By Molly Butler

Lately, in my free time, being the fun, lighthearted person I am, I have been reading about narcissistic abuse, disaster fatigue and apocalypticism.

Perfectly frightening topics to prepare for this Halloween season! While the topics vary, the theme is the same: what happens to humanity when we live in and believe in the extremes? It’s not pretty.

After a night of trick-or-treating, my siblings and I would sit on the carpet, tallying up our hoard. Then, we’d sit, trading carefully, with that life-or-death intensity of a child with candy, one sideways eye always watching for thievery. “That’s mine!” “You can’t have that!” I was willing to give up some Twizzlers for a Kit-Kat, but if you think you’re getting my Snickers, you’re out of your mind. We’d settle up and stash our candy in our separate hiding places.

At a meeting this week we talked about polarities. An example could be Self-esteem and Humility. A healthy dose of self-esteem means one is confident, has a sense of self-worth. But too much self-esteem drags you down in grandiosity, narcissism. Healthy humility looks like being able to think of others, not needing all eyes on you, but at the negative extreme, it turns into self-deprecation, even depression. Roy M. Oswald wrote, “Problems can be solved; conflicts can be resolved; but polarities can only be managed.” The goal is to manage this polarity well enough that we stay on the positive side: confident in ourselves yet holding room to care for others. There are countless other polarities in our lives.

Within each of us is the worst of us. Within each of us, the best of humanity.

A few weeks after Halloween, supplies would start to run out. We were picking through the last reject candies in our piles, the chocolate and Sour Patch long gone, just gumballs and chalky pieces left. “I’m all out,” one of us would finally say. “Here, you can have some of mine.”

We live in a polarizing world. The internet, even America itself, is a land of extremes. Sometimes, when you see the world like that, it’s easy to feel like you must go all-in on one side just to fit in and survive. But you don’t. Within each of us is the worst of us. Within each of us, the best of humanity.

Have a wonderful weekend of tricking and treating, feasting and fasting, giving and taking. Have fun, have balance.

Friday

We’ve got trick-or-treating all over town! Dress up and head to Old Main Village from 2-5 p.m. for trick-or-treaters of all ages. Masks are required; call 507-388-4200 for more info. StoreIt of Mankato will host their 2nd annual SPOOK-TACULAR event this Friday from 2-7 p.m. This event is FREE and open to the public, with treats and giveaways in their indoor, climate-controlled facility. Enjoy trick-or-treating comfortably indoors and check out all the awesome decorations. StoreIt will be accepting donations for the Salvation Army’s Bundle Me Warm coat drive, so bring some of your winter gear you’re ready to donate! Snell Motors will host a Trunk or Treat in their showroom from 2-7 p.m. Enjoy face-painting, candy and more at this FREE event.

You can burn off some of those sugar rush jitters with the Les Mills Launch: Monster Mash! Wear a Halloween costume to this Spooktacular workout, taking place from 4:30-6:45 p.m. This event is FREE and open to the public. Classes will take place at the Aerobics Studio at the YMCA in Mankato.

The 410 Project’s annual Halloween Exhibition will be open for viewing from 2-6 p.m., plus they’ll have an Opening Reception from 7-9 p.m. this Friday. Check out all the spooky submissions from various local artists. Then, the Merely Players Community Theatre will put on your favorite Halloween classic, The Rocky Horror Picture Show starting at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are available here; this production is not recommended for children. Finally, swing by the Wine Café from 8-11 p.m. for their Silver Summer Halloween Show, costumes recommended!

Saturday

Head to Old Town Mankato from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. for Day of the Dead. This FREE family cultural event will include the Mariachi Estelar Mariachi Band, Zamora Folklore Dancers and Aztec Dancers. Enjoy authentic and local food trucks, a makers’ market, free activities and treats for families. Dave’s River Valley Harley-Davidson’s Halloween Event is on, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at their Mankato location. Come in costume and enjoy food and drink and the announcement of the winner of the candy-filled H-D Saddlebag.

The 410 Project’s Annual Halloween Exhibition will be open 2-6 p.m. The Mankato YMCA will host a Youth Social Spooktacular from 7-9:30 p.m. Open to grades 3-6, fill out a permission slip to enjoy games, crafts, swimming, snacks, music and more!

The Mankato Makerspace will host their 3rd Annual Halloween Party from 7-11 p.m. There will be three bands with live karaoke between sets. Best karaoke and best costume will be awarded at the end of the night. Grab your Ghoul friends and head to Mettlers for Witch, Please, a Halloween Drag Show hosted by Wanda Gag and Ava Cado. Doors open at 6 p.m. and the show starts at 7 p.m. Come in costume to enter the costume contest! Kick-off your Halloween pub crawl at Pub 500 and enter their Halloween Costume Contest! Enjoy delicious spooky drinks and try to win one of the costume contest’s bar tab prizes!

Sunday

Happy Halloween! Trunk or Treat at the North Mankato Taylor Library from 4-6 p.m. Join in the candy, games and fun! The Good Time Gals will be at the Nakato Patio Halloween Happy Hour from 4-6 p.m. There’s no cover charge, and costumes are welcome! Then swing by the Wine Café from 4-7 p.m. for another Art Pop-up on the patio. Enjoy art, music and cocktails: all the good stuff.

Bonus: Journaling

One of the best ways to maintain balance in our lives is to have a healthy mindfulness practice. Many of us don’t feel we have the time, focus, or need for meditation. To be honest, I struggle with the focus needed to meditate, and that makes maintaining a mindfulness practice difficult. I’ve found journaling to be an efficient and rewarding way to work through stressors, let go, set goals and have direction. Taking a few moments to journal about my everyday life helps put things in perspective and keeps me mindful. Check out How Journaling Can Help You in Hard Times and see if it would be a beneficial practice for you.

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Weekend High Notes is a regular feature by Molly Butler. Molly covers weekend events, live music, and culture in the Greater Mankato Area. Suggestions are welcome using the MankatoLIFE contact form.

Author


  • is a writer, gardener, and animal lover. She returned to the Mankato area after completing her MFA in Creative Writing at Hamline University.