I self-identify as an extrovert. My Myers-Briggs Type Indicator tests always show not only that I am an extrovert, but that I score 10 on extroversion and zero on introversion.

Nonetheless, I am beginning to notice that I have a need for at least occasional solitude. Time by myself, away from distractions (particularly noise). Maybe because I am more easily distractible than ever, maybe because I live in a house with people and animals and televisions and kids who come and go, maybe because I am older and less able to think clearly. At any rate, this surprises me, but it has become clear. I need alone time, not so much to recuperate but for study and thinking and reading. Sometimes I need to be able to make sense of things and that seems best done with few distractions. It's hard enough to make sense of things to begin with, much less to try to do so amid temptations to abandon the effort.

So I wonder, am I changing? Is this temporary? Am I going to develop a contemplative side after all? (I've always said I don't have a great deal of talent for contemplation, so this could be embarrassing.) Could it be a sign of the times in my own life, when I need to be able to think and make sense of things that may not be more important than the usual things that need making sense of (which of course are not run of the mill stuff at all but Life, Death, God, Relationships, Growth, Meaning) but things which are bubbling rather intensely in the stew of my own life right now? Like questions about Calling and Vocation?

Solitude of course is not complete alone-ness. God is with us, even in our alone-ness. I look forward to enjoying solitude as a gift and not a penance these next days and weeks.