June 11, 2021 | My Jottings
Are you familiar with the Enneagram? I am a little bit, and I know the origins are reportedly strange, but what little I’ve learned I am shocked by. I took the test, ho-hum, because some friends and family asked what my Enneagram number was. I took it again, to make sure. I am a 9 with an 8 wing, or a 9w8. The reason I say I’m shocked is because reading about the traits of a 9 wing 8 is like reading my diary, my thoughts, my ways of walking through life. As I listened to a podcast by a Christian the other day interviewing three people who are 9s, I had to listen to some parts again, because what I was hearing took me all the way back to elementary school. I recall times when I just walked around the perimeter of the playground, observing, choosing to be alone even as a seven year-old. I did play hopscotch and four-square and such, but I also didn’t have to be doing things with other kids.
The 9 is the peacemaker, seeking peace at almost any cost, to the point of being absorbed into someone’s life just to avoid conflict. The 9 wing 8 is known as The Advisor and that made me chuckle. Oh yes. I have had to try hard to tone that one down.
One woman who is a 9 spoke about her “intense need for inertia” and that phrase hit me hard. That is me, through and through. I have this need for inertia, silence, stillness, and I have gravitated toward that all my life, even though for many years my life was not conducive to all that inertia. Having small children sort of waylays that somewhat.
Nines are said to be very low energy, easily distracted, want to prioritize and stay organized but have some difficulty prioritizing (although I am fairly organized), and are the only number who can usually see and understand both sides of things. I related to all of this. Nines are usually introverts, but they can love being with people too — that’s me. It’s just that I reach a point of overload, and almost immediately need to retreat.
Years ago I was asked to speak at the Spring Women’s Luncheon at a church. I spoke on Treasuring Jesus, and worked super hard on my talk, which was to last 30-40 minutes. I was a tad nervous as I always am, but confident in what I’d prepared, and I had prayed and prayed. It was a packed house, a delightful time. The fellowship hall had been decorated, women were dressed up (as was I), a delicious lunch was being served.
After I finished my message, it was time for the lunch, and people began turning their chairs toward their tables, servers were getting ready to bring out plates of food, and in a moment it hit me. I had to leave. I had enjoyed a great time worshiping with old friends, chatting and catching up a little, had even liked getting up to the microphone and giving my talk. It was about what God was doing in my own life, so I could share from the heart. But as these women I knew were transitioning toward lunch, I quietly slipped up the stairs unnoticed to the main level, out the front door of the church and out to my car. I drove home without a second thought. I never said goodbye to anyone. It was just what I had to do. It’s not agoraphobia, it’s not shyness or fear or being fed up. I just had to get home.
Apparently this is very common for Enneagram 9s. And I could name multiple times something like this has happened with me.
It was recently 95 degrees here in NoMin, today it is 50 and the wind is whipping and the foggy air reminds me of Morro Bay, California. Tomorrow it’s supposed to back in the humid 80s. That means the A/C will be on, I will be inside doing foster care paperwork and laundry, and I will close out the day tomorrow night by virtually attending my Covina High School reunion for the class of 1975. I’ve never been able to attend the reunions held before and I’m glad they added this online option. I hope others far away will be Zoomed in as well.
Have any of you ever tried the app called Pause? John and Stasi Eldredge have put it out, and I love it and use it every day. You can set it for the times you like, and you can choose one minute pauses, three minute pauses, and they gently and wisely guide you into stopping what you’re doing and consciously turning to the Lord, to hand everything over to Him as many times as you need in a day. It’s wonderful how reorienting one minute or three minutes can be. I highly recommend you try it!
Another thing I love is raw, slightly salted cashew butter heated as a sauce to drizzle over roasted vegetables. I’ve been trying to do food preparation for the coming week on Sunday nights, and part of that is roasting big pans of vegetables. I roast broccoli, carrots, sweet potatoes, onion, tiny red potatoes, cauliflower. Then I store them in lidded containers in the fridge, and I’ve got yummy roasted veggies anytime the mood strikes. Which happens to be daily.
I have two precious granddaughters spending the night with me tonight. Miriam is six and Louisa is almost nine. We just went outside in the foggy, windy cold so I could watch them scooter and roller blade up and down the street on the sidewalks. Gone are the days in this grandma’s mind where two little girls can be just sent out to play without being watched. I have loved ones who think I’m too fearful about this, and so be it. I remember riding my bike miles away from home when I was little, not telling my mom where I was going, but somehow in my mind things have changed. Miri and Louisa came inside with very rosy cheeks and are wondering when dinner is going to be. Then they’ll get a bubble bath in my deep, fancy tub, and we’ll play some games and read some books before bed. Louisa typically likes to play Battleship, Backgammon, and a card game called Garbage, which is pretty fun. Miriam likes to watch children’s cooking shows online before she sleeps.
Do you know your Enneagram number? If so, please let me know in the comments below!
Also, do you have a favorite app you use all the time? I’d love to know about that also.
Have a peaceful weekend – ha – there’s the 9 talking. If I were a 7 I would have bid you a fun and exciting weekend, and if I were a 3 I would have encouraged you to use the time to get some things done.
Until next time,