Work Alone, Work Together
To paraphrase Dietrich Bonhoeffer, we need both days alone and days together. I find this to be extremely true with work as well.
No one can do my work for me. I have the unique opportunity to show up, be me, and do my best work. Some of this work happens ALONE. In the quiet, early hours of the morning, I reflect and write. In the gaps of time at the middle of the day, I retreat from hustle and bustle and put words on a page. In the late evening, after kids are asleep (or at least in bed), I connect the dots and tie the loose ends of my work for the day. The work of putting words on a page, mind-mapping, connecting ideas and refining communication are things that happen in a quiet space. As much as I enjoy being around others, if I do not create a certain measure of solitude in my work (not only my personal life), my craft will suffer the consequences. I LOVE the work alone. Being present to whatever feelings I have and having the opportunity to create from the blank canvas (and sparkling fire) that is my mind. I also know how I thrive on working together.
While certain things can just "get done" alone, whole realms of joy exist in connection with others. Thoughts are refined and sharpened in conversation. Tasks are delegated. More importantly, people are touched, helped, served and inspired in connection with others. I have my own strengths and weaknesses; put it the context of a team, my weaknesses can be augmented by others and my strengths can serve their work as well. Every day, my team members are a source of joy, inspiration, and perspective, and I am so grateful to be able to take that richness with me into my solitary work.
I know I strike a unique balance as an ambivert, yet I do not think I am alone on this: We need to work alone, and we need to work together.