My computer died a while ago, and a 15-year-old whiz kid we know rebuilt it for us. He did a great job except for one weird quirk the computer now has that it didn't before---You have to shut down, not log off, or the next time you try to use it, it won't let you enter your password. That means if we're going to be away from it for a while or if we're switching users, we have to shut down every time.
It got me thinking about shutting down -- 5 a.m., unable to do much because everyone else in the house is sleeping, but unable to go back to bed myself -- and I found myself making leaps from one topic to another and somehow tying them together. (As one's brain is apt to do when it's sleep deprived.) I once took a personality test that said I was a sociable introvert. I enjoy interacting with people and have a fun time when I'm with them, and then I have to go lie down and isolate myself for a couple of days to recover. It certainly explains why I find teaching great but exhausting, why I avoid small chat with people, why I barricade myself behind a book in the staff lunch room. It explains why eight hours at work alone with my computer doesn't drain me as much as three hours of church does.
Does my computer have the same personality? Can it take only so much interaction and then it needs to block us out for a while to recover?
It certainly helped me to take that test and realize I'm normal, categorizable, valid. I'm not the only one who is like this. And I find I can be kinder toward myself because of it. I understand now my need to lie down with a book partway through the day, and I can gently allow it for a while without judgment, before shooing myself off the couch to dive in once more.