Does it ever stop?

The older I get the more I realize how important it is to “feed my introvert.”  And the closer to the end of the school semester, the more vital that task is to my ability to be present to people.  Having just met with Mrs. Reichenbach to talk about graduation and awards and end of the school matters, I realize I am just beginning to move into my second busy season.  (The first one started with Holy Week and ended with the Sponsor’s Dinner Dance.)

The month of May has a plethora of activities.  We all know them.  Mother’s day.  First Communion.  7th and 8th grade picnic.  Last day of school for the 8th grade class.  Graduations. Last all school mass.  Open Houses.  Throw into that your usual sports practices and games, miscellaneous family birthday gatherings, and the regular business of work, and if you blink, you’ll miss the entire month.

That is why it becomes all the more important for to ‘feed’ the part of the self that restores balance and energy.  For some, that means an extra few minutes on the back deck, lingering over a solitary cup of coffee in the morning or evening.  For others, it is that healthy jog or walk through the neighborhood, either alone or with a friend.  For me, that means I need to ‘feed my introvert’ – reading, a few holes of golf, quiet time in front of a fire pit, prayer before the blessed sacrament, or a late night walk through the neighborhood does wonders for my spirit.

Though it sometimes feels a bit selfish, my years in the priesthood have taught me that those are the exact practices that I need to choose so that I can be present to the people involved in the events of these whirlwind days.  These are the choices that minister to the minister.  And when I choose them, I find myself ready to listen to that troubled college student or hear the struggles of a single mom or be present to the spouse whose other half is in the nursing home or hospital.

One truth about life in our time is that it does NOT ever stop.  It will be as busy as you allow it to be and choose for it to be.  So you have a choice.  Will you complain and be tired and a bit grumpy because you have not ‘fed your introvert’, or will you do the things that feed your spirit so that you can be fully present to all the things you do choose?