I think I’ve gotten it nearly every year of adulthood, except for maybe the two Novembers after Scarlet and Des were born. In those cases, I was too distracted to fully notice the land getting gray, overcast and barren. Maybe I was too shut-in, with my baby bliss (and sleeplessness) to notice the onslaught of colds and flus. Maybe I just didn’t care. Babies keep you warm, right?
As my dear friend Eli says, it can be difficult not to notice days getting darker, skin needing lotion, and noses needing tissues. Wasn’t it just yesterday, that we prepared our yards and our children and our hearts for the outdoors? For these wonders?
The November Blues, as I call it, can present itself in a number of ways. At its worst, I can be genuinely sad, anxious and struggling. As Mel from Stirrup Queens once told me, going through an anxious or otherwise rough time in November is like knitting on a bumpy train, rather than in control in your own rocking chair. (shall we call that May?) You’re still going to get the same end result – a beautiful and whole blanket. It just might take you the long way to get there on that bumpy train.
Then there’s the medium version of the November Blues, in which I get a case of the gimmes. Give me more of everything, please. I have the November Blues right now, in which nothing is enough. The days are shorter, but longer too. When I was a true stay-at-home-mom years ago, I had it really bad. I would just sit and wait for something to happen. And I have no idea what that something was, but it was probably to be discovered for greatness. Even though I was doing nothing to get there.
It’s not like that now, because I’m not a stay-at-home-mom. I’m a work-at-home-mom. And I have worked so hard to get here, but I have so much more work to do. Endless. And coupled with long, cold, dark days, I forget everything I have done, and everyone I have met. That’s how it gets me. It’s the remnants of November’s pasts. It’s the ghosts. It’s me remembering a day when I would wait for my inbox to fill, with even one email. It’s wanting attention. It’s never being full enough, or having had enough water. It’s having an insatiable appetite in all aspects. I always say I don’t have an addictive personality, which mostly rings true, but in November I want more. More chocolate. More soup. More connections. More cheese.
I find myself waiting for things to happen, only they are happening. Everywhere. And I know that, mostly. I can’t keep up with my inbox. The phone just rang from a new client and I emailed proofs to another. Even though I have photos from May that I still have to edit. (hint: every photo in this post? From May.) Even though I’ve been to Disney World and back, and I’ve gained a new baby and three pets since those dark November days. So many adventures are unfolding. I’m scared I’ll lose my grasp.
Don’t look at it like it’s forever
Between you and me I could honestly say
That things can only get better”
— Elton John in “I Guess That’s Why They Call It The Blues