Every year, right at the end of December, I draw a tarot spread for my upcoming year. It’s a simple spread, one card for each month. I do this mostly in jest, as I’m not a huge believer in the divine, and I know that these cards have so many possible meanings that it’s easy to manipulate their interpretation to whatever happened in your life when you look back.
Having said that, I can’t help but feel like November’s card – the Four of Wands – is spot-on. The Four of Wands indicates respite, and I was in desperate need of respite as November approached. The last eight months of my life have been pure chaos and hell, to be honest. I still can’t talk publicly about the things that have happened. I can say that I was right on the edge of a breaking point as the month began.
November didn’t start as a respite, and in fact got even worse for the first week or so. Then, all of a sudden, things began to improve just enough to give me a little rest. My novel was chosen to receive a cover during NaNoWriMo, which got me to write again for the first time since June. While the manuscript I churned out this month is downright awful, it has the seed of something in it that I can take to a second draft and improve. I really enjoyed getting to know this story and the characters in it, and considering I originally decided last minute NOT to participate this year, I’m very proud that I passed that 50,000-word mark and finished my manuscript.
Starting to write again was a HUGE help for me in November, but that alone didn’t provide respite. There were other things as well, first and foremost being doctors and medication. I am not ashamed to say that with everything that has happened in my life over the last eight months, I was in desperate need of an anti-depressant. Honestly, I didn’t even know if it would help, given that my situation is external and not internal. I decided to try, though, and it has done wonders for me. Even though life is still fragile and terrifying right now, I feel calmer and more balanced, better able to deal with things, and that has been a godsend.
There have been other things. too. Having an all-out Thanksgiving and then decorating the house for Christmas. Having a handful of amazing friends that I can write to about the whole situation, and the support I’ve received from them when I needed it. Planning an upcoming vacation to visit my friends and family in San Antonio in mid-December. Passing my fifth-year weight loss anniversary, after losing almost all of the 20 lbs I regained when we moved to the Boston area this summer. Spending my month with Harry Potter. Being invited to my youngest son’s fifth grade class to give an hour-long presentation/discussion on the writing process. This last one – I can’t tell you how much it bolstered me, to feel like my job as a writer matters, even though I’m as of yet unpublished. The kids asked all sorts of questions, and I got to explain why rewriting/revision is not necessarily boring, and why those parts are my favorite. Afterwards, the teacher came up to me to tell me that my presentation was exactly what she wanted and the kids needed to learn. It was wonderful.
So on this last day of November, I’m feeling very introspective, and thankful for this month of respite. December, despite its holiday, is usually a month of quiet and introspection for me, so here’s to this respite lasting through the end of the year!