A November to Remember, Verse 1: A Close Shave and The Novel That Never Was

The tree we purchased for Christmas 2012
The tree we painstakingly purchased for Christmas 2012.

Every year. Every year we go through this.

We near the end of the year, wondering where all the time went and lamenting all the things we failed to do over the months. We plan to close out the year with a bang and swear to make a better effort to hit our goals in the next year. Year after year we try, but invariably repeat ourselves time and time again. So while the year’s already seen a lot of awesome in my life, I’d told myself back in January that this would be the year I rocked Movember and NaNoWriMo, earning fame, riches and glory in the process!

It’d all started so well.

I’d thought, “Grow a moustache and raise money for charity — that’s not so hard; I grow facial hair all the time anyway. And write a 50,000-word novel? I write, like, every day. I can do this.”

I knew it wouldn’t be easy, but I had the drive, determination and direction to make it happen — I was convinced that if anyone could do it, someone who was so used to juggling multiple things all the time was the perfect person to do it!

It’s funny, the things we can convince ourselves of and yet be so utterly wrong.

Movember, or “Why Did I Grow This, Again?”

The facial hair that I DID manage to grow by the end of Movember 2012
Not a double-forked goatee by ANY means, but distinguished, nonetheless 🙂

In the end, I was able to do some good, raising $175 toward preventing prostate cancer and supporting men’s mental health, and another $430 through the team I’d created for the initiative — the Central Agency Clustachios (a play on the name of the place where I work).

While a pleasant outcome, I can’t help but feel that I could’ve done more. Being honest, 70% of the money I raised came in the last two days of November, after I’d received enough pestering at work to rally some troops for one last go at getting donations. Between events, trips and a hefty workload, I lost sight of the goals I’d originally set and — as can often be the case in our lives — tried to make up for lost time.

If I learned anything from Movember, it’s two things:

  1. It’s impossible for me to be everywhere. Life is full of opportunities and responsibilities, but I also need the energy to take them all on. Prioritization and being realistic are skills that will be necessary to being successful in my life; and
  2. No man is meant to grow facial hair for 30 days straight. You just get to a point where it’s itchy as hell and you wonder why you started doing it in the first place.

Better luck next year, right? Hopefully I’ll be able to go the way of friends like Amanda Blake and help organize events for the cause!

Putting the “No” in NaNoWriMo

A view of the mess that's on our table right now as I try to sort through literally PILES of stuff.
And they ask why I didn’t pull NaNoWriMo off…

Even though I wrote a ton of words in November, none of it really looks like a novel.

NaNoWriMo is an ambitious little initiative, and these sorts of things need dedicated time to make them happen — even more so when creativity needs to come into the mix!

With being away half of the month and at events almost every other day, I thought I could still pull it off. But I forgot to account for work and the huge things they needed me to do this past month. I forgot to account for the fact that one can only work so hard before fatigue catches up with them. I forgot to account for the fact that life goes on with or without the blog posts I put out!

So, my dear NaNoWriMo, unfortunately you’re gone ’til next November, ’cause this one wasn’t your time to shine! In fact, NaNoWriMo, let’s play you out:

The Lesson

So what did I learn? I learned that November is not to be underestimated!

It may not be the flashiest month. Not nearly enough people look forward to celebrating the sacrifices that war veterans made to keep us free and keep us safe, so most people treat the month like a write-off and just buffer time before they get to Christmas. It’s not usually even wintery enough for the ski and snowboard types out there.

But, you’ve gotta learn to treat November with respect. It has more than enough to keep you busy if you’ll let it, and when you finally reach December and everything doesn’t look the way you expected, don’t say I didn’t try to warn you.

Because honestly, is there really anything else that one can learn from November?

–case p.

Next Verse: We’ve all gotta get rest sometimes, but even the best plans to get our sleep on can go awry!

Author: Casey E. Palmer

Calling the Great White North his home, Casey‘s spent the last few decades in pursuit of creating killer content. From novels as a kid, comics as a teen, to blogs and photos once he could grow a beard, he’ll use whatever’s around him to create amazing stuff. When he’s not creating, he’s parenting, exploring and trying to make life as awesome as possible for everyone around him. Because a boring life’s not a life worth living!

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