Letting Go

Last night was the first Halloween ever in which I did not participate.  I did not dress up. I did not have children to help get into costume. I did not attend any parties. I did not give out candy.  I did not decorate or bake.  We turned out our front porch light and our living room light and went upstairs.

I don’t hate Halloween.  In fact, usually I enjoy greeting the children who come to my door.  This year, however, it did not seem like fun.  It seemed like a chore to buy the candy and answer the door to give it out.  And so, I gave myself permission to opt out of the holiday.

Too many times in my life, I have done the expected.  I have gone along with convention even when it brought me nothing but resentment.  I have decided to live more mindfully, part of which means knowing when to say “No.”

Another year, I will again embrace Halloween.  I will joyfully greet the children who come to the door and give them lots of candy.  I will tell the ghosts and witches that they are scary and the princesses that they are beautiful and thank batman and spiderman for keeping our city safe.

But this year, I couldn’t do it.  And that is okay.  I have come to a place where I know myself and I accept myself and I can be gentle with myself.  I can embrace all of the things that I love and let the other things go.  I look forward to Thanksgiving and Advent and Christmas with happy anticipation.  I can say “Yes” to the traditions that make my family happy.  It’s good to be able to discern what brings joy into life.  And let the things that don’t matter fall away.

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3 thoughts on “Letting Go

  1. Good for you, Bel. I’m at a similar place in my life as well. Lacking the strength I used to have, I’m graced by that very weakness to be able to say “No” to things that I now realize I did just out of habit.

  2. It has been a long time my friend and I agree with your post. Do what is right for you and IF and when it is right for you. I have come to that in my life too. Where I live there are no house to house trick or treaters as I live in a very rural area. Yes I gave some bags (ahead of time) that were filled with candy to the neighbor for her children. I didnt want to be bothered this year. Come Tuesday I will be having a vitrectomy on my “good” eye. My other eye has central vision loss. Traction and floaters have made it very difficult to drive and work. I had to make a decision. Decide to stop driving and working or consider surgery. I chose surgery. I am preparing for the worst and praying for the best. Whatever happens I know God will be there to guide me. So when I look at things like you do with Halloween I choose to enjoy things or not enjoy things. If that makes sense (smiling). Well time to get some rest as I have my last day of work tomorrow for at least 2 weeks. I am praying I get to go back soon. I feel that God has more for me to do and it is not time to resign my nursing license. I hope my feelings are right!

    • George didn’t mention this in his reply, but for several years now we have avoided Halloween just as you did: turn out the lights and hide upstairs! This year I felt like welcoming the trick-or-treater, but it was a rainy evening and only a few came. But yes, yes, yes: it is a grace to be able to say no to things that don’t nourish us.

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