Thursday, August 09, 2018


Our word today is personality. So, I did one of those online personality tests. Here's the site, if you'd like to try -

They really are very good at defining your inner self from just a few questions. I don't usually take these tests seriously, however, I was a little stunned, when the description of my personality quoted a line I often use - "The unexamined life is not worth living" - Socrates.

The website assigned names to personality types and I am apparently a logician. I would not describe my life as logical, however, I would describe it as questioning. In fact, I might have studied Philosophy at university, if it weren't for two deterrents - 

1. Someone said that I would have to take a course in logic, which is a little like math. I freaked!
2. I knew I needed a job after university and I somehow couldn't figure out how philosophers got jobs.

I decided to take English, instead, because I liked writing and I felt that literature was a kind of practical philosophy anyway. 

But I digress, my code letters from the personality study are INTP-T. The "I" says that I am introverted. I need time away from people to recharge and to think. The "N" means that I am intuitive. I know, I often look for hidden meanings, reading between the lines, as it were. The "T" means I am a thinking person, who tends to hide emotional feelings. The "P" means I am a prospecting individual, that is, I'm a non-conformist, who looks for opportunities and often improvises. Finally, the second "T" means turbulent, which in a personality means you are self-conscious, success driven and a perfectionist.

Well, that pretty much sums up my life. I do spend a good deal of time thinking and I am preparing for the next quarter (of my life) by deciding how to keep my mind active, now that retirement looms. Here is what the unemotional, nonconformist in me has decided to do:

1. I need to keep making new neurons and synapses in my brain, so I have bought a keyboard and I am reconnecting with what I remember of the music I had learned many years ago.
2. I have to keep up to date with technology, so I am building two websites and helping with a third.
3. I must keep physically fit and since I can't stand the boredom of a gym, my husband and I bike.
4. I also like to use the neurons I already have, so I am reading and writing - again more mind activities.
5. I still do hand work - knitting, needle felting, cooking, gardening. This is my quiet, intuitive time.

You will notice, that I didn't say, I needed to make more friends, do volunteer work or join a debating club.

Would I want to change? Well, I have always admired extroverts - actors, performers, sales people, those larger than life individuals that light up a room. However, I can't see myself suddenly becoming one. Even though, I taught groups of thirty to forty students for fifteen years, I still have trouble facing an audience.

I also can't see myself doing social work - volunteering in hospitals or doing meals on wheels, for example. I don't have enough empathy.  And although, I love to go on adventures - trekking through the wilds, I know I need a comfortable bed and a great meal at the end of the day, so I will never be a Dr. Livingstone. I'm not that much of a risk-taker.

My partner in this writing adventure is an INFP - T. We are very similar except for the difference  in the third letters - F vs P. My partner shows more emotion in her writing than I do. Her writing is vibrant, complex, and filled with feeling, whereas, mine is more distanced, structured and perhaps controlled. I'm not saying that I would write great manuals for fixing stoves, but my friend could set the house on fire!!

The pictures? Contemplative places with a sense of escape.

Have a day of discovery!!

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