spring weather however, it looks like we’re going outside only long enough to get to that other thing we’re doing that’s inside, but in a different indoor area than our homes. Like my walk to the coffee shop this morning. Is anyone counting going to work? Neither am I. I don’t find the grey weather making being inside my car, stuck in traffic more enjoyable. So, let’s think of some fun things to do and some ways of looking at these weather changes in a funny way.
Changing the weather
Does anybody out there have a phone that you can use to change the weather? Mine doesn’t do it. No matter how long I stare at the weather app I have on my phone, the pictures of rain clouds are not changing to pictures of sunshine. If you’re trying to sharpen your inside-thinking skills and focus, I say give it a try. Maybe if enough of us do the same thing at the same time, the weather app will tell “the cloud” to change the weather and the cloud(s) will go away and let the sunshine in.
Make your home smart
If you’ve got the time, and you’re stuck inside because you refuse to indulge the weather app and go out in the rain, then make your new hobby setting up a “smart home” system in your house. You’ll get so caught up in doing this, you many even forget to eat supper. Think of how much time you can kill ordering the parts online: the smart plugs, smart light bulbs, smart dishwashers, smart phones…the list is ever-growing. What you need to do first, though is just get enough to get started. One smart plug will do while you work through your beta testing. And what I mean by beta-testing is trying that smart plug with every outlet and every compatible fixture in the house. Be systematic about it though, because eventually the weather will clear and you’ll want to go outside and plant some flowers. You don’t want your “smart” home holding you up. Can you turn on the lamp in the living room from the upstairs bathroom? No? Back to the drawing board! Supper is going to have to wait. In the mean-time, tell your “smart” home to order some pizza.
Go to the Movies
If you enjoy movies, this is a great indoor option at ay time of year. The only issue with Spring, is that we’re in transition between winter Super-Hero movies and summer Super-Hero movies. This isn’t really a problem for me, but if you go to the movies because you like to see things blow up on a big screen, you might be having a hard time right now. Not to worry, the stuff-blowing-up movies are on the way. I think. Either way, it’s time to move on from movies that make us cry. Let’s at least take a break from those. I’ve said it before – it is appropriate to go see a movie by yourself if you’re so inclined. That way you can be sure that nobody will be asking you what just happened, why that person is now wearing a red suit when they were just wearing a green suit, or where that character even came from. Not only that, but you can also go see the movie you want to see that you’re pretty sure none of your friends want to see. This can be your alone time. With warmer weather coming here in Canada (I’m very hopeful), there will be times you’ll have to interact with strangers, so my recommendation is to take this time to yourself while you can.
Play some games
This might sound a bit extraverted, but in small groups (so that we introverts don’t get overwhelmed) playing some board games can be fun. Not Monopoly though – there’s too much potential for conflict, plus I’m not that good at it. I know my brother is always going to win, so I don’t play with him anymore. Anyway, most of us do need some interaction with others. Keeping it to close friends who don’t get violent when they lose is a safe call. We feel safer with people we know, and in this situation where we’re playing interactive games in a relaxed at-home setting, we can handle the odd “new person”. They just can’t be better at these games than we are.
If at any point there is too much interaction, you can go hide in the bathroom for a little while if game night is at your place. If you’re at games-night at someone else’s place, by all means employ some other disappearance strategies as well. The secret is to disappear and be at home before anyone notices that you’ve left. And you know what – once you warm up to the games and the people, playing these games can be quite fun. If you’re lucky, you may even gather some material for your next blog article. Feel free to share anything you can’t use with me.
One thing that don’t mind going outside and then back inside to do is to catch up with a friend over a drink at a pub. Having one person there to talk to, or listen to (I really enjoy my friends that I get to listen to) means that you can ignore everyone else without being rude. That is everyone except the person who is serving you your drinks. No matter what, it’s in your best interest to make that person feel valued. Give them your best smile, and be on your best (funniest) behaviour and they’ll make sure your glass is filled to the top.
Ease into it
Let’s say you’ve been stuck inside for a while, and jumping right into big crowds of people that will be more and more present as we move into summer is a bit much. You can ease into it. You can also ease out of extraverted types of situations in the same way. Take my local coffee shop as an example. I was teaching a class yesterday to a bunch of strangers (temporary extraversion), and today in the coffee shop at this moment, it’s just me and the barista. When I first got here there were others in here talking to each other, so there are people around but I didn’t talk to anyone except the person who took my order.
Once I had my tea, and got my laptop set up, I put the world inside the coffee shop on mute. I do look up every once in a while and look out the window to watch traffic go by, including people on the sidewalk as if nobody can see me, as people come and go from the coffee shop. For me, it’s fun to sit here and write, and my computer is not going to argue with me. It’s taking in every word that I type! I need to remember to save and back-up these genius-thoughts too. Just in case someone else agrees with me.
Here comes the Sun
My faith in the sun making an appearance and staying out for a few days is strong, so my thoughts will be turning to outdoor activities. We’ll all be able to go outside because of the weather, rather than in defiance of it. In the mean-time, I can unintentionally eavesdrop on conversations in the coffee shop (woops, don’t make eye-contact), or have a look to see what movies are playing.
Next week, the sun is coming out (if I keep saying it, it will happen), which means I’ll be coming up with some ideas for outdoor activities for introverts. Stay tuned, this won’t hurt a bit.