I’ve been putting in a lot of ten-hour days recently, which means I’ve been quite productive, but also very, very tired. I’m not quite at Bilbo’s “butter scraped over too much bread” levels of exhaustion, but I’m certainly “burning twice as brightly.”
Come for the magical mutterings, stay for the nerd quotes.
I think I’ve spoken before about how Halloween is my favorite holiday, and this is true for pretty much my entire immediate family. It’s partly a magic thing, partly a goth thing, but also there’s something just inherently joyous about dressing up however you want and getting free candy.
What I don’t think I’ve talked about is how much the rest of the holiday season not only isn’t my bag, but I kind of dread it.
Thanksgiving, in particular, inspires a special sort of loathing within me. I like the food, and the fact that it’s the only day where it’s socially acceptable to eat so much that you fall unconscious in front of the television later. Beyond that, though, it’s just too full of bad memories.
Every family has its pitfalls, but for mine the most challenging pitfalls all seem to strike around this time of year. Last year, for instance, my father was diagnosed with bladder cancer. He was treated, and ultimately recovered completely, but at the time things were beyond stressful.
This year? He went in for a hernia operation the day before Thanksgiving. Things seem to have gone well, but he’s had a rough couple of days trying to recover.
These are just the two most recent examples of how Thanksgiving has sucked for my family. My mother passed away around this time of year. Two years before that, our power went out for twenty-six hours over the holiday and totally destroyed all of the food and fixings in the fridge.
The hits roll on and on, making November the least favorite month in our house. That’s probably why I tend to spend a ridiculous amount of money on Christmas presents. After all, what is Christmas but the one-month anniversary of Thanksgiving fucking off?
It’s a shame, really, because November tends to have some pretty nice weather. Temperatures are cool enough during the day that I can wear my comfy black hoodie most of the time, and at night I get to curl up in all of the blankets. Any time you can spend the first hour of the day cozy in a warm bed, letting your eyes explore the frost on the window is a good one in my book.
I guess “conflicted” is the word to use here, at least as far as how I feel about this whole month.
Where was I even going with this post? I’ve been making excellent progress on a number of projects, but can’t really talk about them yet.
Other than that, though, everything’s still a work in progress—either being actively under construction, waiting for things to settle into place.
That’s probably the best description of how this and the next couple of months are going to be around here. We’re doing what we can, preparing for the long winter, and making plans for the spring.
When you think about it, isn’t that what we’ve all done, pretty much forever, around this time of year? The productive days of summer are behind us, the last work of the harvest is wrapping up, and all of our efforts are focused on settling in (and surviving) the winter.
And while my family does have a kind of shitty history with regards to this time of year, I’m honestly feeling rather optimistic. Despite the expected challenges surrounding my father’s surgery, the various other challenges I’ve written about in recent weeks, and still more challenges which I’m not at liberty to write about because they’re not entirely my own, I feel like corners are being turned and roads are opening up.
That said, I’ll feel a lot more at ease once winter has come and gone.
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