Oh, November. You were a trying sort of month, in that NaNoWriMo hell sort of way. Remember when I wrote that post about how, by now, December 1st, I will have 50,000 awfully positioned words and a fancy online badge made up of a variety of pixels to validate my effort?
Yeah… that didn’t really happen.
Fortunately, this is a failure that I think that I will be able to live with. I have written 17,637 words in one month – more than I have in the entirety of the past year (for pleasure), and that is a huge achievement for me. I’m still hoping to finish this story — wherever it is taking me, since I clearly have no idea — before 2014. Or at least before I go back to work after our university-enforced break on January 6th. I think that having 2 weeks off will provide enough incentive to write like a motherfucker as well as knit like one.
(Here’s an essay on 10 Things I Learned from Knitting by Ann Hood, which I read and connected with on a very deep level, even though I don’t knit through my grief. Instead, I tend to knit through my stress, which is probably why I didn’t finish Nano this year, the first year that I legitimately tried; because I was busy knitting my worries into scarves.)
I was doing all of this knitting and writing-a-novel stuff after I had started a “new” job at my old workplace. I’m finally doing what I love (as opposed to.. uh.. well, maybe it’s too early to talk about my feelings about my first “real job”), and that is making me happy, even if it is temporary.
Thankfully, this month is also when my grandfather got out of the hospital after his triple bypass.
I’m hoping December 2013 will be the month of finally appreciating what I have. Sure, I’m super-stressed about money and losing 2 weeks of pay (when it takes 2 weeks of work to pay for my rent); sure, a lot of people are drifting away, never to be heard from again, and I am taking a lot of offense at it, privately fuming about being forgotten; but I am going to make December the month of appreciation.
Appreciation for all the things I have and am working for, slowly.
Appreciation for my incredible partner, who recently won a professor-nominated award and is killing himself to do well in his program so he can start his life as best as possible once he graduates.
Appreciation for my dog, who made this year one of the most joyful, encouraging, and satisfying of my life.
Appreciation for my family, whom I am starting to appreciate after being unable to see them and talk to them every day.
Appreciation for my gifts, for talents, for my work ethic, and for the future.
November is always depressing for me. Nothing goes right. I slip into a depression every fucking year and it is incredibly hard to shake; this year, even more so. But strangely, this year I find myself getting into the Christmas spirit very intensely, despite not really having cared about Christmas before. All I can think about when I think about Christmas is drinking hot chocolate with my sister while we sit on 2 couches in front of our fireplace at home and play Sims simultaneously on two different computers. All I can think about is going to find a tree and listening to my dad’s jazz tracks while we decorate and squabble about where everything goes. All I can think about is going skating with the boy who is the clumsiest yet cutest skater in the world.
Especially now that it seems like we might get a white Christmas, I am excited for tobogganing and watching movies and playing Just Dance and going for long walks in the park with Rumi. These thoughts will get me through the next few weeks of work.
These thoughts will also catapult me into 2014, which will be the 1-year anniversary of my graduation from university, my honey’s and my 6-year anniversary, and my 1-year anniversary of adopting the most wonderful little piglet of a dog into my life. Despite how seriously old this sounds, I’m hoping it will be a year of travel, of finding short cuts in new neighbourhoods, of better pay, of meeting new friends, of focusing on writing, knitting, and photography, and of going where I feel I need to be.
I know it’s just the beginning of December, but there is just something about this month that makes me reflect on everything, and the fact that it is lifting the heavy veil of depression off me isn’t a bad attribute either.