Hermit. I still remember how I learned what that word meant. I was 5 or 6 and my mother was reading the book Heidi to me. Heidi's grandfather was a "hermit," remember? My mom said a hermit was someone who lived in seclusion & never spoke to anyone. Creepy, huh?
In those days, I was the most social person I knew. I wasn't "alive" unless I was surrounded by friends. I used to lay on the kitchen floor & cry out to my mom, "I'm borrrrrrrrrred!!!" My mom would tell me to go color, or read a book. But I didn't want to. I wanted to be around people! I wanted to have a friend over. I wanted to do something BIG. I wanted P.T. Barnum to ring my doorbell, with elephants on balls and poodles on tricycles in tow. This continued, in some form or another, over the years. Whether I was in my 20s or 30s, I wanted to be where the action was: partying at a bar, shopping with friends, out at a school function, dinner with friends.
Now I am 45 and I say, "Screw the action!" I spend my days holed up in my warm house and the scary part is ... I LIKE IT! Some days, I even stay in my pajamas. Then I find myself panicking at 2:00 pm, knowing my kids will arrive home soon & my jig will be up! After all, I'm the one who yells at them to get out of the house & do something. So, surely, I can't set such a poor example. I quickly shower, make my bed & rinse the oatmeal-encrusted breakfast dishes in the sink. By the time my boys get home at 2:30, (poof!) I am magically transformed back into Donna Reed and they are none the wiser!
But I guess I am not a true "shut in," since I do converse with people on the outside: I text, I tweet, I blog, I Facebook. While, I'm guessing Heidi's grandfather didn't have internet access up there in the Swiss Alps, me thinks he & I have a lot in common. Hermits of the world ... unite!!!