Oh, spooky season. How I love thee.
Here we are, it’s two days before Halloween and I…do not have a costume yet.
I’m hosting a small virtual Halloween party on Saturday — complete with a DJ 🙂 — and yet, I am costume-less.
A certain gentleman and I have spent the past week or so trying to come up with an idea, and the best one we have, is dressing like we’re from the 1990’s.
I think I’ve scrolled through probably close to 1000 vintage photos on Google images of 90’s era couples and parties and fashion and whatnot. And while I’ve seen probably enough grunge tee’s, baggy jeans and Doc Martens to last me a lifetime, I have to admit: I find myself longing for those “simpler” days.
A time when the country wasn’t being ripped apart at the seams by an election that has neighbor hating neighbor, fathers against sons, and blanket hostility covering the interactions between strangers.
A time when the worst influence on young people was the MTV’s TRL (Total Request Live), and snacks consisted of Dunkaroos, Gushers and Combos, and people didn’t even know — or care — what “gluten” or GMOs were.
A time when kids played outside, or in the woods. Where cell phones didn’t exist — other than Zack Morris’ brick phone. Where 9/11 was an unthinkable horror, family dinners were a daily norm, and kids were safe to ride their bikes in the neighborhood.
What a time to be alive.
I’ve flipped through my own 90’s photos — my childhood years with birthday parties, Christmas Eve’s, soccer games, and time backstage from my years as a child actor. And again, I find myself wistful to that era of innocence.
A lot of life has been lived between then and now. A lot of joy. A lot of growth — much of which coming from pain, and trials — ulcerative colitis, anorexia, my mom’s stroke. Powerful “teachers” that taught me important lessons, albeit the hard way.
But it’s funny, isn’t it. What the simple act of looking back can do? I mean, I can’t remember the last time I purposefully sought out photos and memories from the 90’s – or from the past. Because, though it may be fun to look back and laugh at the fashions, and maybe get a little nostalgic for the times gone by, it is exactly that: time gone by.
It was good to us then. It taught us lessons. But we should now appropriately put it to rest, in it’s rightful place — not idolized, not trivialized, not disregarded, just respected for what it was.
We are here, in the now.
And though the “highlight reels” we see memorialized can seem idealistic, every time had its challenges and obstacles. Just like today.
Right now, it can feel pretty overwhelming, and frankly, it’s easy to just blanket 2020 as a “dumpster fire.” To just generalize this time during the pandemic as the “lost year” when everything went to pot.
But I think if we were to look closely, we can find some good that came out of this time. Lessons that, we’re literally in the middle of learning the hard way. And it will only be thirty years down the road, when we’ll be looking back and realize all those good times that came out of 2020. (Boy, can you imagine the “2020” Halloween costumes that kids will be doing in 2050?)
I know personally, I’ve strengthened important relationships in my life. New ones have bloomed. I’ve realized the importance of family, and communication. I’ve recognized my own strength to endure adversity. And found a new dependence and reliance on God. Lessons that won’t necessarily make the quick highlight overview of 2020.
But whether it’s 1990 or 2020…what we have is today. We have right now. And if we spend it dwelling on things in the past — things that we cannot change, that we can clench in regret, or cherish in glee — we can miss out on the right now. On the precious gift of today, that is a humongous blessing. Because look around — take an inventory of everything that is good, and beautiful, and full of love and joy, right now. Don’t miss it, by dwelling on the past…or conversely, in worry for the future.
“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself.” Matthew 6:34
Obviously, with the election looming, and with the repercussions of a shut down economy, and a nation trying to recover and move forward, and with rising COVID cases, we can also spend our precious time in anxiety about the days to come. We can waste these present moments in worry, or fear, or crippling toil trying to micromanage things that are out of our control.
God’s plan for our lives is good, and perfect, and perfectly timed. We can trust that. He loves us, and is with us in this moment, and was yesterday, and will be tomorrow. It is our job and joy to take that blessing and simply place our trust in Him. To live our lives in response to His love. In response to His gift of now, and all the immense blessings that we can so often overlook or take for granted.
So. With all that being said…what am I going to do for Halloween? After all this nostalgic thinking, I think I’ve spent enough time in the 90’s. My proverbial clock has struck midnight. I think I’ll just be a pumpkin.
“This is what the Lord says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life.” Ez 37:5
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A big thank you to my foundational sponsor, BetterHelp Online Therapy. I cannot begin to express how beneficial therapy was for my recovery from anorexia. Speak with an online therapist. Or check out content about eating disorders from BetterHelp.
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