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.