I fondly remember Halloween with my kids. On October 31, we would walk through the neighborhood together as a family, greeting all the other families doing the same. The only question was which street to visit next, and how do we get to that house who gives out those full size candy bars before they run out.
It was also nice to catch up with neighbors during a festive and fun time when we had broken away from our normal routines.
We all have family traditions and memories associated with specific events.
The first time our kids went out Trick-or-Treating without us was an early sign of their independence.
Years later, Halloween might actually be difficult for new Empty Nesters. The sound of the doorbell and the sight of small ghosts and goblins might make us a little melancholy.
At the same time, Halloween’s symbols can be useful for a look at transitions.
The “monsters” of Halloween can represent those big, menacing things that loom large in our life stories.
Sometimes life is progressing magically…everything, from our relationships with our spouses and children, to our finances, is moving along smoothly. Suddenly, along comes something “big and scary” — a transition that will alter our fairy tale-existence, or as Bruce Feiler calls in this New York Times article, a “lifequake.”
Right now, we are all dealing with COVID-19. Everyone on the planet has the same challenge — to stay safe and healthy. But what about YOUR personal transition? Your challenge?
Perhaps your biggest challenge right now is wondering how to fill your time now that you have an Empty Nest. What will you and your spouse discuss on all those long nights together with no kids at home? How involved should you stay in your almost-adult-but-still-needs-your-help-for-so-much college student’s life?
Feiler explores several ways to get unstuck and emerge victorious from the challenges we face.
He writes, “Transitions have three phases. I call them ‘the long goodbye,’ in which you mourn the old you; ‘the messy middle,’ in which you shed habits and create new ones; and ‘the new beginning,’ in which you unveil your fresh self.”
How we learn to master these changes and cope with these transitions—how we move through and get unstuck—is our most essential life skill right now.
Transitions are pervasive and common; they come in every aspect of life.
We must choose to actively, and voluntarily, address these transitions in order to be successful.
Sure, monsters may still enter our stories. But we need to confront them and be the hero in our own story. Our own fairy tale. That eases the frightening, the “big bad” parts of our lives.
Conquering the fear and mastering change takes time and energy. It is about learning and growing.
While my kids aren’t with me this Halloween, I thank you for being here with me.
We all could use a little Life Coaching to help us stay positive and balanced through our life transitions, big and small.
And no one says we can’t still treat ourselves to a Big, Bad Bowl of Halloween candy! Feel free to reach out to tell me if you prefer Snickers or Milky Way, or to schedule a free 30-minute Discovery call.