Restful or Restless?

In a similar vein to my earlier musing over things or experiences, it also occurs to me that there is another set of opposing characteristics in people.

Are you restful or restless?

By restful I mean someone who is content and able to sit, lie or stand quietly with their own thoughts.  A person who does not always need to be doing something, either with themselves or with others.  A person who perhaps spends some time most days just thinking.  Not doing.

Or are you the opposite?  Do you need background music (or TV), the hum of busyness and something to keep you occupied?  Are you the sort of person who, if you have children, arranges to be out and about doing something with them most days?  Or if you aren’t a parent or spouse, do you need to be with friends and family going out to dinner or the movies?  Do you need to have a project on the go at all times?

Unsurprisingly, perhaps*, I am a restful person.  I can’t get my head around the need to have music blaring all the time**.  I really enjoy just sitting still with the weird and wonderful thoughts that whizz around in my head.  I like to have random conversations with myself about things.  Naturally I don’t do this out loud. I promise you I’m not that odd.

I’m not talking about a hermit-style restfulness.  Simply that I am quite content, and frankly would go slightly la-la if I didn’t manage to squeeze even half an hour of peace most days.  If I don’t see people that I know each day, or even for a week or more at a time, I don’t feel weird about it.  Perhaps if they’re on the other end of this spectrum they do.  It’s not that I don’t like them and don’t want to spend time with them, it’s simply that I am actually quite content with my own company^.

As a restful person I love quiet time.  It’s my antidote to those days where I have many things to do, people to see and energetic children to attend to.  I feel relaxed and recharged and ready to head out into the world of doing if only I can manage an hour of time to myself.

What about you?  Are you restful or restless?  Would you define either in the same way that I have, or do you have a different take on it?  I’d love to know.


* it is not actually possible to be a completely restful person when you are the primary childcare provider.  It just isn’t.

** I like to listen to music too, but I don’t get the jitters and complain to anyone in hearing if the radio or stereo breaks (or to get up to date, if my iTunes library suddenly turns up its toes).

^ Hmm.  That sounds a bit pompous.  Hopefully, if you’re a restful type of person you will know what I mean by that.  If you’re restless you’ll probably find that hard to fathom.

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3 thoughts on “Restful or Restless?

  1. I think there is a bit of a spectrum for this Lynn, as I am a bit of both. There are times when I just like to sit on the deck and look out at the birds flying around contemplating stuff or not, and other times when I like to be essentially very busy. I do like to have time to myself, but not too much I guess.

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  2. I’d like to work on being restful a bit more. As far as music is concerned, I have it on because I like to listen to it (and sing at the top of my lungs!) rather than something to the fill the void, but I do like to have quiet times which I think are absolutely necessary.

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  3. Oooooh, another excellently observed post.

    I am a restful person, surrounded by a family of restless people. I shall tell them, and then go and barricade myself in the bathroom with nothing but bubbles for company for a bit.

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