Halloween Hangover

Blog No. 154

It’s a strange thing, what time does to us. I’m not afraid of age. I don’t worry about getting older (outside of the efforts I make to get healthy). I quite enjoy the age I am and, while I’m terrified of being elderly, (I don’t think I’ll be in very good shape by then) I wouldn’t go back to my twenties if I could. I would love to be able to tell 20-year-old Ben to get off his ass, but that’s something different. Time soldiers on even when we aren’t paying attention. In the same way, life changes, but being in the middle of it, it often goes unnoticed (at least for me). The one day, you find yourself handing out Halloween candy, watching old episodes of Venture Bros. and wondering what time you’re going to get up for your day off the next morning. 

Just me? That makes sense. Halloween was always a favourite time of mine. I loved coming up with interesting (and often vague) costumes, dressing up, hitting the town, and celebrating. I don’t do much of any of that anymore. I can’t remember the last time I actually went out at night, and the last few Halloweens were such a disappointment that I couldn’t even be bothered to look for a costume this year. That’s saying something. I’ve had some killer Halloweens. Some were like the scripts from bad 90s college movies. Now, it’s just another night, but now I give strange children candy.

I don’t have any problems giving candy to kids (especially when they are all dressed up). It’s all of two hours of keeping the front door open and the porch light on. Most of the time I watched Netflix and did my best to not eat the candy I was supposed to give away. This year I didn’t even have a parent yell anything at me (which happened last year but I don’t want to talk about it). Still, something felt different. Maybe it was the realization that I wasn’t doing any writing (or haven’t for longer than I care to admit). Maybe it was because I was only participating to the minimum amount (that doesn’t result in me bing a deadbeat or Halloween Scrooge or something). Probably it was that I’m getting older and the appeal of dressing up and going out has lost something.

I’ve noticed other such changes in attitude. Going to bed at a reasonable time is no longer an unrealistic goal. Now I relish those extra times being unconscious (or at least trying). A big weekend is getting some writing done and not forgetting any obligations I’d made. I’d rather listen to a podcast and spend too much time on the internet than go out and do anything. (That may be a sign of becoming a shut-in rather than maturity). I have a book coming out in a matter of weeks (the one with Christian I keep blathering about) and I’m less excited than I’m disheartened. It’s going to be great and I’m really proud of it, but I expect so much more from myself. It took way too long and it’s not even my own thing. I’m happy I did it with Christian, but it feels like a baby step, not a finish line.

I suppose that’s how it’s should feel when you are driven (or drawn to something). I’m already looking to the next thing (which is the thing after the thing after the collection). I know this is just a lull and I’m going to flip my lid when I actually have the book in my hand. Sometimes the old sayings are the best descriptions. I’m having trouble seeing the forest for the trees (because the trees are really big and I’m not doing a good job getting out of the forest. Another Halloween is over and another year is drawing to a close. Time to start getting Christmas presents and get back to writing again (for the umpteenth time).

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