I’m sad that I don’t get invited to Halloween parties anymore, but I’m lucky to have a daughter that helps keep the fun side of me alive. She most recently insisted on painting my toenails to coordinate with hers, only mine look like little ladybugs. YES!
I’m remembering back to my 20‘s, when we had a Halloween party. I was a candy cane. Entire body covered with white long underwear. Red ribbon spiraling up from toes to neck. Red ribbons in my hair. Oh, how I wish I had a photo of that!
I’m also trying to remember when that kind of playful thinking stopped. When did life start looking like a business, everyday starting with the question “What do I have to do today?” Obligations and responsibilities (a.k.a. “the should’s”) accumulate and build up to stress over the years, until we can end our days feeling like robots. Curmudgeonism creeps up so gradually that we don’t realize we’re taking life, and ourselves, so seriously. Also, I often showed up to functions as the only one in costume, and I got tired of that.
Dressing up isn’t for everyone, but having fun is. Halloween is a perfect reminder to start re-introducing more fun and relaxation into life. At first it might feel forced, but the only way to make sure it happens is to put FUN on the calendar… in ink. When it feels so good you want to repeat it, voilá, another habit is born.
I know a couple who designate one weekend a month for a “vacation” from their everyday lives, and they’ve become my role models. Two days out of 30 doing what they love. Sometimes camping, sometimes staying home and working a favorite hobby. Main theme: NO WORK. NO HAVE-TO’s. Regular playtimes help make the in-between living from getting you down. It’s important to have something to look forward to. Not everyone can arrange this much time for mental getaways, but you get the idea. Even an hour counts in a hectic life.
It was never so clear to me that people want to have fun as when I first watched YouTube videos of flash mobs last year. What an idea. Congregating a secret mass of dancers or singers within a crowd, then watching them slowly filter into a choreographed dance or concert. Watching the delight of onlookers was the best. Cameras were clicking in malls, airports, subways, airplanes, grocery stores. You name it.
Laughing and having fun is a subject dear to my heart, so I’ve repeated it often in the past nine years. Humor, after all, gets you through the rough stuff. Guess what I’m wearing to an Oct. dance? (hint hint: think happy legs)
If you were invited to a costume party, who would you want to be? What would you wear?