I love October. The leaves have begun to turn, the aspen groves lighting up the mountainside like gold. Football games and tailgates bring people together. And it is finally cool enough to snuggle into that favorite sweater again. Best of all though, is Halloween. It is a night when we can be anyone. A costume gives us the liberating gift of anonymity. We put on a mask and suddenly we have not only lost our crippling stage fright, we have become karaoke rock stars. Every October 31st, a little magic, both dark and light, is brought into the world.
But there are those who would tell me I am too old to play dress up. To them, I say pish-posh! Our parents cautioned us, and we caution our own children, not to grow up too fast, and yet we forget our own good advice. We get busy with our jobs and our families and our responsibilities. We have spent so much time creating the 'adult' version of ourselves which binds us. What if we look foolish? What if our costume isn't clever enough? What if we are seen with less respect without a suit and tie?
What does it matter?
To get the most out of life, one must participate - it is not a spectator sport. I remember in high school, there was a group of students who wore yellow instead of the school colors during Spirit Week. It was meant to be a protest against the conforming lemmings they were forced to walk the halls with every day, but I never really understood it. And I can't help but wonder what they feel and remember when they look back on those years. I wasn't popular by any means, but I danced at prom, I cheered at football games, and I dressed up for every theme during the week leading up to homecoming.
When I look back, my memories are positive. I remember the friends I made, and how much fun we had. Can those kids who wore yellow say the same? Or do they open up their yearbooks and see pages full of missed opportunities?
This is why I love Halloween. Break out the glitter and face paint. Put on your scariest mask. Trick or treat with your kids (also in costume, of course!). For one night of the year, take a night off from being a 'grown-up', because you will have every other day for the rest of your life to be one of those.