November is here. Time to pause before the cheer?

white scrabble tiles on the wooden table

Here we are. The start of November.

I don’t know about you but each time I think of November, I think of it as a temporary pit stop while we hurtle our way to the end of one year and the start of another.

Look at it any way you like, but November isn’t a particularly spectacular month in my country or this region of the world.

It’s more like the month one endures before the cheer of the year-end Yuletide season arrives as December descends.

And then the promise of spring as the new gregorian calendar flips its pages back to arguably its most famous child, January.

In temperate regions like Northern America and Europe, November is typically the last full month of the fall (autumn) before winter sets in. Here in the equatorial tropics, however, the weather stays pretty much the same all year round.

So November feels like just another month.

Now November may be notable for All Saints Day (today) and Thanksgiving (on its third Thursday). But these are big deals only if you’re a staunch Roman Catholic or a true blue American. I’m neither. And neither are most of my countryfolk here, nor most of my neighbors in Asia.

So the question is…

…what’s the point of a pit stop month like November?

people changing tires in the pit
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I guess that, just as a Formula 1 Pitstop allows for refueling and recharging for F1 drivers, November is that month for us to pause and take stock before the year-end rush overwhelms us.

At least that’s what I will be trying to do for this the last short month of the calendar.

Might be tricky though, since my part-time teaching contract started two weeks ago and November is usually when things start to ramp up, including assignments and all manner of student issues. Like students playing truant. Missing deadlines. Piling on me endless questions. And every teacher’s favorite thing — marking!

And the list goes on.

Never mind. These teaching experiences shall be fodder for another day’s musing.

For now, I want to take a closer look at what November this year could hold for me.

I can think of three things, each a first for me.

1. My 1st memoir project — go or no-go?

book opened on white surface selective focus photography
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I’ve been talking about my book in past posts, though here I best make it clear again in case I’m misquoted.

It’s still merely a vomit of a manuscript. Since 2020 until now.

Despite a few rewrites by yours truly this past year, it’s still in my opinion nowhere close to being publishable.

However, I had the great blessing of bypassing the usual rigmarole of cold-calling or writing to potential publishers unsolicited. Instead, I met up with not one but three different publishers through the kindness of mutual contacts. All within the span of the last four months.

Each gave me the assurance they were prepared to give me my “day in court” as they take my manuscrip apart and decide if my writing can see the light of day.

Some time end of this month maybe, I might start to hear from at least one of them (*fingers firmly knotted, oops, I mean crossed*)

Which may or may not break my resolve to see this project through!

And while waiting, I too might need to wrestle with God as to whether I even know why I wanna publish.

2. My 1st overseas vacay since Covid — how to “rule ’em all” ?

brown and orange house with outdoor plants
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On a lighter note, we’re looking forward to our first overseas family vacation since the pandemic.

Yes, we’re going to visit the North Island of New Zealand next month – our first trip to the land of the Hobbits! There’s growing excitement in the air at home, but also a bit of trepidation. At least for my wife and me.

Still the family’s best tour operator bar none, my wife’s been an absolute dynamo with the preparation. Locking in all the dates, bookings, sights to check out, etc. Basically pinning down the itinerary par excellence. If every household had one of her, travel agents can shutter for good!

While I do chip in with securing peripherals like entry permits, online connectivity and phone access matters, etc, I’m thinking my best contribution now is to read up on the country and get the flock excited about what to see. No mean feat cos my sons can be very blase about these things, almost like some entitled brats! Perhaps thanks to our all-too efficient planning in the past when it came to vacations.

So this month, the strategy is to give them a stake in the packing and preparation as a way to generate awareness that this trip is a-comin’ and arouse them from their stupor!

And maybe, six nights of re-running Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings trilogies?

3. My 1st book club – all about emotionally healthy spirituality!

group of people reading book sitting on chair
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This was rather unexpected.

There we were a month ago, three gentlemen meeting up one day for lunch. We had been meeting up on and off these past two years to talk about life and share our hopes and prayers with one another.

Suddenly in the middle of the meal, one of us whipped out two identical books, placing one each before two unsuspecting but pleasantly surprised faces.

The giver claimed it to be belated birthday gifts (the other guy just celebrated his 59th two days prior).

But the giver’s real intention was to form a book club among us three. Having bought the same book for himself, he hoped we would not just accept his gift and read it ourselves. He wanted us to form a huddle group to study together the teachings of the book on emotionally healthy spirituality.

A book club.

Wow!

I’ve secretly dreamed of having one but never had the guts nor the right reading crowed around me to form such a club. This time though, with such a generous gift that was offered at such great expense (and risk, in case we refused), my dream has come true!

He even asked if I would lead the book club! Is this my new year goal of leaning into what scares me wrenched up a notch or what?!

Yep. All in all, this November is proving to be a month of pausing, like that moment just before a bungee jump!

Here’s to 30 days of bated breaths and pulses rapidly racing.

So much for starting this post by saying November isn’t a particularly spectacular month!

4 thoughts on “November is here. Time to pause before the cheer?

  1. Resonate with me a lot! I had 2 babies in November. So it is a pit stop before everything starts again. Special month for me.

  2. Definitely looks like November’s going to be a spectacular month for you. I’m rooting for you on your writing project though. That’s gonna be the bomb. I myself am still going through a tiny rut, and just pulled my back today, so there’s that. Anyway, wishing you all the best!

    1. Oh no! Take care pal. I too have regular back problems…must be the lot of us writers huh?! Haha…anyway thanks as always for visiting and sharing your comments. Grateful!

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