Thanksgiving thoughts on Halloween

I think that it sums up a lot of my personal year to say that, on Thanksgiving

  1. I’m just getting mentally caught up to Halloween
  2. At the same time it feels like I have had a more than full year, now, and I’m ready to close the books on 2018

As regards point one, I miss Halloween, or rather I miss being able to enjoy Halloween in much of any way. If you are really active in electoral politics, then it kind of crowds out Halloween.

(Granted, plenty of societies hold general elections at other times of year than our American early November, but since Halloween is still mostly an American holiday as far as I know, this is a meaningful general rule.)

I used to enjoy Halloween rather more, for all that I didn’t really do a whole lot for it as an adult. Living in an apartment one doesn’t have trick-or-treaters, and I have not been invited to a lot of Halloween parties. But I liked the holiday, and the candy, and other trappings. Eight years ago I wrote a whole series of posts on my old blog, and while a content-mill ethic played a part in them, the enthusiasm was mostly still sincere.

Now, Halloween has become really overshadowed by both campaign activities, and by anxiety that judgment draws very close for an effort that has taken up the best part of the whole year.

As a result it’s like I’m peripherally aware of Halloween, but living in a separate world. I see the crazy decorations people set up in their front lawns, but mostly while I am passing by or through them to canvass. I stayed in on Halloween night itself this year, for one last chance to recharge before the election—but I could manage little sense of a festive occasion, dazed and exhausted as I was just like any other evening during the campaign’s closing weeks.

I’m not sure when this will change, either. Since I am just about as invested in local politics as in other levels, odd-numbered years are much the same, even if not really as potentially apocalyptic as national elections feel at this point.

Meanwhile, I post this weeks after Halloween because it has taken this long even to begin feeling caught up from campaign season. Nothing stopped right after the election, exactly; the campaign did but other things have demanded attention with little pause. I appreciate Thanksgiving at this point in life much more than when younger because it is the quietest day of the year, for me personally.

Well-timed, too. Twenty-eighteen has worn me out. I imagine that I will expand on this several weeks from now, in a year-in-review post. But the blur effect of lifestyle political activism intensifies even further. I can identify scenes if I think about it, but the feeling of a year having gone by is completely disoriented. It’s like I crammed 16 months of effort into, say, five months, and now I’m worn out and yet the calendar says that this year still has five weeks to go.

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