The month of November is a difficult month for me. It has nothing to do with daylight savings time, and nothing to do with colder weather, and only partially due to election stress. I had a still-born daughter on November 3, 1999, and that means that this year, our daughter Ruthie would have turned 21.
I used to love the month of November. The smell of longing and autumn; cold nights, crisp mornings and fair days; the leaves off the trees, stark against the sky, with the long-abandoned bird’s nest showing here or there; football season; clouds, and rain, and sometimes snow.
Obviously, my love of Autumn has been soured by my loss. Adding to my melancholy, this year has been so dry, that the leaves didn’t change colors much — they just turned brown and shriveled up — and they didn’t even have the decency to fall off most trees yet. It’s not a pretty sight.
I must admit that part of my depression is due to my ongoing fear and frustration over divisive politics, and the ridiculous, never-gonna-end election cycle — I have been getting on my phone in the morning and playing games until evening. Though this escapism is working as far as me not crying in a fetal position under my bed while awake, it’s wreaking havoc on anything remotely resembling productive activity — finished meals or folded laundry. Or, writing a novel.
On a brighter note, I do have a focus — an activity that keeps my mind off the stress and sorrow of November. For the past six years I have also participated in National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). I have completed four of those six novel attempts, and have decided to try again this year. While there are people (and books on how to) write thousands of words per day, I am already getting a bit behind today, on the third day of the month. But, I’m going to focus, and get this thing done.
This is all to say that the next seven blogs from me will be either short, be listicles or be short listicles or just two sentences. Okay, okay, I’ll do better than that, but I’m trying to lower expectations here. So, with apologies to all five of you loyal readers, … and, I thank you in advance for your patience and understanding.