This weekend has been packed with parties, pumpkins and preparations for the big night itself. It calls to mind our very first Halloween as parents to a toddler, when our little one burst into tears at 6 p.m. on Halloween night, too overwhelmed with excitement to even venture out to trick or treat. Hopefully, tonight will go a bit more smoothly.
This annual ritual highlights one of the great life skills that is so challenging to master: preparing for a big event without becoming overwhelmed by the anticipation. I'm prone to lying in bed at night with a to-do list running through my head, or silently rehearsing the speech I plan to give, unable to sleep because of an upcoming event. Our middle daughter clearly inherited this tendency. At night she will call down the stairs with questions like,
"Mommy, did you remember to turn off the oven?"
"Dad, are we going to soccer practice tomorrow?"
"Mom, did you put my homework in my backpack?"
As an entrepreneur, this tension around monumental-seeming events or presentation is heightened even more. After all, everything is resting on my shoulders. There's no corporate headquarters backing me up, or co-workers that I can volley with to prepare and ease the tension. It's all up to me.
Tonight I will trick or treat as an angel, complete with silver wings and a fluffy white halo. I'll enjoy the spooky decorations in my neighborhood and the delight on my children's faces at the piles of candy they'll collect. But a part of me will also be on red alert, watching for signs of an imminent meltdown or indicators that it's time to end on a high note and go home with our stash.