Halloween started for me yesterday morning when I took a break at work to use the bathroom. On the way, I learned that the office hosted a pumpkin-carving contest. People were huddled around a few tables where the submissions sat on display. My first reaction was – “Oh, these people are in my way to the bathroom” – so I walked the group of cubicles and made my way to the bathroom another way.
Later in the day (on my way to the bathroom again), I walked by and really looked at the pumpkins. I chatted with coworker also admiring the art. Wow. There was a miniature Death Star, a larger pumpkin head eating a smaller one, and a pumpkin sitting on a toilet, reading the company health care benefits information, with its guts on a plate underneath it as excrement. Pretty darn creative.
I said – “I hope we’re using these people’s creativity at work somehow.” Then I thought – “I’m not sure if I’m jealous of these people that they have the time to do this or that I’m happy that I’m so busy that I don’t have the time to do this stuff.” Sadly I didn’t even take the time to walk back to my office to grab my iPhone to snap a picture of all of them. By the time I went back a third time in the day, most of the pumpkins were gone – people left early to enjoy family time. I think the answer is both.
I too left work early to meet my family and friends at the Downtown Davis Treat-or-Treat festival. All of the local shops host trick-or-treating in the afternoon. Kids and families everywhere. It. Was. So. Cool. Dads like me dressed in their work clothes with mothers and children parading around in their costumes. Remember spending weeks thinking and talking about your costume? “I’m going to be Spiderman” and “I’m going to be Harry Potter.”
In the evening, I walked the neighborhood with my son. I watched the families parading about the street trick-or-treating. Homes were well-lit to signal that there’s candy and joy to be had. I watched an old man sitting in his house watch me. He thought my son and I were trick-or-treaters so he stood up to prepare for the pending visit that never came. A young mother with her son sat stood outside of her house. We exchanged pleasantries about the Downtown Davis Trick-or-Treat festival and how wonderful of an idea it was.
Around the corner, two guys sat in lawn chair with their dog simply chatting. I walk by that house almost every night with my son and they are never outside. But it was Halloween. It was an excuse to act differently. Halloween was a special day for everyone for no other reason than we all decided that it would be a special day. A day to celebrate. A day to be creative. A day to make different. A day to break from our routine. We should do this more often.