Don’t forget that Halloween is just around the corner! I don’t know if you’ve already got a costume planned, but if not, you should really get to it! You don’t want to end up one of those poor souls who has to scrape something together at the last moment. Those tardy unfortunates always end up as something completely mundane, but just covered in fake blood…and while I suppose it’s better than nothing, everyone can see that they didn’t try very hard. Put a little effort into it, the more outlandish the better. One is never too old to make a fool of themselves, and, in my opinion, it’s a good idea to do so every now and again just to remind others (and yourself) that you don’t have to take everything in life so damn seriously!
We recognize play as a valid and integral part of growing up. We encourage children to play as much as possible. I can’t even begin to estimate the multitudes of times that my parents told me to “go play!” But, it seems that when we become adults, we forget just how good it feels to play. Letting one’s guard down and enjoying the frivolity of the human condition can only be a good thing if you ask me. In our busy lives we have to remain focused, goal oriented, and time conscious, and those things certainly all have their time and place and have helped us immeasurably throughout our human journey, but what’s the use in rushing through every moment of your life? I say a person’s got to enjoy life! Play is one way in which we can remind ourselves that all of the labors we entangle ourselves in can give way to joy if we are only willing to make time to forget ourselves sometimes.
Costumes aren’t everyone’s cup of tea, but I believe that dressing up as Frankenstein’s monster or Count Dracula allows us to do away with the facade of tightly controlled organization that so many of us project in our daily lives. Professionalism and public presence is important, don’t get me wrong, but letting down those walls occasionally in order to let in their opposites might allow us to better balance the dualities of our lives. We are all so many different intersectional identities, mom, teacher, best friend, care giver, bro, police officer, church choir singer, etc., and all of those identities offer us a great sense of accomplishment, belonging, and purpose, but I posit that painting yourself head to toe green and gluing bolts onto your temples can do the same. Halloween is an annual opportunity to play another role, one that is nearly free of responsibility, that is concerned only with fun and celebrating the dark, unknown, and often frightening parts of our lives, by making fun of the darkness, we quell our fear of it.
So you’d better get to it if you haven’t already started! I’d love to hear about what you’ve decided to dress up as in the comments section! Furthermore, if you’re not the costume type, that’s okay! You can still have fun by going out in your plain clothes, just be aware that everyone around you is having fun playing, so try and partake of that spirit of play. If you’re not going out at all, well, that’s okay too! Stay in and get yourself a big bunch of candy and wait for the door-bell to ring and as you open the door, arms full of sugary goodies, remember to greet those goblins and gools awaiting you with the same sense of fun and carefree silliness that has brought them to your door. Enjoy that moment between you and the monsters together and maybe try and remember that it’s not just kids who can play; it’s not just kids who can find simple joys.