The Month That Was

November 2021 Reflections

Hello December! How are we already here? A year that has felt like seventeen years and yet gone by in a flash. I can’t say I’m disappointed about December. I am not. I am keen for work to wind down and for some time off to think and rest and reinvigorate. But before dancing through December, it’s time to look back at November. I had grand plans for November. Plans to read, write, recuperate and get back to life. But my body and mind had other ideas and November didn’t particularly go to plan.

What I wrote in November 2021

NaNoWriMo was a bust in November but I did manage about 9000 words across some short stories and essays. Not my best form but better than no words, I suppose. I did write some poetry – Magic – and nonfiction – Darkened Windows – here on the blog as well so I guess it’s not all doom and gloom.

What I read in November 2021

In November I read 5 books – another slowish month but I’m trying to be okay with that. My 5-star reads were The Mother Wound by Amani Haydar and How Decent Folk Behave by Maxine Beneba Clarke. Both reviews are yet to come. The Parted Earth by Anjali Enjeti was a pretty good read while Love and Virtue by Diana Reid didn’t meet my expectations but wasn’t awful either. I also finally finished The Funny Thing about Norman Foreman and it didn’t hit the mark for me unfortunately despite the lovely storyline. I am currently in the middle of two books, both really good, that I’d hoped to have finished in November but it looks like they’ll carry on to my December list.

On the blog in November 2021

I feel like the blog has become a space for the occasional creative output, the usual gratitude posts, and the monthly reflection post. I am going to think about how to use this space in 2022. I still want to write and connect but I also want it to be a way to enhance my writing skills.

What I watched in November 2021

I finished Season 2 of Ted Lasso and loved, loved, loved the character arcs in this one. I liked that it went deeper and tackled some heavier themes and the growth of some characters was incredible. Roy Keane will always have my heart though! Other than this, I’ve been watching Law and Order SVU and I’m on season 11.

What I listened to in November 2021

I didn’t listen to podcasts much this month but stuck with music. Listening to familiar playlists and throwbacks to Keane {thanks to Ted Lasso}, My Chemical Romance, Karnivool and Dean Lewis occasionally was good. I also listened to the newest release by Maybeshewill – their album No Feeling is Final was brilliant and I listened to it on repeat a few times.

Health in November 2021

Both my physical and mental health were not that great this month. The month began with me being unwell, carried over from October, and all linked to my anxiety which early in the month was kind of out of control. Thankfully, it’s a lot more manageable now after I’ve forced myself to slow down, use some good coping strategies and engage in what I need to engage in.

Life in November 2021

With restrictions easing further this month for the unvaccinated, I felt the pressure to do stuff. But it also made me anxious to the point of spiralling and almost feeling paralysed. But with therapy and some action plans, I’m slowly moving forward. November was busy with work – both my full time job where we rolled out some major changes, and surprisingly getting a couple of my own referrals for my own private practice. I also went to the gym four times a week, caught up with friends for drinks, brunch, lunch and a brewery crawl, and also had a weekend away with some girlfriends. I saw a friend’s baby for the first time when he’s almost a year old. I slept a lot, struggled to wake up and write in the mornings. I cuddled my cats, tried to read, watched TV and listened to music. I attended a writing workshop which was good for the soul but also validating in many ways. Throughout November, I noticed the overwhelm that rose constantly in me and the self-critical voice that told me I was no good at my job or writing or life. But I have figured a way to manage it and to continue on.

Highlight of November 2021

Getting a couple of my own referrals in private practice and receiving validation from one of them after the second session.

Lowlight of November 2021

My anxiety has not been fun and a definite lowlight as it got in the way of my writing and work as well for a while.

Lessons from November 2021

Slowing down is essential. Things take time and nothing happens overnight. Just because the world is moving at a fast pace doesn’t mean I have to as well.

So yeah, November was a rollercoaster. Bring on December! I’m hoping things start to wind down with work and I can start thinking about the year ahead and how I want to approach that. There is still uncertainty about a lot of things but I have dared to hope and have booked tickets for gigs in 2022 and also a getaway in March to South Australia. Will it happen? Time will tell.

How was November for you?

Do share!

***Linking with Natalie for Weekend Coffee Share***

Until next time,

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  • Susanne
    4 December 2021 at 9:11 pm

    Anxiety can be so debilitating and disrupting. I’ve had a similar experience to yours, it started in the summer and went on into the autumn and got worse when I disrupted my sleep with the night-time singing course (still don’t regret attending it though). I’ve also had a lot of physical problems that I could link to anxiety, after the course ended I’ve been taking it very easy and now I haven’t had any of it for a long time and I feel like my usual self again so I’m very thankful for that. I hope your December and the start of the new year will be a lot better for you.

  • Natalie
    5 December 2021 at 11:06 am

    Sanch, You’ve got a lot done in spite of a challenging November health-wise. I hope you’re feeling better and December meets or exceeds your expectations. Thank you for linking up with #weekendcoffeeshare.
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