December | Let's Spend Some Time Together
The month of November was all about slowing down for me, and now that we’re easing into December I’m so excited to spend some much-needed (and hard to come by) quality time with my family & friends.
November also brought all the Black Friday deals, which I’m just now starting to take a look at with a different perspective. I’ve been a bit more mindful with my consumption lately and am checking in with myself in regards to what I purchase. And all the advertising and marketing that flooded my inbox only turned me off and encouraged me to unsubscribe from many newsletters and emails. Outside of one item that’s been on my calendar for months waiting for its sale (hint: I’m an avid vacuum cleaner enthusiast) and a couple Christmas gifts, there’s nothing I really needed to buy.
Speaking of Christmas - I’ve generally been a huge fan of the holiday, but things got a little complicated when my parents split up 5 years ago, and when I began splitting my time between my family and my fiance’s about 4 years ago. This holiday marks the first one without my Dad, and so Christmas is taking on a whole new meaning once again.
In terms of reading: after finishing Mary Karr’s The Art of Memoir and Cait Flanders’ The Year of Less (check out last month’s blog post for my thoughts on each), I decided to pick up Gail Caldwell’s Let’s Take The Long Way Home. And oh, I’m so grateful I did.
Caldwell was best friends with one of my favourite authors of all time, Caroline Knapp. Unfortunately, Knapp died in her early forties from a short but intense battle with lung cancer, cutting her life, writing career, and relationships short. Caldwell wrote this book as a memoir to their friendship.
She chronicled the story of their lives spent alongside one another, described their mutual love for their dogs, and recalled Knapp’s battle with cancer in harrowing detail. The book is beautifully written and, much like Knapp’s own writing style, it’s also infused with an exquisite prose.
Once I finished reading Caldwell’s book, I picked up one of the few remaining pieces of writing by Knapp that I hadn’t yet read, her book about dogs named A Pack of Two. Though I haven’t finished it yet, this book is a beautiful analysis of the relationship between people and dogs, particularly people like Knapp who describes her dog Lucille as the love of her life.
Anyway, I’m really looking forward to the month ahead. Other than my fiance and I taking a few weeks off for the holidays, we’re also flying out of town for his workplace Christmas party. There’s nothing like a weekend away in a hotel, spending time exploring a new city with old friends. Plus, who doesn’t love a Christmas party?
Absence is a house so vast that inside, you will pass through its walls and hang pictures on the air.
Also: As mentioned in last month’s blog post, I’m now only doing one monthly post (where I share a little bit of everything I was doing before, but more condensed). More quality, less quantity.
And I’m keeping the wallpaper downloads, but will save those for subscribers only. I won’t be sending a newsletter the same way that I was before, but I’ll be sending the monthly wallpapers as a link in email.
Make sure you sign up right here or subscribe below to continue getting yours for free every month! (Check your junk mail folder if you don’t get your freebie within a few minutes or send me an email.) And as always, enjoy your December and we’ll catch up soon. Oh, and any feedback on this post please leave in the comment section below!
a good read for anyone visiting difficult relatives during the holidays
this article that speaks about the secret life of grief
this song about the magic of old friends
mary karr chats with npr about writing memoir
a simple but sobering animation on addiction
john mayer and jerry lorenzo chat with complex in print and on video
how dreams can help us cope with grief and breakups
why you should never comment on someone's weight or eating habits
how to boost your relationship morale during the holidays
the latest song I can’t take off repeat
the telus health documentary about the opioid epidemic in Canada
becoming minimalist explores if it’s time we rethink how we give gifts this holiday
trusting my gut
a green thumb
My most recent article is a practical approach to the five stages of grief by Elisabeth Kübler-Ross. In it, I discuss how each stage showed up in my life, and even included a few extra stages that aren’t part of the infamous five. I hope you enjoy it!
New this month: submit your email below to subscribe, and receive your hand lettered monthly wallpaper for free! All lettering was drawn by hand and designs are for personal use only. Choose one, or download all three if you wish. If you don’t receive your wallpaper shortly after subscribing, send me an email and I’ll fix you right up!
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