I’m a 9. And a Turtle.

I’m a 9 on the Enneagram. The Enneagram is a model of human personality using nine interconnected personality types. (See more here: The Enneagram Institute.)

Nines are accepting, trusting, and stable. They are usually creative, optimistic, and supportive. They want everything to go smoothly and be without conflict. They typically have problems with inertia and stubbornness. (from the Enneagram Institute)

Years ago, in a day-long workshop led by my friends, Kim and Donna, I visualized my Totem Animal during a guided meditation. I’ve lived with rheumatoid arthritis in my body for almost 30 years so I hoped for something graceful and fast like a gazelle or a cheetah. I got Turtle.  (Here’s a blog post about this: Turtle or Gazelle.)

Turtle lives a slow and steady life of non-doing, one day at a time – not reacting, simply accepting and moving on in its natural rhythm. Turtle naturally withdraws and goes within when in turmoil. It does not need to learn the importance of this focusing inward, it naturally knows. (from whats-your-sign.com/animal-symbolism)

I had outpatient hernia surgery the end of August. Not such a big deal compared to some of my surgeries, but it still involved general anesthesia and an incision. I stopped taking the immune suppressant drug that keeps my arthritis under control because it makes me a very slow healer.

I was supposed to rest, right? I am really good at resting.

Inertia (Enneagram 9) +

Withdrawing into my shell when vulnerable (Turtle) +

Introvert +

Life-long Reader =

a rather happy camper, once the pain eased up.

The problem came when I got the okay to start my medicine again and resume normal activities.  Remember inertia from science class? It’s the resistance of any physical object to changes to its speed, direction or state of rest. In other words a body at rest tends to stay at rest. This body does. I enjoy doing nothing but reading and sipping on a cup of tea.

The retired man I live with and at least one of my daughters don’t have that gene. They got the one his mother passed on–always needing to be doing something.  Thank God.

Surely there are people who live somewhere in the middle of that continuum. Not in my house. The retired man I live with has 2 speeds–doing or dozing. I have one speed–slow, with rest stops.

I’m workin’ on it. (See this blog post: I’m Workin’ On It.)

I’ve made lunch dates with friends, enough that my checking account looks like I eat out all the time. I’ve gone back to water exercise. I’m writing this blog post.

I start in a 4-week small group at church tonight about white privilege. I’m president-elect of the Board of Directors for a local non-profit and I spent a long time on the phone this morning with our new Executive Director.

I live a quiet life, by choice. It works for me. I’ve learned the difference between isolation and solitude. Like most of us, I strive for balance. I want to choose to resist living inside my shell. Some days that’s easier than others.

Want to meet for coffee or lunch?

 

 

 

 

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Published in: on October 6, 2016 at 6:09 pm  Comments (7)  
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7 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I am so in between. I want to be “doing” all the time, but then I wear out and realize I need down time. You said the word balance. Still working on that one. Glad to see you blogging!

    • Thanks, Cathy. I think age helps some slow down! Looks like you still do a lot, though.

  2. Coffee or lunch yes! I did Enneagram with CPE some yrs ago & cant remember what # or animal (really, did we do animals??) but yr description sounds familiar!

  3. love your balance reminder, thanks. i am a 9 and a deer💜🌀✌️️

    • I would have liked deer. And I’m not surprised you’re a 9. No wonder it seems I’ve always known you!

  4. I would meet you for lunch or coffee almost any day if we did not have 3 hours of I-40 separating us. As a suspected turtle (based on your description), it would take me several years to get there! Loved the blog entry and glad you are recovering.
    PS Remember, the Native Americans believe the world was created on the back of a turtle.

    • And sometimes I wonder if I’m carrying a chunk of the world on my back.
      My college roommate lives near Waynesville. Maybe we can meet up next time I head that way.
      Thanks for reading and commenting, Suzanne.


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