Ah, Halloween. The gateway to the holidays.
Finally something familiar in the middle of all…this. The costumes and the cool weather. The candy and the festivities. Sure, they’re muted, and distanced, and different. But they’re happening and the kids are happy and finally we can breathe in just a little bit of normal.
But as nice as all that is, I’ve noticed a painful shift in myself. A “compensation” if you will. In an effort to bring normal back (or at least the closest we can get six feet apart), I’m stretching myself thin. Saying yes, when I should say no. Putting in the extra mile, when I should be sitting this one out. I’m afraid I learned nothing from COVID.
So here I am typing a blog post with two hours of frozen trunk or treat still stiffening my fingers, dreading the whole dang next two months, and literally wondering if it’s January yet.
Not because “2020” (also that). But because I went from 0 to 60 in two months. And while every October feels just a bit like a ride on the crazy train, this one went from couch to 5K real fast. Too fast. And if I don’t get sick from the COVID, I’m gonna burn out from the stress and it’s not even November 1st.
Am I the only one that could use a good quarantine right about now?
I miss the dreamy days not long ago of having a built-in “noper.” No excuses necessary. Simply, “I’m so sad we can’t _____ like normal this year. Have a good one. Peace.” My people-pleasing self basked in the people-less world around me and inhaled the rich, warm air of solitude and simplicity.
But now the holidays. And the events. And the parties. And the kids. And the meals. And the expectations. Pulling us in harder than EVER before because “normal,” because, as someone texted me the other day, “the kids need this.”
Do they need a world that is so busy and so striving and so full of “yes” to every trunk and treat and craft and costume and gathering and commitment? I’m not so sure anymore. But now that I’ve seen the long sweet days of family walks and homemade bread and laying in the grass and no place to be…the constant stretching of all these holidays feels harsh and cruel.