A gorgeous autumn jacket caught my eye as I was flipping through a recent issue of a fashion magazine, trying to find the “perfect” haircut—you know, just cute enough to say I am still “fashionable” yet not too cute to say “I’m 52 years-old trying to look 30.” The jacket was what I would call “car length.” It was made in a material covered in some sort of animal print. However, as it’s been about a dozen years since my last zoo trip, I admit that I’m not sure if the amalgamation of stripes and dots in black and brown hues is a real animal print or a fashion-industry animal print; but I am positive that I loved the jacket upon spotting it—no pun intended.
At that point, having lost my focus on trying to find a picture of a perfect haircut to take to my stylist, I intently surveyed the different animal print products—from handbags to pants to shoes—each seeming a bit “wild” and yet quite attractive. Of course at my age I couldn’t fathom donning a full-on animal print ensemble—or maybe I was never at the correct age to wear such an outfit—but there was still something appealing about an animal print accessory, and most especially that coat!
It just seemed “fun.”
Sometimes, as Catholic women, we forget that we are called to have “fun.” In our day-to-day living in which we embrace our roles as wives and mothers and sisters and care-givers, we forget that there ought to be joy in our journey. Often that joy is a quiet one, maybe it settles upon our spirit during Eucharistic Adoration or it may be found in caring for a sick family member or even in serving food to the homeless; but other times joy is that sheer pleasure of being alive. It is that recognition that God made us uniquely female and that we have an ability to experience our world in a very feminine, fun way.
Time spent with our friends tends to reflect who we are: those who have been created different but equal to men. In the space of a lunch together we can laugh, cry, pray and laugh some more. We have the capacity to contemplate the things of the world while being able to lovingly tend to a scraped knee.
Some of us can bake and sew—this gal has not been given those particular talents—while others may be able to organize school plays or board meetings.
Through it all, with everything that rests upon our shoulders, it is good to remember that we are called to have fun.
When my third son was a youngster I remember that he used to skip everywhere he went. I got such a kick out of watching him skipping to his bike, skipping down the hall to his bedroom and skipping through the grocery aisles. For me, seeing him skip around reflected his innate ability to have fun—his great joy at being alive and very much in the moment.
Looking at that animal print jacket in the magazine, I was reminded of my son’s skipping; I was reminded that my journey, too, is meant to be fun. As Catholic women we have to be cautious to not get too bogged down in our duties as matriarchs wherein the fun of being alive sort of slowly vanishes.
Fun isn’t just for the young but, as they say, for the young at heart. It is good for us to be young at heart.
So don’t be surprised if you see me skipping off to my next fall speaking event, clad in an animal print jacket and sporting the “perfect” haircut—after all, even older Catholic girls can still have fun!