Tuesday, November 3, 2009


This is the view out my back door this morning. October has passed--a long, busy, blustery and unruly month. November stretches out ahead of us, full of long nights, short days and fewer obligations. I see my Write On! student for the last time this week. I've two things remaining on my fall chore list. The party decorations are boxed up and stacked in a closet, the garden stripped and potted plants dumped onto the compost pile. Saturday night I get my black belt at the Big Ceremony and Monday we begin a new schedule that will free up 5 hours a week to my benefit.

The blues hit me this time of year. Not enough sunshine, not enough fresh air, not enough exercise in the garden. No crickets or bird songs--everything hibernates or migrates, leaving behind a wasteland full of cold air and silence. I become restless and sad.

I've said yes to too many people and things, bitten off more than I can chew and slacked off on commitments to others and to myself. Guilt breeds inside me and I lay awake late into the night thinking of all I should be doing yet there aren't enough hours to even scrape the surface of it all. I'm letting myself down and I'm letting down people I like and care about. Overwhelmed by all of the lists and reminders, my scatterbrain gets even less attentive and more distracted and it's easier to pick at my cuticles than take a deep breath and focus on a single task.

But I'm trying. In the midst of craziness, I'm committing myself to trying with God's grace and more patience with myself. I'm going to eat apples instead of my kids' Halloween candy. I'm going to keep running 3 miles a week no matter how frickin' cold it gets outside. I'm going to divide those 5 extra hours of free time--3 for me and my own writing pursuits, 2 for others and their requests. I'm going to drink more tea and sit in a quiet room in the evening hours after the kids are tucked into their beds and read, read, read. These things should help slow down my mind and help me accomplish the tasks at hand.

I want to embrace November this year. I'll repeat over and over this word: tranquility. The silence and solitude, the darkness and the stillness can be a good and healthy thing. Tranquility.

***For updates on Attila and her Big Kid click here--he's on the mend, slowly but surely but keep them in your prayers. Thanks.


  1. November is a difficult month, I agree.

    The fall that Grace was born, I started having crying jags every day late in the afternoon. We eventually figured out that I was being affected by the darkening days, so I started turning on lots of lights around 4:00 or thereabouts. Even now, I do it and it makes a huge difference for how I cope with early sunsets. Now, I look at my house as warm and inviting and cozy on dark autumn evenings. I also like to have music in the background -- Bach, the Beatles, Duran Duran, etc.

    As for the busy-ness, I'm just making lists and focusing on one task at a time.

    Hang in there!

  2. I am reading like crazy these days. It's not the weather though--we should hit 82 today. Something in the circadian rhythms of life I suppose.

  3. We are so much on the same page. Life is slowing down a bit and the tendency to hibernate is hitting.

    I feel the need to resist it.

    And yet, I visited the bookstore yesterday and came home with an armful. My newest read? Another Leif Enger novel.

    Did you read Peace Like a River?

    - Julia

  4. I share your dislike and disdain for this time of year for all of the same reasons. At least you keep writing!

  5. Our October looked an awful lot like your description of November. I rather like your strategy for breaking down newly freed hours to meet your needs and add to time allocated for meeting others' as well.

  6. Tranquillity? at this time of year? I dunno. Though stirring fudge does make me kinda tranquil. And wrapping presents.

  7. The shorter days and the holiday shopping ahead give me the blahs...I might have to borrow from your plans (not the 3-mile running thing, though). :)

    BTW, that snake costume is great! Love the fangs.

  8. Deep breath: I'm feeling the need to slow down, just reading this.

  9. Tranquility is important. More than I knew until recently.


  10. Oh I love November and December it's January and February that get to me.

  11. ah, i'm with you. november is HARD. the increasing darkness... (march is hard, too. all that ice.)

    but congratulations again on your black belt, and your fortitude. we're almost a week into it already. bring on december, the white snow, and the lights!

  12. do you have a chalkboard?

    I use that for words of inspiration -

    beautiful view - and I feel the same way btw........I certainly couldn't live in Alaska during the winter months - no sir!

  13. Oh yes! Me too! That is a wonderful idea! This dreary weather has gotten me down in the dumps too.


Spill it, reader.