I had a difficult time sleeping a few nights ago and as I lay awake in bed (ALL night), I thought about the month of November. I have a love/hate relationship with the month. I love it because Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday and as a teacher, there are a lot of days “off” in November, so it is an easy month. The air is crisp enough to leave the windows open during the day and yet chilly enough to snuggle under blankets at night. It is still light out early in the morning when I leave for work and stays bright enough to walk my dog in the evening.
But November has a dark side for me. Several years ago, I had a HORRIBLE November…it was the month I filed for divorce, that I lost my grandparents, that my sister had a health emergency. All of these things happening at the same time was completely overwhelming. In a way, I was so numb…my divorce was incredibly painful and very drawn out. My beloved grandmother passed away and within about a month, my grandfather followed. There was just so much trauma that I almost had to separate myself from it. I feel like I prepare myself at the end of every October to be ready for November…for the flood of emotions and memories to hit me.
Things in my life could not be more different now than they were that November six years ago. First and foremost, my family has way less drama due to my father becoming sober. I can truly look forward to the holidays coming up in a way that I was never able to just a couple short years ago. My parents are getting along and my mom seems more content. My sister is in a relationship and has a challenging, fulfilling job. I have a wonderful boyfriend who is caring and supportive and successful and my divorce is hardly even a passing thought these days. I can think about my amazing grandparents and all that they taught me without becoming teary-eyed. And yet, there is still that dull anxiety that November brings. I just hope that as years continue to pass that the negative memories associated with this month get replaced by new, happier ones!