At a doctor’s appointment yesterday the doctor’s assistant took my vitals (temp: 97.9, BP: 102 over 70, heart rate: 50) and proclaimed that I must be a calm person. Um, okay! Am I a calm person? In some respects, I am. As an introvert I tend to think and process internally, and though I can be animated when I speak, I’m not inclined to be dramatic with volume, inflection, or gestures. Those are my tendencies. Does that mean I’m calm?
When I’m with people I know well, and trust, I’m a bit more expressive, and occasionally I’m even rowdy. Even so, I tend to be a better listener than talker, and for better or worse, I probably err on the side of silence more often than speech. I don’t usually get stage fight (amazingly, a colleague I know who has been a priest for 40 years says he still gets stage fright when he preaches!), and I’m pretty philosophical about not wasting energy on things over which I have no control, so I’m not a big worrier.
A calm person? I can obsess over things when I think something is at stake, and I have high standards about competence (I’m a terrible critic when somebody hasn’t paid attention to essential details, or has been unnecessarily sloppy). But I am also patient, forgiving, and compassionate. Calm? I had never given it any thought until yesterday. Today I don’t have an answer, and I’m not sure that I need one. But it’s been interesting to think about.