Happy Halloween! Today, instead of feverishly assembling a quirky costume, I’m pondering something a little different.
What would it look like to prepare for death on Halloween, in keeping with the holiday’s historical roots (read more)?
Hang with me.
I will admit: the thought first crossed my mind this morning as I puked in an airport bathroom. Thanks, food poisoning. Yay, vacation!
And still, I don’t write this in a spirit of despair, even if it is more serious than my typical fare.
Here are a few things I would like to add to my Halloween traditions,* from surface to deep dive:
Surface—settle debts. Pay off your credit cards. PayPal your team captain for those tournament fees. They haven’t actually forgotten.
Surface—clear away clutter. Imagine someone needed to clean out your house. Do you really need four pairs of black heels? Donate that extra set of children’s classics and toss that dusty box of DVDs. Two words: Christmas. Sweaters.
Deep—reflect on loved ones lost. Take time to remember the funny thing grandpa said last Thanksgiving or what your friend’s mom used to make for birthdays.
Deeper—restore/rebuild/reinforce relationships. Tell your mom thank you for the sacrifices she made. Make amends where needed. Reach out to that friend you haven’t heard from in a while.
Deepest—do some soul-searching. Whether spiritual or not, examine how your life reflects your values today and how to close those gaps.
I’m all for the candy and adorable costumes, don’t get me wrong, but I also think there’s a lot to be gained from occasionally paying attention to our mortality… something beyond the dozen-and-one identical country songs.
*Things NOT on my list: puking in airport bathrooms. May that be a once-in-a-lifetime joy. Please and thank you, amen.