From this year onwards, I want to make “November” a byword for positivity, especially compared to November 2014, which may have been the single worst month of my life so far. Not that I’m blaming anyone else but me for that – my point is that just as I was responsible for the rotten time I had this time last year, I want to be equally as responsible for making this upcoming month better than ever.
Metaphorically speaking, the embers of last year’s fire need to be nurtured so that they can glow more like a light at the end of the tunnel. If I’m going to pull this off successfully, I need to think about why November can be a real highlight of the year. The nights are darker. Sorry if this sounds miserable, but that’s the way they’re meant to be, right? You can’t always get to sleep if there’s too much light and, apart from that, darkness means the conditions are perfect for the firework displays. Unless we went to a party or a public one, ours were often confined to the back garden, with the fireworks hastily bought from the off-licence. Even now, having seen so many low-key setups like that, I’m still mesmerised by the flashes of colour. When I was little, I never wanted any sparkler to go out. I’d let it run down as far as possible to my gloved fingers before having to dunk it in the bucket. I still can’t help looking straight at some bright lights, even if I’m told not to – weird, I know!
There are also the things that everyone loves about winter as a whole – firstly, you get to really appreciate being warm and cosy, and secondly, the Christmas period is getting ever closer. To be honest, my countdown starts from my birthday, 25 August, which is exactly four months away from the big day. I know that for a lot of people, including myself, it’s acceptable to start listening to Christmas songs not long after that. I’ve seen that people can feel festive at any time, and I think that’s really uplifting. I don’t understand why anyone would frown upon it when it makes so many others so happy. The joy is infectious, as most of us know, and when I also think about everything I’ve already explained here I see no reason why I can’t do my best to make November special in my own familiar way. Beyond that, in fact, I should look at what’s left of 2015 as a chance to prepare myself for wiping as much of the slate clean as possible in 2016, so that no sad embers need extinguishing again.