The estimated reading time for this post is 2 minutes.

I know, that’s an obvious statement.

I’m an introvert. An extreme introvert. On those Myers-Briggs tests, I can waver on the last three things, and have over the years, but I have always, always been an introvert, and have grown more introverted over the years. Give me a book and a chair, and I’m good for an hour. Give me snacks and water, and I’m good for two. Down time, alone time, time when it’s just me and the cats and a book or tv and knitting, these are essential for my mental health. I need time away from people so I can recharge.

It’s part of the reason I have had such a hard time quitting smoking. “Needing” a cigarette gives me a chance to step away from the center of the event, go to the outskirts, away from the noise and the conversation, and just be alone for a few minutes.

When my husband is away from home, suddenly my time is all my own. I don’t have to consider anyone else (within reason). I can go on a date. See the boyfriend. Go to the library. Skip dinner. Read all day. Binge watch American Horror Story or the Incredible Kimmy Schmidt while knitting a sock or coloring.

Sometimes I feel bad for not missing my husband more when he’s gone. But I have all this time, time to myself, where it’s possible no one knows where I am or what I’m doing at that particular moment, and there’s something comfortable about that for me. I’ve never liked having too many people keeping tabs on me; I’ve never been one for checking in, really.

I do check in, of course. Husband calls me in the morning on his way to work and I call him at night on my way to bed. Because my life is so solitary when he’s gone, usually the most interesting thing I have to talk about is a cat story, some stupid thing they did, or something I heard on a podcast (they’re good dogs Brent). Sometimes I ramble on about my books, or out-there ideas. I work crosswords or sudoku while I talk to him at night, to help me wind down. (How a puzzle helps my brain relax, I don’t know.)

Are you in a long distance relationship? How do you stay connected with your partner?