On several occasions last week, over the weekend and even yesterday, I recall saying, “…just let me get through Halloween,” and then I can breathe and process whatever it is that was being asked of me or that I needed to schedule. Halloween on a Monday, a school-night no less, got me a bit stressed with the last-minute preparations that I had to finish before trick-or-treating (i.e. carving pumpkins with my kids and finalizing costumes). But a few things occurred yesterday, that reminded me to slow down — to try to stay centered and in-the-moment.
One of those things happened, while I was racing around doing my morning errands in the spare two hours I had child-free. I ran into Barnes and Noble, and front and center on a table were stacks of Steve Jobs’ biography staring right at me. It was reminder #1, that I was rushing around like a maniac, as I remembered Steve Jobs’ words (from his 2005 Stanford commencement speech) about living each day as if it were your last. Later on in the afternoon, Alli called to chat and catch up on the weekend’s events. She had told me that trick-or-treating had been postponed for several towns in Massachusetts that evening, due to the power losses and aftermath of the unprecedented nor’easter we had experienced, which had brought anywhere from 1 inch to 2 feet of snow to areas in the state. We didn’t get any snow in our coastal town, so I was somewhat oblivious. Another reminder (#2) that I was living in my own worries, and felt selfish that I hadn’t remembered that many people were dealing with damaged property from fallen trees and had no heat and electricity, while I was frenzied about costume accessories and pumpkins. Silly and selfish. And finally, as I sat in my car in the school pick-up line, I had a few moments to sit and read a few blogs (something that brings me much enjoyment), and again! a Steve Jobs reminder (#3) from Erin Gates, with Mona Simpson’s eulogy (Steve’s sister). After a teary read, and the approaching voices of excited children at the end of a school day, I took that deep breath and continued on, soaking up every bit of the Halloween excitement with my kids.
Our jack-o-lanterns. The girls designed one each, and my son carved out two himself. One of the girls wanted me to carve a bunny, then changed her mind to a dog, and after she saw her sister’s “cat,” decided that she’d have to have a cat too.
My much-more-creative friend made me smile, when she sent over a picture of their pumpkins.
This year was the first “real” trick-or-treating experience for our girls, who are now 4-years old. Last year they had more fun handing out candy at the door and seeing all the kids’ costumes. However, last night, they were thrilled! Their squeals of joy each time they ran up to a new door to ring the bell, and the “Mom! Look what I got!” screams, as they ran back to me at the end of each walkway, brought me such happiness. The kind that makes lasting memories, and not something to “get through,” as I kept trying to wish-away Halloween before it had even occurred.
I re-read Mona Simpson’s eulogy again this morning, and made note of her reference to “threes”: about the “three distinct periods” over the 27 years she knew Steve; about Steve’s final words being “monosyllables, repeated three times.” Even in Steve Jobs’ commencement speech he talks about three stories in his life. And less significant were my 3 signs yesterday, but interesting, huh? Everything happens in 3s.
photos: (1) by Ei3s, (2) by Sheila Igoe of IgoeCreative