Tolkien fans will recall that Gandalf had to use all his powers of persuasion to get Bilbo Baggins to leave his warm, cozy home in Bag End.
I totally sympathize with Bilbo.
What could be better than my own surroundings, lovingly arranged and decorated over the years to perfectly suit my tastes and comforts? What could be more soul-satisfying than being in that haven with my favorite people, doing the things I love most?
Because I struggle every year against Seasonal Affective Disorder, I tend to question my hobbit-like tendencies this time of year. Am I just being true to myself as a real home-body? Or am I giving in to that winter depression?
Yesterday Middle Sister was invited to a friend’s house for dinner and a movie. It was to be a “ladies’ night,” and I was invited as well. I was very truly thrilled and honored to be included. Probably if I’d gone I would have come away with good memories. But the thought of spending the evening away from home, in the company of relative strangers (though I know for certain they’re all wonderful people) and in a strange environment, made me recoil in near-horror. My daughter completely understood – she’s so much like me it’s disturbing sometimes. This time, though, they were people she knows and enjoys. She went and had a wonderful time.
I come by this trait honestly. My mother and grandmother were never ones to join groups, to socialize willy-nilly. My personality is firmly introspective and introverted.
And it is definitely true that once we return to warm weather and lighter evenings, I’ll be out and about much more often. Very occasionally I will have my own adventures – “There and Back Again.” Always back again.
And for now I will enjoy myself as a semi-hibernating hobbit.