I suspect this will be controversial, but I want to be honest here — as we always are.
I move a lot. Every few years I am confronted with a new place. A whole new crop of people. New neighbors, new homeschool moms, new parishes and parish groups. Heck, I even went to four high schools in as many years. Over the course of this journey I have become a bit of an armchair sociologist. I spend lots of time analyzing what personality traits attract me to another person or family. As I approach my fourth decade I think I have reached some conclusions and I am a bit disturbed about what they say about me and my pursuit of a holy life.
Here is the problem – I like “fun” people. Not to overuse those irritating quotation marks on the word “fun”, but I really mean it here, because I gravitate toward people that are ostensibly, wordlyly fun. I am drawn to those who wear colorful, exuberant outfits, not modest, dignified ones. I am drawn to the mom who is organizing soccer tournaments and dance contests rather than the one who is organizing a rosary club. I love to drink wine with my peeps, I love outdoor playtime and seem to skimp on praying the Angelus with my kids.
To my credit, after about a year in a new place I have always settled in with a crew of, much-more-grounded, typically older, holy, inspiring women. The types of women who challenge me in my walk. Who don’t cut corners and expect a great deal of themselves in relationship to God. Nonetheless, there is this part of me that still really craves worldly fun. My dilemma has become very philosophical and urgent as of late. I feel myself pulled in both directions. My yin says, we are body and spirit, God made you this way so you can use your fun-loving spirit for ministry. My yang says, this is rationalizing things – every picture of Sangria consumed over conversation about secular authors and great travel destinations is a waste. A straight-up waste in a life that is supposed to be one lived in the pursuit of greater union with the Divine and eternal union with Him upon death.
Furthermore, I really want to encounter a fun, large family. I want a mother of 4+ who doesn’t just seem to have her nose to the grindstone of motherhood, but who smiles and plays and pinches her husband’s rear end.
Am I grasping at straws here? Is fun a human weakness that gets in the way of our pursuit of holiness. I mean, monks and nuns don’t watch 30 Rock and The Office, but gosh I enjoy doing that with my husband. I don’t know ladies, is there any validity in my pursuit of people who are both fun and holy? Or, is the word “fun” just a guise for pursuit of activities that can often lead to sin?