Handle what you can for now, and keep your eye on the long term. At least, into March.
Fussbudget Frenzy Nov. 1 – 5
Danger, Will Robinson! Nov. 20-27
Big Girl Panties ON! Nov. 24
Salute Yourself Nov. 29
Didn’t we just get through with back-to-school? That’s what the calendar says, but here you are again, making plans, lists and supply runs against some deadline invisible to the rest of us. The secret is: You aren’t the only one. Everyone’s going into November on mental overdrive: analyzing, criticizing, fixing, scheming and teaming.
The reason isn’t just the onset of Impending Holiday Panic. Recognizable developments are emerging from the cosmic rubble at last. They’re inspiring us to clear room for them, work on them and identify people with something useful for them. True, some of these developments are taking shape with the speed of fish coming ashore and sprouting feet. The slow roll-out allows you time to wrap your head around them and get ready. Handle what you can for now, and keep your eye on the long term. At least, into March.
You aren’t going it alone, either. Relationships are coming along for the ride, and in for evolving, too. You can minimize the bumpiness by setting clear boundaries and minding your own business. Even when you know best. Even with your husband. (Especially with your husband.) This does not mean being quiet (yeah, right!), but being judicious. And maybe a little canny. At least until the 20th, this is the month to bring up topics you normally skirt: debt load, aging parents, your own retirement planning and mortality, betrayal and s-e-x. Nonverbal cues and communication will speak louder than words or expressions. Trust your gut.
After the 20th, switch to smiling and steering conversations away from danger zones. The most turbulent stretch of the ride falls, lucky us, smack during Thanksgiving week. Evolution will lurch forward, like it or not. Unavoidable pressure is bearing down on traditions, patterns, systems and family structures, whether blood or chosen. Too much togetherness — well, any togetherness, at some points during this stretch — will send even the most devoted moms running from the house.
But not you. You will have contingency plans in place. And a private stash of whatever it takes to get you through this: wine, chocolate, bubble bath, more wine. Keep your eye on those slowly emerging developments that inspired your fussbudgetry at month’s start. Guard and protect them, with the detachment of Mr. Spock. They stand to benefit, improve and flourish from whatever shifts, collapses or breaks open Thanksgiving week. (Any of which could be welcome. Enjoyable, too. Seriously.)
Be an advocate for evolution. Be the adult in the room. Be the voice of sanity that declares topics off-limits. Or decides that there is no time to make three different pies, one of which no one really eats anyway, so Thanksgiving dinner will have only one pie this year. Or asks, yea even assigns, other people to shoulder responsibility for dishes, clean up and weekend activities.
Whatever the framework — family gatherings, get-togethers with friends, private time one-on-one, pretty much any situation in your life at this point, actually — “That’s the way we’ve always done it” doesn’t cut it anymore. So come up with a different way. Then toast the milestone in your own evolution. By yourself or with others; your call. It’s your life, after all. And that notion is starting to sink in, good.