Once Upon a November

This is my second year to not do NaBloPoMo. I'd done it for maybe a decade before that, never creating anything worth reading but reliably and consistently producing post after post of content each November.

I love November - it's my birthday month and the weather is most conducive - plenty of cool, breezy days, maybe a few non-threatening rainstorms mixed in. But there can be some warmth and sunshine now and again. 

It's Thanksgiving week. We're at the beach, meeting the in-laws and so the girls can have some nice relaxation time. I have worked from here - the remote work is fine but the set up in the extra bedroom of the beach house has really jacked up my back. And I am feeling all kinds of guilt about not being in the office, although I'm plenty productive and doing the things asked of me.

A lot of things about going back to work are startling to me -- both the things I'm learning about myself and the things I'm realizing about other people -- as professionals and just people in general. I know who I am and what matters, my girls, Shawn, my family, and so I've made the right calls of prioritizing time with them over what might feel "right" for the job, and it's good to make that choice and prioritization even through the discomfort.

I also deserve rest of my own. Even though I've "only" been working full-time for a few months. Even though I should be able to handle it all -- the mothering, the professionalism, the juggling of calendars and wanting to be in two places at the same time.

In my writers group, where I'm not writing much at all, someone mentioned a three-item daily gratitude list as a way to keep yourself writing. Yes, gratitude and thankfulness are important, especially as we head to Thanksgiving and the end of the year. I want to infuse my life with thanksgiving. To be truly satisfied. I'm not so much experiencing that, at least in part because of my tendency to see the bad, what's not working, the glaring obvious inefficiencies that then grate at me and worry me, giving me no peace.

So perhaps a three-item gratitude list wouldn't be the worst thing. But I haven't brought myself to do it even once really. My three things are Shawn, Jane and Livia. I'd like to be my best self for them, and that means not being great or perfect at anything. Muddling through where I can. Remembering what really matters and who I really am.

I haven't taken the time to write about it, to journal, to anything. And I process a lot of things through writing. Email drafts are too long. Emotions get wrung out in scribbled pages. Type type type type here on this blog. None of that has been happening (although a few emails -- I'm getting better at writing and deleting them at least). So there's some feeling adrift without the writing. 

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