I am a type-B personality. Not a marginal type-B, either. I’m a full-fledged, dyed-in-the-wool, fifth generation Floridian, sailor, relaxed homeschooler type-B. Here’s Wikipedia’s definition:
“People with Type B personality by definition generally live at a lower stress level and typically work steadily, enjoying achievements but not becoming stressed when they are not achieved. When faced with competition, they do not mind losing and either enjoy the game or back down. They may be creative and enjoy exploring ideas and concepts. They are often reflective, thinking about the outer and inner worlds. Furthermore, Type B personalities may have a poor sense of time schedule and can be predominately right brained thinkers.”
Now, other than the “poor sense of time schedule” (I’m kind of anal retentive about schedules when there actually is one), this is me. Lower stress (in the words of my teen, I’m “chill”). Work steadily. Creative. Reflective. What that translates to, usually, is a few hours of work a day, four or five days a week, with reading, walking, painting, journaling, sitting on the deck enjoying tea, spending time on the boat or at the beach, traveling with my kids, and thinking about stuff.
My husband is mostly a type-A, as was my father (neither are “rigidly organized” or “obsessed with time management”, ironically). Here’s good old Wikipedia again:
“The theory describes a Type A individual as ambitious, rigidly organized, highly status conscious, can be sensitive, care for other people, are truthful, impatient, always try to help others, take on more than they can handle, want other people to get to the point, proactive, and obsessed with time management. People with Type A personalities are often high-achieving “workaholics” who multi-task, push themselves with deadlines, and hate both delays and ambivalence.”
I have, over the last six months, somehow morphed from my nice, calm type-B to an unable-to-relax, to-do list obsessed type-A. And, to be honest, I’m not completely sure what’s happened… But I do know I’m tired!
Starting with NaNoWriMo in November of 2011 (my first NaNo), I’ve written 4 full length works of fiction in 3 genres; a 130 page (so slightly over 2 hour) screenplay; taken a 3 week intensive trip to Uganda for work; published 2 novels, with a 3rd coming out next month; edited not only my own novels but also my husband’s new political commentary/satire; and weathered 4 crazy medical issues. Not to mention regular life. This is so not like me that it kind of hurts my head… I’m not sure what happened, and I’m pretty sure that, in another couple of weeks, I’m going to collapse into a puddle of uselessness that will last for at least a month. (Unless someone puts me on a plane to St. Thomas, and then I might get over it faster…)
On the one hand, all this frenetic activity has produced a lot, shown me a passion and direction inside myself I didn’t have before, made me excited for what’s to come, given me energy (even in the midst of the aforementioned medical issues), and been a blast. On the other hand, I feel kind of jittery all the time and my brain won’t slow down; I have trouble sleeping; I’m mentally exhausted; and I’m ready for it to be over!
It’s amazing that I’ve made it this far at such a high level of productivity – and I’m only a week from my self-imposed deadline. Maybe that’s why I’m tired – I’m twenty yards out from the winners’ tape and I know I just have to drag myself over that finish line. All that’s left to do is finish editing The Hoard of the Doges (final edit, thank God); get all the information to my graphics/formatting people; and finish the first draft of Where the Ducks Went, which should only be about 15,000 words. By the 23rd. One week from today. Then… That’s it for awhile, other than the publication/uploading stuff.
This morning while I was journaling, I gave myself permission to not do NaNo in November. I think I probably will, but as of right now, I have no story at all, and nothing’s coming to me. If I don’t have something by about October 15th, I’m sitting this one out. And that’s okay. (If I start it, I’m going to “win”… but it’s okay not to start.) It’s okay to take a break and read all those great indie books that I’ve emailed to myself but haven’t had time to buy yet. In other words, it’s okay to revert to the type-B person I really am, and have been for 46 of my 47 years. I’m looking forward to getting to know her again!