I have come to regard November as the older, harder man’s October. I appreciate the early darkness and cooler temperatures. It puts my mind in a different place than October. It is a month for a quieter, slightly more subdued celebration of summer’s death as winter tightens its grip.
October has put away her paints. Those colorful, Autumn mums and the carved jack-o-lanterns are in the compost pile. Halloween costumes are back in storage. The frost is literally on the proverbial pumpkin. It’s November. The end of November, specifically, with Thanksgiving just a few days away. Pumpkin spice is giving way to peppermint and pine.
It’s the month of thankfulness and the season where many of us look back and assess the previous year. Were there blessings? For sure. Were there difficulties and challenges. Of course. Missed opportunities? Probably. Which do you focus on when looking back?
I look back at years a bit differently now than before. Next week we will be five years out from Entrepreneur’s initial diagnosis of renal cell cancer. Five years is the average life span on renal cell patients. I say this not to be a downer, but as a statement of hope. He’s still here and kickin’…because he’s always been an overachiever. He’s survived the nephrectomy, brain surgery, radiation, Bell’s Palsy and chemo. And, he’s now on monthly immunotherapy infusions and showing no signs of slowing down.
November has always been my month for reflection but this year, November held lots of distractions, mainly with Cabo’s emergency surgery and other issues. Once December hits, the craziness of the holidayz never seem to leave time for a lot of introspection. Since my shopping is almost completely finished, I hope to calm my soul and spend quality time with my thoughts during the Advent season.
November usually does push my mind to a different place. A place that can be both calming and terrifying. November seems to require a lot of effort to focus on what to keep and what needs to be stripped out of the thought process. It requires time spent with only myself….time that doesn’t usually happen easily.
And now, as the line separating Autumn and Winter begins to fray, my goal is to stop multitasking and get back to some sort of clarity and focus about life. I need to reclaim joy. I need to nurture my Muse. I need to let go of the ships that have already sailed and be prepared to meet new arrivals.