For the Record is a look back at the month that was: I share my current obsessions, future plans, and other snapshots from a well-lived life in progress.
Oh, what a month it’s been!
It feels as though we’re rushing at breakneck speed toward the end of another year, and I’m trying to hold on to every moment before it disappears into distant memory.
Between meeting with realtors, some international travel, and a whole lot of dreaming about future possibilities, my thoughts have been roiled by lots and lots of details. That’s why I love the meditative work of thinking back over the past month, distilling the highlights, and putting it all in writing, for the record.
Did you know that November is National Blog Posting Month (#NaBloPoMo)? Yeah, I didn’t either. Sometime around the first of the month, I learned about this campaign that encourages bloggers to post something new every day of November. While I wasn’t prepared to churn out daily blog posts, I did up my posting routine a bit by sharing something new every other Friday in addition to my weekly Tuesday posts and according to my blog stats, some of you seemed to enjoy that.
As such, I plan to continue sharing new blog posts every other Friday and re-evaluate at the end of the year to see if it’s something I should continue doing into 2020.
Cold Weather Community Service
Cold Weather Company, a band I’m loving at the moment (listen to their just-released original holiday song on Spotify!), hosted a worldwide day of service in November to encourage fans to clean up their communities. It’s been a good few years since I’ve engaged in any kind of community activism, so this was the perfect opportunity to rekindle my passion for service.
I took a walk at a nearby community park, brought along a garbage bag and a pair of work gloves, and cleaned up along the trail. It felt good to do good, and I’m so excited to start looking for other ways to give back to my community.
Tobago for Thanksgiving
Spending Thanksgiving week abroad was just what the doctor ordered.
As some of you already know, my mom was born on the island of Tobago, so we headed there for the holiday week, making the rounds visiting my mom’s sisters and enjoying so many delicious things to eat. Thank goodness we also spent a lot of time walking! Although the days were busy, I used the evening and night hours for reading The Care and Feeding of Ravenously Hungry Girls by Anissa Gray, feeding my growing obsession with criss-cross puzzles, and self-hosting a mini writer’s retreat, sitting on our porch being caressed by balmy sea breezes. A total mood.
No-spend November this year was an intense exercise in restraint. Because Thanksgiving was so late this year, retailers started promoting deep discounts throughout the month. While I’m not going to say that I didn’t make any unplanned purchases (I did, to the tune of around $40), I curbed my spending significantly, resisting the siren call of so many things I thought I needed but found I was more than able to do without.
I’m pretty proud of what I was able to accomplish this month in terms of paying off debt as I save toward purchasing a home. I hope I can continue embracing some big bank account energy as we head into the heart of December and towards the biggest expense-slash-investment of my life.
Maybe it’s because of all the navel-gazing we tend to do at the end of the year, but there were so many reads I bookmarked and saved throughout the month. Here are a few of my favorites:
- When supporting an aging parent, yes to all of this. Especially the part about self-care.
- Collective tiny wins add up to big gains, and there’s a word for that.
- A go-to plan for introverts at the start of the highly communal holiday season.
- Tips for tackling the anticipated (but always oddly unexpected) darkness of winter.
- Here’s what you can make with those leftover boxes of Jiffy Corn Muffin Mix in your pantry.
I’ve curated a ton more articles for you to read, so if you’re interested in pieces that inspire, entertain, or educate, head over to my November 2019 Flipboard magazine.
Celebrating the holidays, looking forward to another stretch of time for writing, re-jiggering my routines for 2020, and prepping to become a homeowner.
Happy December, all! What are awesome, amazing, fun things are you up to this month?