I can't tell you how glad I am to see November go, because it was a very, very hard month for me. In a way, I should be proud of myself, I totally followed the word I had decided upon on November 1st. FEAR. I think I had to face almost every fear that lies dormant within me in the course of 30 days. Fear of solitude, fear of being abandoned, feelings of guilt, of failure, you name it. November was truly a hell ride.
First, my husband left the house. No, we're not divorcing, everything's fine between us, but he's found a job 800 kilometers away from the house, in the South of France. (You know, that so-called heavenly place that's absolutely drenched in rain and flooded right now.) And I can't follow him with the kids until his job is secure. His trial period runs until March 10th, so we have to be apart for 4 months. And in our book, it's a very long time. So these first weeks away from him were harder than I though they would be. And the kids were harder to handle as well. My son acted out a lot and I had to both comfort him and let him know he couldn't do what he wanted. And then there was my job. I received quite a big book to translate in just a month. Usually I would work long hours 7 days a week to meet my deadline, and my husband would take care of the kids in the meantime. But said husband is gone and my kids need me. So I was in a bit of a panic for a while.
I'm not proud of the way I handled things from one day to the next. I wasn't calm and serene at all. An emotional storm was raging inside me. Yet handle things I did, because I didn't have a choice:
- I tried not to let my fears overwhelm me thanks to meditation. It's the first thing I do when I wake up in the morning. I grab my phone, log on to the Headspace app and meditate for 15 mn before it's time to wake the kids up. This month, I chose the "Anxiety" pack, given my word for November. But I must say it gives me a harder time than the "Creativity" pack I did in October. Then again, since my emotions were running high, it's not surprising. And it remains an oasis of calm during the course of my day.
- I decided to let go of certain rules regarding the kids. I wanted to do as if nothing had changed but I was wrong. Their father being away is a big change for them and I have to take it into account. So I'm trying to be more understanding and I let them play a little more video games and watch a little more TV. The unexpected outcome was Kelian coming home from school with a comic book, reading it through and asking for more. At 7, he doesn't like to read much, unlike his sister who is always buried in a book, but I never thought allowing more Wii time would lead to him asking to read. There's a lesson in this...
- As for my work, I took a big breath and took a step back. Rather than getting overwhelmed, I decided to take it one day at a time. I'm not programming myself for failure by saying "I won't make it". I just work through that big book page after page. Some days, I don't get to the number of pages I was set upon. The next day, I do more than what was planned, so it balances itself out. As of now, I'm half a day ahead of schedule. It's not much, but it's way better than being late.
So I guess I didn't do so bad in the end... Yet, I only have one thing to say: TGID! (Thank God It's December!) As usual, the Christmas spirit will do wonders for me, and even more so since my husband is coming home for Christmas Eve. His new company gave him December 24th and 26th off so he could come back to Brittany to be with us, and we're so happy and grateful for it! And the kids and I will spend New Year's Eve in the South with him (in his tiny one-room apartment, it's gonna be rock 'n' roll! Thank God for my mother in law who's gonna watch the kids at her house so I can get some work done while Olivier is at work too.)
So, for December, I decided to pick the word FUN! This time, I didn't pick an ambitious program where I get to tickle old fears that end up exploding in my face. I just wanna have fun :
- in my job (because that big book is quite enjoyable)
- with the kids (we are so happy to open our Advent calendars each morning)
- with my husband when we're together
- and when I get to unwind as well. I'm almost at the end of a great novel about WWII and I intend to read only romance novels or cute comic books for the rest of the month. Said novel is really good but not quite what I need these days. I'd rather read love stories than torture scenes in the Gestapo offices!
So, goodbye November, you won't be missed, and hello December, let's have a blast!
Photo found on Pinterest and illustration by me, made with A Beautiful Mess app.