good friend of mine (ours) uses the word recluse to describe himself. 🙂
what he means of course is that there comes a time (aiya..might as well say it, we are now at the age!) 🙂 where there is no need to put pressure on ourselves to do things or to socialize & so we do what makes us happy & make the people around us (loved ones and strangers) happy if we can (& I always believe in trying)…
I also believe there is no need to try too hard, not in terms of the effort put in but in expecting the results. If I have no expectations and do not need to have things done one way or another or people (friends or strangers) to react in one way or another (though I have a world view that I apply to myself only), then I will not be reactive or defensive.
to me, a relationship that has no expectations – and so no or few stresses – is truly liberating :-)… we do something not because we need to network or impress or name-drop to gain a business advantage, gain entry to some social circle or to be servant to our ego, but because we like it & enjoy doing it. 🙂
all of us have responsibilities and i am not suggesting we neglect them, so we will still need to discharge our duties and responsibilities & do things whether it is our favourite thing to do or not. but if we recognise this, then it becomes something we “will” do & don’t mind doing, and while we may not really turn it into our pet activity, knowing that we dutifully (rather than grudgingly) perform a task because we need to do it can itself be an affirmation of our self-worth and make us feel good about ourselves.