Reflecting: November 2019

We’re about to start the final month of the year, folks!

And before I look ahead, I’ll look back at where I wanted to place my attention in November.

November Attention

Obnoxiously Encouraging Thoughts

Celtic Devotional + Daily Miracles
It hasn’t been every morning and evening this month, but now that I’m getting settled into a house (news! I now have housing! My two months SUV-RVing have come to an end), it’s the time for developing routines.

Inner Universe

Lean into goddess card. Ooooh yeah, loved this month’s card.

Daily journal writing.
As soon as work started (on the 18th), my daily journal writing stopped. I would be so extremely exhausted after the 10-hr physical work day, that I didn’t even want to make dinner (out in the rain/cold/dark at camp). But I would, and then I’d curl up in my sleeping bag and go to sleep. I don’t have my journal in front of me here at the library to count the number of days I wrote, but I do know I’ve had a dry spell as of late, as I haven’t written since moving into my house on Tuesday.

Track 5-min. meditations.
I meditated twice this month, I think?

Ritual for Cathleen.
I did do a small ritual for Cathleen on her birthday. I also found a second book on grief at a thrift shop, and am almost done reading it.

Writing Projects

Continue tracking time spent on Boxes.
I worked on the draft regularly at the start of the month from my BLM camp site, jotting down each day I wrote. Then one day at the library, still sitting with an unpolished/unfinished typed draft, I grabbed my pens and paper and just started writing the first few pages of the zine.

I didn’t use pencil and just made them all in one go, however they turned out as I wrote. It’s been super fun and has felt great! And since moving into a house a few days ago (a dry, warm space! with a flat table to write on!), I’ve been working on it each non-work day.

I’ve made 28 pages (half-sheets) to date, but I’m only on page 12 of 36 of the typed document… so this sucker’s gonna be long/thick!

Outer-Material World

Find housing.
Done! The universe made some magic happen, and us trails interns all got employee housing in the park. I love everything about it and feel incredibly grateful.

Track expenses, make a budget.
Turns out I did have the old YNAB 4 on this computer, and it works great for my purposes! I made a budget and have been entering all of my expenses as they happen. It feels good to have faced the numbers and to have given each dollar a job.

December Focus


Hike one new trail per week. 
It’s easy for me to get into comfortable routines now that I’m living in one place, so this month I want to hike one new trail each week. If I hike the trail during work, that’s just fine—it totally counts!

Yoga on off days.
Now that I’m doing physical work four days a week and have a warm space where I can lie on the ground to do yoga, I want to prioritize this on my off-days and see if I can’t make it a routine.

Inner Universe

Morning + Nightly Celtic Devotional
Like I said, I’m going to focus on making some new routines to match my new home, and reading these short devotionals in the morning and evening is high on my list.

Plan time for end-of-year reflection.
I will schedule time for some end-of-year reflection.

Celebrate Yule
I will do some sort of ritual to celebrate the Yule this month.

Writing Projects

Finish Boxes zine, photocopy, sell on site.
My #1 focus for this month is to finish my Boxes zine. If spacing is the same pace as the pages I’ve already handwritten, that means I need to make 58 more pages. So that would require me making 12/week to finish by the end of the month.

Photocopying and assembly will be a project in and of itself, so maybe these are lofty goals. But for now, my focus is to finish the handwritten copy.

Year in Books
Each year I write up a Year in Books post, recommending my favorite reads from the year. I want to write and publish this post during the month.

Holiday letter?
I usually make a handwritten holiday letter, too, but I’m on the fence about it this year. It’s a decent monetary cost: the photocopying, envelopes, and postage for 70-100 recipients. I could slim it down and send more by email, but I prefer to send actual paper in the mail. I don’t know, I mostly just want to see this Boxes zine through to the end, and don’t want to delay it with a holiday letter project in the middle. I’ll see if/when I finish Boxes, and what creative energy remains.

My other hesitation is that year-end summaries cut out so much depth and complexity that did exist; there’s simply not room for it when you’re trying to sum up 365 days in a page. People often forget that there’s so much more than what they see on the page, and fall into a comparison trap and can easily feel bad about themselves. I can’t control how others feel or receive something, I understand. But I could also choose to not participate in a yearly summary of my year.

I’ll think more on this during the coming weeks.

Outer-Material World

Get a PO Box?
I’m working to open a PO Box here in town. I have no documents that prove I live in the park, so I’ll try to get that at work this coming week.

Roth IRA Transfer
Once I have that mailing address, I will tackle moving my Roth IRA from etrade to Vanguard.

Apply for Parks jobs?
Applying for NPS jobs is weird. Right now is when you need to apply for jobs that start in the spring/summer. I don’t know how I’ll feel this spring or what I’ll want to do or where I’ll want to live, so I’m hesitant to do any applying now. But if I ever want to work for NPS directly, I’ll have to apply half a year out.

The library will close in 30 minutes, and is closed on Sundays, so perhaps I’ll revisit the parks jobs next weekend and try to apply for some.

What’s been coming up for you in November? Where has your attention been?

Is there any single focus you have for December?

If anyone is working to finish a project, like I am my zine, let me know and we can cheer each other on!

May your December be filled with cozy comforts, reflection, and good health.