Given the current economic state of most of the people I know and the fragile condition our nearing-shut-down-for-good government, I would have supposed that Halloween spending would show significant declines, but that is not the case. As 2012 revealed, our American culture seems to be quite attached to the macabre.
Wake Forest University English Professor Eric Wilson says it is more than just an interest in the macabre, however. He writes in his book Everybody Loves a Good Train Wreck, that the tougher the times, the more our desire to escape and seek to become somebody else. Halloween presents one of the most socially acceptable times to do just that.
When we put on a costume, a part of us at least, becomes somebody else. And we are more than willing to spend time and even money that is not so easy to come by on that opportunity.
According to phys.org, last year’s National Retail Federation Survey showed 170 million Americans planned to spend a whopping $8 billion dollars on their Halloween celebration. It will be interesting to see if we surpass that this year.
As someone who has spend many years in the mental health field, I am not focusing on the economic and marketing aspects of these findings, but more on the need that so many of us have to escape from our lives.
What is it, that we are failing to do for ourselves, in our own skin, that makes us look so longingly toward being someone else, even if it is only for one night out of the year? Are that many of us truly that unsatisfied with our own lives? These thoughts frighten me much more than Freddie Kruger or Mike Myers.
I wonder how many of us actually find the time to do at least one thing that we love to do every day. Before I began writing on more of a full-time basis, I was one of those people who would go through every day doing basically what needed to get done with little or no time for to do what I enjoyed doing or what nurtured myself.
Even if I managed to make it to the gym or walk for my health, it was crammed into my day in such a way that it became another thing I needed to make sure I did, rather than something I enjoyed or took the time to fully experience and take in.
And I wonder, how many of us are caught in that trap without carving out a 20-minute segment of time to just melt into ourselves. Speaking of carving, I bet we all have our pumpkins carved for this Thursday!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Judy is a licensed clinical social worker and has worked extensively as a counselor with children, adolescents, couples and families. Judy’s professional experience in the mental health field along with her love of writing, provide insight into real-life experiences and relationships. Her fresh voice and down-to-earth approach to living a happier, more meaningful life are easy to understand and just as easy to start implementing right away for positive results!