Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Halloween Is For The Healthy

I've always had a love/hate relationship with Halloween.

As a kid it was fun to dress up and get a big bag of candy but there was always one big problem - we lived in Minnesota. Even if the temps were tolerable during the day, by the time the sun went down it was bitter cold and often raining, sleeting or snowing. I can remember my mom making me wear my winter coat every year. While that was obviously the right thing to do, it always made the costume feel irrelevant. Between the freezing cold temps and my discomfort with the strange adults behind every door commenting on our costumes, the act of trick-or-treating quickly started to feel like a chore. Totally worth the big bag of candy but a chore none-the-less.

I was actually a little relieved when I outgrew the whole thing. Perfectly content to spend my teenage years eating some of the candy my parents bought to hand out to the neighborhood kids. We always had much more candy than we did kids coming by.

In collage Halloween became truly fun. I rediscovered the joy of getting dressed up and doing something fun with make-up. I loved gathering with a bunch of peers, laughing and dancing in our costumes. It was a great excuse to step outside our everyday norms and have a totally silly, wild time. The only tricky part was getting up for class or work the next morning.

These days I don't really do anything for Halloween. Even if I had the energy to pull together a costume and do a bunch of make-up, I certainly wouldn't have any left over for an actual party. Even though my healthy 20-something self loved a good party, my chronic pain 30-something self knows I wouldn't have any fun. Everything about a Halloween party would be a migraine trigger: wearing a bunch of make-up, loud music, big crowd, sugar-filled treats, flashing lights, staying up late. Yikes!

Honestly, the only thing this chronic pain 30-something wants to do on Halloween is decorate and hand out candy (assuming I wasn't in too much pain). But that's not in the cards. I purposely don't do any strictly Halloween themed decorations outside because we don't want anyone to think they can ring our doorbell on Halloween night. Little Gypsy would probably have a nervous breakdown if kids were coming by ringing the bell every few minutes.

Some moments I find myself wishing I could still do the whole Halloween thing. Then I come to my senses and realize that Halloween is for the healthy. It's okay, I'm lucky to have those memories that I can bring to mind and re-experience at will. I may be in a different stage of life but that's not a bad thing.

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