Halloween has been and if I'm honest it's still haunting the shit out of me.
Let me stop for a mo., take a deep breath and check in with my body in space, have a shake and a wiggle, make some sounds, and release any excess energy that's just going to 'clutter' this post with shizz none of us need ;) I invite you to do the same if you're all fired up about Halloween and what its becoming.
This is what's left of Poppits 'trick or treat/guising haul'. What the actual F! I'm furious about how celebrated this amount of sugar is. My mind's in pieces attempting to figure out how as a society this feels ok. I'm basically raging at a lot of things just now, maybe I'm just being ridiculous and 'over the top', or maybe its the peri-menopausal hormones that apparently fuck with your mind and your mood - who knows, and frankly I don't give a shit what the reason is right now, I'm pissed off.
The day following Halloween I went in to return one of the two Halloween outfits that we'd bought which wasn't suitable and buy some tofu and spinach for dinner (yes I know, how organised and nutritious of me!).
I had my tofu, spinach and the costume for return and 5 or 6 of us were queued up in the only open lane. I'd made 'opening another checkout might be good' eyes with the lady behind me and got back to the job of 'surrendering' (my latest craze thanks to the book I'm reading, the Surrender Experiment by Michael Singer). Next thing I knew another lane had opened and the lady behind me (with a full basket) flew over to the opening checkout. I swiftly followed AND felt a rage brewing in me. I looked at the back of her head willing her to do the 'right thing' (that I would do...yes, how noble of me) and let me with my 3 items go ahead of her. She whipped her groceries out of her basket so fast and looked straight ahead. WTAF. How had my life suddenly come down to this one moment in a flipping supermarket queue, where I was standing in my body, full of judgement, rage, expectations and loaded with a sense of entitlement! It took a wee while for me to simmer down. Just thinking about it now still has me feeling a little fired up and self-righteous too (and that was over a week ago...crazy how this shizz lodges itself). I've since been back to the same supermarket twice and on BOTH occasions the person in front of me insisted I go ahead of them as I had fewer items. Life, ain't it funny. Compassion has mounted in me for both myself and the Halloween shopper for the innocence, emotions, hormones, ignorance, rage and all the other colourful bits from that evening. Cute wee combo of human actions and emotions FYI, incase you were wondering; the Tofu and Spinach the dinner was both nutritious and delicious.
The night before Halloween mine was that kid who decided he wanted to dress up and I was that mum changing all our commitments to drive around to 6 shops looking for something to dress up as, because when he realised that 'ordering something online' to appear in the next hour wasn't possible and a homemade Gandalf Costume was just not an option and downright embarrassing to wear something homemade our only option was to go on a search. Anyway the search for the costume, the late night pumpkin carving (thanks mostly to Margot), the late (& nutritious) spinach, brown rice and tofu dinner (yes you're reading this right, the spinach & tofu dinner was a hit, we had it twice in a week) and the dress up plan for the following morning were actually awesome - considering this son of mine has NEVER been interested in dressing up and following the crowd.
The morning of Halloween was FUCKING GLORIOUS!!! Poppit got out of bed easy peasy, got dressed into his HalloWear and co-operated an absolute treat (while downing his Porridge - comprising of overnight soaked oats, pumpkin, chia and sunflower seeds, coconut oil, cooked in hemp seed milk, half a grated apple and a sprinkling of cinnamon and coconut sugar - which I must add he polishes off most mornings (if you don't know me already I trust you're getting the picture of how important nutrition is to me). The exit out of the house and 20min journey to school was DELICIOUS, between navigating country road pot holes and catching cheeky glances of him we got there in good time to walk in with his hand carved pumpkin and a passing pal! I'm strictly banned from going anywhere near the school gates, but NOTHING was keeping me from driving past that morning, A FEAST FOR MY SENSES to see those kids all dressed up and excited let me tell you! The day was off to an delightful start and the injection of love, appreciation and gratitude I was feeling were a great deposit into my happy tank in advance of the frustrations that would mount later that evening.
I wouldn't be seeing Poppit till around 8pm that night - a full day of Halloweening awaiting him. I checked in with school to see if they could give me any goss, but understandably they had important work to do ;). School was putting on some cool activities and a party, he was going to his pals after school to go guising and another pal was collecting him from there to take him for more Haribo hunting!
Thankfully I never went Trick or Treating with him, I'm the ultimate buzz kill at Halloween and Easter, the only place for me is locked up in a dark room with a candle and calm music (which is exactly where I was in fact, at week 2 of mine and Tessa Toots Thrive session - which is unfolding into something utterly gorgeous)
After Thrive I met my pal to collect Poppit, he was as HAPPY AS CAN BE, walloping the crap out of his pal like a 'normal 9yr old' and having the best of boy times, it was gorgeous to see and there was plenty of 'energy & excitement' in the air. I managed to extract him and his 2 ENORMOUS BAGS OF CRACK (Haribo's and the likes) and got him in the car. The day/evening couldn't have been any better, I found myself lost in a total bubble of gratitude, love and joy for us each having entirely different but awesome days/evenings, I love that Poppit was able to get involved and have a great time, I just wasn't fully prepared for what I would need to navigate following the pickup. We set off and Poppits first question came 'can I just have one sweet, I haven't actually had that many'. And in comes RAGE.
We visited the wonderful Tutor Sarah Stevenson of Big Brain Thinkers and dazzled her with Poppits HalloWear, were invited in and offered candy and hard cash!
Onto home and into a bath for Poppit to wind him down and wash off all the HalloPaint and HalloHairSpray. Wish I'd taken a photo of the ring around the bath, that was a sight to behold! Mostly still full of gratitude for the day that had unfolded, I went to bed overthinking the madness of living in a society that celebrates sugar and a 'quick-hit' so much.
For full transparency. Throughout my life I've battled with a sugar addiction. I've used sugar, 'pick-me-ups' and emotional eating as a way to regulate and feel connected to my body. Through this work I've been doing over the years I better understand and have compassion for this cycle I can find myself in. I guess it has much to do with my interest in nutrition and wellbeing. Self compassion all the way, its the only way.
Alongside channelling my big feelings into this blog post I also created a WhatsApp HalloSupport group where myself and a few close friends/mums and a not mum (intentionally included to 'mediate our rage') vented about all that we were feeling. Together with the practical approach of sharing tips for managing Sugar Spikes and not completely taking the fun out of Halloween I was able to get back on track with the job of the day ahead of me! Feeling seen and supported is soooo valuable. To you the reader who finds yourself here, I hope with all my heart you have spaces and places to feel seen and supported with your hopes, dreams, hurts and horrors x
If you need to eat sugar I have these 2 gems to share;
Smart food pairings. When eating a meal ideally eat in order of Vegetables (fibre), Protein & fats (meat, eggs, nuts, seeds, legumes) and then Complex Carbs which convert into sugars (Pasta, rice, bread, potatoes). This will support your system with any sugar spikes along with lining your gut and supporting your mitochondria lessen the impact of the sugar attack.
After you eat sugar do some exercise or weight bearing exercises (squats are good), this helps your body to better process what you've eaten and reduce how much your cells will absorb.
Overall, I'm DELIGHTED that Poppit had an awesome Halloween and even more DELIGHTED that I refuse to buy sweets and stand at my front door dishing them out to passing out to kids too, I know. Toasting some seeds and making some hemp and coconut flour cookies would please me but you know what the locals would do with them don't you.
Thankfully we have GORGEOUS friends who are willing to do the dirty work and take the boy to the streets to collect crack and I work on keeping myself regulated for Poppits return and hopefully keeping the mood magical for his return!
Delighted Poppit and all the other minis out there had such a glorious Halloween AND deviously planning how to cull the collection of candies!
There's a brilliant Facebook post by Brian Fretwell who had sweets and potatoes available at his door this Halloween and how the potatoes were the more favoured option. This made me smile no end and got some serious engagement online and within my community.
A POTENT REMINDER OF THE IMPORTANCE OF INSTEAD GETTING ALL RIGHTEOUS AND DOOM AND GLOOM OF FOCUSSING ON WHAT POSITIVE ACTION CAN BE TAKEN TO DO SOMETHING CONSTRUCTIVE AND NOT GETTING IN THE REALM OF RAGE.
Thanks for tuning in and challenging myself to show up at my front door next Halloween with something 'different' and dare I say 'exciting and thought provoking' for the local minis.
Have a glorious day