Why Am I So Crabby and How Advent Can Help!
By Lucy Johnson
A few weeks ago, I found myself sitting in rush hour traffic on my way to an 8am meeting at the University of Minnesota. The traffic was so slow that I was able to journal about my feelings. Lately, I’ve been feeling crabby, and I don’t know why.
I don’t consider myself a crabby person, although there were times, years ago when my children could have disagreed. Sometimes “Mean Mother” reared her ugly head while raising six children in ten years, but the kids are older now, so I can’t really blame this on them.
Perhaps “Mean Mother” reappeared when I was Mother Nature for Halloween this year. Although I warned people not to fool me, I seem to recall that shortly after Halloween, it snowed and got cold! That could make me crabby, but what I was experiencing seemed to be something deeper than the weather.
I was still pondering this question when I arrived at my meeting with female graduate students. I was to be a part of a series titled Outside the Pharmacy: Conversations with Women in Leadership. Perhaps somewhat ironic, our topic was about a meaningful life and what contributes to one’s happiness; not the pleasure/happiness but more the joy/happiness.
I was surrounded by graduate students who were all joyful. I was amazed. Aren’t graduate students supposed to be stressed out and over-worked? That’s when I learned the secret. Each of them told a similar story. They began the year stressed, but they took about three months to think about what they were doing. They had a gift of time, preparation and reflection before beginning their research and studies. They stopped and listened.
This is what I’ve been missing. I’m so busy that I haven’t taken the time to think, reflect and prepare. This is what Advent is all about. It’s a time to prepare more than our houses and gifts but our hearts and ourselves for the coming of Christ. Perhaps we can’t take three months to prepare, but hopefully we can take a few minutes each day.
If you can take a little longer, there are many wonderful retreats in the upcoming days. I would recommend the ACCW’s “Greet Advent as Women of Joy” with Kelly Wahlquist. There are still spots available. https://events.archspm.org/accw-advent-2014 When we booked Kelly last May, I had no idea how much I needed this topic. I want to greet Advent as a woman of joy and not a crabby woman.
Lucy Johnson is the President of the Archdiocesan Council of Catholic Women for the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis and a member of the WINE: Women In the New Evangelization core team. Most importably, she is a wife and mother of six wonderful children, who at times don't think she's too crabby.