Oct 31, 2012

Take the Mask Off

Yes, it's Halloween.

Yes, it's one day before NaNoWriMo.

But that also means we are on the cusp of a time when, as writers, we can lose ourselves in false pretense.

Coming up on the holiday season is a time of happiness and serious stress for me.  I love the chance to get around family, to eat yummy food, to just enjoy life.

It it is probably the time of the year most filled with *expectations*.  

What my neighbor made for her son this year.
The *good* people often make their kids costumes, take homemade goodies to their neighbors, decorate the house inside and out for each holiday...you get the idea.

And it's funny that, on Halloween, I'm talking about taking our mask off.  I like to make some fun goodies, and if they turn out okay I'll probably share, I have no desire to EVER make a homemade Halloween costume for my kids.  I'm really good with giving them $20 and 15 minutes in the aisles at Walmart to create their look each year.

But if I tried to keep up with the Jones' - even the Martha Stewart variety - I would end up with months flying past without writing a word.

My kids are little-ish and I want to have the memories with them - absolutely.  But that is as far as my holiday loyalties lie. I have to remember what I want, how to stay true to myself, my dreams, my goals, my ambitions in the midst of helping them pursue their own.  I have to let myself be free of guilt if I'd rather stay in sometimes than try to find a party or activity to fill every moment.  I have to be okay telling people that my priorities are a little different, that I really want that hour or two to write on my computer and pretend I don't see their raised eyebrows and questioning looks.

It's Halloween - you get today only to wear your disguise.  And then, spend the rest of the year being happy to really truly be you.

How are you preparing yourself to make it through the holiday season as yourself?

14 comments :

Joshua said...

This is the one day that I get to come out of the box. Let off the chain, as it were. Tomorrow, I'll be holed up again.

Julie Luek said...

There can be all kinds of external pressure during the holidays to perform. Deeeeeeep breath-- it's all about the joy with family, building memories and creating an atmosphere of peace and fun at home. Or at least that's what I try to remember!

Michelle Gregory said...

what a great post.

Elizabeth Seckman said...

I'm a costume making failure and NO ONE would ever mistake me for Martha Stewart and none of my kids are ax murderers. I call that success.

M. R. Buttars said...

So true! I've been struggling with this lately with all the demands being made on my energy and time with holiday obligations. Time to be me. I am a neurotic, addicted to my keyboard and computer writer first and foremost.

Jessie Humphries said...

So true Tasha! I was just thinking about why I haven't put as much holiday spirit towards Halloween this year! I was sort of beating myself up that I haven't even made one batch of pumpkin something or other, or found a costume for myself, or even bothered to turn the purple outdoor lights on several times this week. But honestly, I think I need to give myself permission to have less holiday spirit this year. I am sort of consumed with some other passions right now. That sounds dirty. Ohhkay, buh-bye.

J. A. Bennett said...

I made a costume for my son once, it was a pirate and it was really cute and I didn't even have to sow. thank goodness! But I spent much time on it and I ended only saving about $5 so I figured it was worth it to buy costumes from then on out. Plus, you're right, when would I write? Anyway I still like to decorate and it's fun for the kids, but I'm not going to kill myself over anything :)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Smart woman not to attempt those costumes yourself. No kids, so I will be going all day today as me.

Jess Stork said...

Lists. They help me get through the holidays. I always think I can do more than I can. And you're right, writing should come first. This year, I'm just going to focus on sticking my hour of writing in there first, and then do I what I can with what is left over.

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

I try to put away my type A tendencies and sit back and ejoy the time. Every year I get a little better at it.

Kelley Lynn said...

You are so smart. We can wear a mask a long time, but people CAN read what is under that mask, even if we still try to cover it up. We have to make sure we're happy, so we can make others happy.

Donna K. Weaver said...

It is amazing how we can fill our hours with things that, while fun, don't really help us accomplish what we'd like them to.

Shallee said...

This is a good point. I try to remember that I don't have to do all the crafty or cooking things that are so expected around this time of year-- that's not my thing. Like you said, if we're making memories in our own ways, that's what counts.

Nicole said...

It'll definitely be a balancing act through the holidays. ;) But a fun one, none-the-less.