Costumes for 2021: a Minecraft character for Dash, a last minute costume change into an improvised zombie for Cedric, and a dinosaur for Maeve. She has the cutest dino hoodie but didn't want to wear it. / Halloween High Fitness with my friends who were the most amazing Barbies! / our grilled Halloween pizza that turned out a little ugly but was completely delicious
I had the realization this week that November 1st kicks of my favorite, best four months of the year. From now through the end of February we have great outside-every-day-weather, there's the holiday hubbub and then the lovely return to routines, Chris and I always find extra time together as his work slows down, we spend lots of time doing fun family things...it's just the best! Seeing these months this way is making me wonder, "How can I make this time the most enjoyable for myself? What should I add or subtract from my life to best use my joy and energy during this season?"
I'm still mulling these questions over but one answer that came to me quickly is to take things off my plate. That's a theme I keep coming back to as I think about 2022 as well. My to-do list is constantly growing faster than I can check things off and I hate that feeling. I've spent a lot of time feeling frustrated that I don't have more time. But seen another way I could say that my commitments don't match up with the time I have give. Instead of fighting this situation, I need to find whole categories of tasks to let go of. I'm enjoying reflecting on what takes up my time and how much fulfillment that activity brings to me. I want to create more time for the things that are really fulfilling to me (among them spending time with my family, writing, podcasting, and exercising) and I also want to create more time for rest and recharge. Although I've always tried to be very intentional about what I take on I'm having some new realizations about what I'm capable of versus what my ideal operating speed is, so to speak. Yes, I can be very efficient and productive even while I have young kids. But just because I can, am I happiest with that pace of life? I think you can tell that I've arrived at the answer "no." I'm thinking about this a lot and enjoying having conversations with Chris about it. I will hope to share more in future posts about my 2022 goals.
On to planning for November...
Big things happening this month:
+ The boys will get their COVID vaccines! I am filled with relief and in awe that getting their vaccines is so much easier and faster than getting our adult vaccines. We have been eagerly anticipating this milestone and I can barely believe it's happening. The boys cheered when I told them (amazingly they don't mind shots) and with relief that seemed beyond his years Dash said, "Life will go back to normal like before COVID." I was reminded of what a weight the pandemic continues to be on their little shoulders.
+ Solo trip to Portland. I'm heading to Portland, Oregon for a long weekend to visit a dear friend who moved there a couple years ago. I'm excited to dive into State of Terror on the plane and for long conversations and laughter with a friend, quiet mornings with hot coffee, and cozy fall weather.
+ Thanksgiving. We'll be gathering with family at my sister-in-law's house this year. I usually cook several dishes but I'm going to do a bit less this year because I've felt so busy. I'm looking forward to spending some time in the kitchen, just not quite as much, and then being together with family over a great meal.
+ Go live with a new PTSO website. This year I'm volunteering for the PTSO (Parent, Teacher, Student Organization) at the boys' school. One project I want to complete for the PTSO is giving the website a facelift. I'm 80% done with the project and want to complete it this month. That will be a satisfying accomplishment!
+ Challah bread trial run. My mother-in-law always makes homemade challah bread for Thanksgiving. Last year she gifted my sister-in-law and me the same recipe book she uses to make the challah and anointed us as the bakers of our Thanksgiving loaves. I'm excited to make this delicious bread and want to do a trial run before Thanksgiving.
+ Percolate my 2022 goals and intentions. I love thinking about a new year and what I want to make of it. For a month or so I've been keeping a running list of ideas for a 2022 word and my goals. I've also been journaling to think about the new year. During that process I've asked and answered questions like, "What do I want less of next year?" and "What do I want more of?" It has been really insightful!
Happy November, friends!