I used to envision myself happily entertaining company with style and grace and a completely relaxed air, however, as I've grown older, I've come to realize that I am not a people person. In general, I really don't like having people come to my home and I don't enjoy going to others' homes. I am very much an introvert and having company or being company is very stressful for me.
Why am I posting this little insight now? Before coming to Iran, with the exception of my two best friends, I only occasionally had people over or went to other people's houses. Generally no more than 3 or 4 times per year. Well, part of the Iranian New Year's celebrations is the requirement to visit and be visited by friends and family. This usually means multiple visits both directions over just a 13 day time span. I've been fortunate this time around and only had to visit 3 house one of which was my in-laws so that doesn't really count but today we had 3 back-to-back visits over the course of 3 1/2 hours which means 3 presentations of tea, sweets and fruits to 13 people with barely any time to squeeze in a potty break or give the kids dinner. (DH and my dinner happened around 10:30 after the kids were finally in bed.) Why the mad rush? It was either everyone in one day or having to repeatedly make the house company ready over several days and probably have the company here longer each time. That and I would have had at least 3 days worth of tension in my neck and shoulders rather than one and a half. :P
Now, it's not just company that stresses me out. It's being around people in general. No, I'm not anti-social. It's just that, while a people person gets a major energy boost from being around others, my energy is drained. If I don't get at least an hour or two completely to myself at least every few days, I tend to get a bit cranky. That time is usually gotten after everyone's gone to bed or, occasionally, before they get up. So, on any given day, you're bound to find me on the computer, watching a movie or reading a book until the wee hours of the morning. Does this lack of sleep cause problems keeping up with the kids? Oddly, no. My energy is usually restored after a nice long session on my own as long as I don't push too far (staying up until 4 or 5) or do it too often (passed 2 three days in a row). ;)
I guess this is one of the benefits of getting older. You learn more about who you are, what your strengths and weaknesses are and how to work with them.
ACK...I've just been informed we have to go visit more people in the next day or two.