By Suzanne Reisler Litwin
Ok, so it’s November.
We all know what’s going to happen in the next little while. It’s going to get darker earlier. There will be less daylight hours. It will get colder. Cold enough to hopefully have snow for Christmas. People are going to stay indoors more. This is also the beginning of flu season, so we are advised to get the flu shot. Our skin will become drier as the humidity wears off. The seasonal birds will be flying south and so will the snowbirds.
Geez, this sounds awful.
Actually, not at all! It’s all about perspective and taking control of your time. For me, I love this time of year. There are many reasons for this. Primarily, I’m happy for the humidity to go away as my curly hair will be tamed into straighter hair. I know that seems a bit trite, but I fight with the humidity for months. Ya, I don’t like having dry skin, but I love having dryer hair. Gone are the pollens and the bees. I will no longer struggle with seasonal allergies. Bring on the frost baby!
I am weeks away from my favourite activity which is cross country skiing. It’s been 8 months since the last time I did it. So…bring on the snow! Cool air. I love cool air when it fills my lungs. I definitely spend more time outdoors during the fall and winter than during the summer. I know, it sounds odd.
You might be still wondering about the darkness. My perspective is this; even though it’s dark at 4 pm, I say to myself, “What would I be doing at 4 pm in June?” Perhaps I would be going for a walk or a run or working in the garden? Whatever the activity I would’ve done in June at 4 or 5 or 6 or 7 or 8 pm, I DO NOT ALLOW the darkness to stop me from doing that activity. Perhaps I will need to dress warmer or do the activity, but whatever it is, I won’t let darkness stop me. I’M DA BOSS OF ME! No seasonal darkness or climate is going to stop the drive I have to do what I want to do!
I guess I am a force to be reckoned with. I do realize that wind, rain, snow, and freezing temperatures can stop the process of some activities, but the drive is there and the indoors are available for just about anything except for snow related sports.
Here are some ideas to combat the changing effects of November:
Flowers! Bring flowers into your home. Fresh cut flowers are so comforting. Watching an amaryllis plant grow is exciting and wonderful, especially once the huge blossoms open up. And even better, plants some tulips! Now is the time to get those bulbs into the ground so that color permeates your garden in the springtime.
Make a big pot of soup and share it. I love to make bean and barley soup. It is hearty and so delicious. The best part of making the soup is sharing it will family and friends. Add a fresh piece of bread for dipping and it’s totally yum!
Ice Cream! If you know me, you know my love of ice cream. Occasionally, actually often, I won’t say daily, but I could eat ice cream every day. Will I eat ice cream during the summer? Of course! Will I eat ice cream during the fall and winter? Why not?! Even though my favourite ice cream shops will be closed during the fall and winter, this does not deter me in the least. I just need to get more creative to get my ice cream fix. This is when I head to a local convenience store and get the naughtiest hunka hunka slab of ice cream that I don’t usually eat in the summer.
You might be thinking, Sue, it’s a good time to lay off the ice cream, drop those pounds you’ve been complaining about, and leave the ice cream for the warmer weather. That would make sense, but NOW’S NOT A GOOD TIME, I NEED MORE DAYLIGHT!!!
1000 piece puzzles are so relaxing to complete. After all the summer’s glee, holidays, birthdays, and entertaining, now is the time to sit and relax and work on a big family size puzzle. I never have time to do this during the spring and summer. So, now is the time to just relax and work on it. Invite some friends and family to help you complete the puzzle, add some soup and you have a puzzle party! Woo Hoo!
Did you know that it’s always winery season? Yes! A great outing this time of year is a pleasant visit to a winery. Taste some local wines, buy some local cheese and your spirits will fill with joy! Northern areas are prime locations for ice wines which are so lovely with cheeses, chocolates, breads, and fruits. I think I just got hungry…
Another one of my favorite activities to do this time of year is to dance. Any kind of dancing. You gotta keep your body moving, especially after eating that hunka hunka slab of ice cream! Music that moves your body builds strength and feels good! People smile when they dance and that picks up your spirits too. I’m a dancing machine at home. Run! Walk! Hit the gym! Hit out a bucket of golf balls! Just keep your body moving.
Here’s a stretch: Do something you’ve never done before. You know what I’m talking about, that one thing you have been meaning to do, but you haven’t had the time to do it. DO IT NOW.
There is no reason to “Batten Down The Hatch” or “Brace For The Storm” of November. It’s really June in disguise.
It’s all about your perspective and being the Boss Of You.
Now…about that hunka hunka slab of ice cream I mentioned. Did I also mention my lack of self-control? This will get you going!
Dancing Machine – Jackson 5
She´s a dancing machine
Move it baby
Full of color self contained
Tuned and channeled to your vibes
She such a sexy lady
Built with space age design
She’s moving grooving dancing to the music stop now
She a dynamite attraction
At the drop of a coin she comes alive now
She knows what she’s doing
She super bad now
She’s geared to really blow your mind
Suzanne Reisler Litwin is an instructor at Concordia University, Montreal, in The Centre for Continuing Education. She is a writing instructor at The Cummings Centre. She writes a weekly column in The Suburban Newspaper and at the West Island Blog. Suzanne is a freelance contributor to The Suburban Newspaper, West Island Blog, Wise Women Canada, The Metropolitain, and Women on the Fence. She is the author of the children’s book, The Black Velvet Jacket. Visit suzannereislerlitwin.com to read more of her published articles, books, and poetry.
I think inspiration isn’t always a loud roar. Sometimes it’s the soft epiphany that you can change your inner dialogue at any time. Happy November, loves. I think I’ll get up and dance! I could use the motivation. 😉
And thanks, Teach! Suzie was also my teacher growing up. Talk about a full circle moment. To read Suzie’s other posts on our blog, click here.