Thursday, November 21, 2019

November Survival Guide

A wind and rainstorm whipped through Maine on Halloween night, ushering in the bare and bleak landscape of November. The next couple of weeks brought periods of unseasonably cold temperatures (which I read as "unreasonably cold" temperatures, an accurate description in my opinion). Meanwhile the month chugged on, moving with slow but steady persistence toward my return to work and the holidays, when my children's wants ratchet up to an intensity that's inversely proportional to my ability to meet them, even if I were inclined to indulge their consumerist tendencies.

November vies with March in my world for being the most challenging month to get through, the one I'd most like to escape from into a stone hut perched in the midst of a nice warm, dry, sunny desert. So this year I've taken steps to try to keep from getting sucked into the November gloom. They include:

  • Walking daily, whatever the weather (and making a set of cute fleece skirts to wear on those walks).
  • Making stuff. I used to think I needed to "accomplish" things to stay reasonably content, but really what I think I need is to make things, with my hands, that don't need to be remade again the next day. In addition to the skirts mentioned above, I've got two fun knitting projects going (which I never do; I'm usually a very monogamous knitter).
  • Writing. I've been doing my own version of NANOWRIMO, mining journals for material and typing in at least 1700 words per day (and feeling validated for doing so by Lydia Davis).
  • Managing my time. I've been trying to implement some time management techniques that are supposed to make you feel like you have more time. Jury's still out on whether or not they work.
  • Spending time with friends. I've gone on a couple of lunch dates, gotten together with friends to knit, and had a "Girls' Day Out" with a mother-in-law. I've also gotten together with fellow Maine Master Naturalists for events, gatherings, and meetings.
  • Making art. I've been trying to devote at least a little time each week to nature journaling and/or watercolor painting.
All this does not change the fact that the days are about seventeen minutes long, and it's unreasonably cold, and the holidays and the job are bearing down like a runaway freight train. But, along with a few deep breaths and some mindless couch and TV time, it's making this month a lot easier to take.

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  1. ... and there's always Thanksgiving at the end of slog! (P.S. Breathtaking clouds.)

    1. Haha, I think of Thanksgiving as part of the slog! Peak-slog, if you will.


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