Filling up November 2017

A review of time passed is a useful way of knowing yourself better. There are snapshots, like the gratitude posts I have written before. And there are the big picture examinations of goals or intentions that are so often done at a time of change, like at New Year.

In between times, perhaps, there is a need for a middle ground. Something that marks what has passed. It is all too easy to forget. It is all too easy to miss what makes us ourselves.

We all have our everyday lives, things that always seem the same, even though they are not. But the gaps are filled with the variety that marks our lives, gives us the energy and vitality to keep going with the ‘normal’, and shows us the way forward. This is filling the glass.

Books I’ve read in November

-Hot Milk by Deborah Levy; an intriguing but meandering novel about mother daughter relationships, with lyrical descriptions and scene setting. Maybe it was a little style over substance, the ‘story’ felt flimsy to me, although I enjoyed the ending.

-Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by JK Rowling; catching up with this blockbusting series, trailing behind my girls so I can find out what on earth they are talking about – every conversation is littered with references! These books are good for the young at heart as well as the just plain young!

-Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod; an easy to read guide to getting the best out of your day by focusing on a morning routine, I can credit it with helping me start writing again this month. It can’t create a miracle but gives useful pointers; visualisation of my day is a positive addition for me.

-On Becoming an Artist by Ellen Langer; a book given to me by a mindful and creative friend, it looks at the roadblocks that stop creativity in its tracks and why being mindful will lead to fulfilling creative activities as well as life in general.

Places I’ve visited in November

-The Science Museum; to visit the Wonderlab with my older girls. I remember the days of The Launch Pad when I was a child and I even spotted one of the same ‘experiments’ that used to be there. This is a truly interactive place for the children, where they had a great time, including live science shows about explosives and electricity. Although the science museum is free, there is an admission fee to pay to visit this exhibition.

-Winchester; on the train to meet up with my wonderful Aunt. I really looked forward to this treat and was rewarded with a restful train journey that proved inspirational for writing, a good catch-up and wander round an interesting city I’ve never been to, with beautiful buildings and interesting streets.

Pleasures I’ve enjoyed in November

-After so long we’ve finally been able to start putting up pictures in our house. We moved in nearly three years ago and kept our pictures all packaged up as we knew we had serious renovation work to do, so it’s the first light they’ve seen since then. It’s amazing what you forget you have but also how the memories they unlock come flooding back.

-As part of the renovations we had a log burner installed and this month, as the darkness has taken away much of the ‘staring at the garden’ time, it’s been cold enough for us to light it and watch the flames in ‘staring at the fire’ time instead. Who needs screens? Even better is watching the cats lay themselves out in front of it absorbing the heat. They  even sit there as a ‘request’ when the fire hasn’t been lit!

-I got out my drawing pens again, to fiddle around with making cards. What started as a practice run, ended up being a finished birthday card for a friend that got sent despite my anxiety over its perceived imperfections; thankfully it was well received! And now I’m working on a Christmas design, to keep challenging myself.

What have you done to fill your glass?

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