Dear November

Today I say goodbye to what used to be my favorite month. Used to be.
November-Calendar-Clipart-3I’m not exactly sure when my feelings about November began to change. If I had to pin it down I would say it was about three years ago. I suppose it was actually written in the cards eight years ago when November of 2007 became the most exciting and terrifying month of my life to date. That was the month that I ended an 18 year marriage and started a new relationship with Christiana that would lead to the life and purpose I’m living now. That’s a different story for a different time though. Today I will let go of November of 2015 and clear the path for December. Here goes.


Dear November,

I wanted to write and say goodbye until next year. I also wanted to ask you a favor. When you come again next year could you please do so without zapping my energy, making me feel stagnant and causing me to get lazy and gain weight. And while you are at it would you also please do a better job of reminding me that you are the month of gratitude and love, not the month of fear and self doubt. 

It’s really nothing personal November. I can think of so many wonderful experiences and isolated times of joy I have shared with you over the years, but in the last three years in particular I have come to associate your name with struggle and stagnation. I remember going to one of the members of my wellness team three years ago about a week into your month and telling him that I just wasn’t feeling right. This guy is a chiropractor and a homeopath. He’s always pushing me towards homeopathy but I’m not sure about that and I really just wanted to use him for the chiropractic and massage.

Well anyways he told me to adjust my diet and eat less gluten and dairy. He said it would increase my energy and reduce internal inflammation. I tried it out and it worked pretty good. I even went to my family Thanksgiving dinner that year and declared myself to be gluten free long before it became trendy. I raised more than a few eyebrows that year let me tell you. Eventually I missed cheese pizza too much so I went back to the dark side. Since then I’ve toggled back and forth between gluten-restricted to gluten-free to outright gluttonous. I wonder if I should try that GF thing again and see if it helps me get a jump start in the coming month? Please don’t be jealous if I do so and December gets all the glory. 

I also wish I could do something about that Daylight Savings Time thing they force you to do at the beginning of your month, November. How do you like it? Do you feel like you are being made the scapegoat for everybody feeling all out of whack for your first two weeks while their body clocks get readjusted? I bet you’d rather just keep the time the time and let the sun set when it sets. I’m no fan of the sun setting in the middle of the afternoon, but I figure people in places further north like Northern Ireland and Iceland have managed for millennia. And of course there is that little fact that I could always move if I wanted to. There are places the planet that have about 12 hours of sunlight year round regardless of which month it is, and most of them have lots of beaches and plenty of natural Vitamin D! 

Speaking about that Vitamin D, I know you can’t do anything to help provide me more from your direct resources, but would you put a note in your calendar to force me to start taking my supplements right on the first day of you in 2016. I know that I need them, but somehow I never seem to get into a pattern until it’s too late and I’ve already caught my first cold or flu of the season. I’m leaving it up to you to do a better job of motivationg me to take better care of myself. If you can do that maybe you will start to move back into contention to be one of my favorite months again November. 

Just a few more things. Could I please ask you to remind me next year that your month is not intended to be a sabbatical from writing? Once again, November, I looked back into my blog and my journals and discovered that I have written preciously close to nothing since Halloween or Samhain or whatever it is that you want to call the harvest holiday. It was really cool this year in October learning about how important the last day of their month and the first day of your month is when it comes to the veil between the spirit world and our human existence. I’m even wondering if that has something to do with me becoming so reflective and withdrawn these last few Novembers. I’m looking forward to learning more about that when I have the energy to stay up and read more. 

There are always so many exciting things to do in your month November. I remember that I used to be so delighted with the endless social opportunities. In fact this year alone I bet I’ve been out between 15-20 of your 30 nights with friends and/or family members. I’m really so lucky to have such a large circle of awesome people in my life. I lived such a long period of my former life in an introverted bubble of self-created isolation that when I started to come out of it a few years back I just couldn’t ever say no to a chance to party and enjoy adventures. I’m realizing now though that one of the reasons I’m so tired during your month is because I don’t save enough space for myself. Could you please remind me next year to save a little more space for myself November? 

One last thing November. Even if you can’t meet any of the requests that I’ve mentioned above, could you pretty please just do this one thing? Next year remind me that no matter what happens in November, it will be exactly what was supposed to happen. I’d really like to finally remember that my life like all lives is a subject to periods of great progress and periods of stagnation. I’m pretty good at pointing that out to other people. I just can’t seem to remember to accept that fact when it comes to being kinder and more forgiving to myself. 

Well anyways, I hope you enjoy your time off until next year. I really appreciate your attention. I think we’ll both have a much better understanding of each other next time we meet. I’d ask you to write back, but I see you’re running out of time. Maybe next year I’ll reach out sooner and we can do a better job of working on this thing together. 

Peace and Love,



About Jim Herbert

I've been wanting to write my whole life. By age 45 it had amounted to nothing more than a storage locker of half full journals and a lot of unfulfilled dreams. Then Paris in the fall of 2011 happened. It was the catalyst I needed to consistently blog. At first I had a hard time hitting the publish button, but now two blog sites and over 300 posts later I'm hitting my stride. I'm also a budding speech writer. I've recently been heavily involved in the Chicago Storytelling scene and have also won the Chicago Toastmasters Area 66 International Speech Contest. Check out our website at for more details about the amazing things that are happening in my life. A book or two are nearing completion. With another Paris trip on tap for Easter of 2015 I can only imagine that there are Infinite Possibilities on the horizon!!!
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4 Responses to Dear November

  1. Diane Onixt says:

    Voice from the past……November 12 th is my birthday, I don’t look forward to it because I celebrated it with David and I miss talking to him. My birthday consisted of eating in shifts-1st with Micah and Shane, then they were off to basketball. Next, Baily came home from ice skating and I had pumpkin cake with candles. It was healthy— Give me frosting and lots of yellow or chocolate cake! Oh, well,it was interesting to hear about your November,stick to whenever diet you wish-I think you are handsome, if you are too thin, I’ll miss the other 1/2 of you. How is your mother doing? I hope to be at Joe’s for lunch in December.I miss you Jim-my best to your beautiful wife. Love, Diane

  2. wendydoherty says:

    Another great read. I felt like you invited us in to your inner sanctum and shared some very personal things. I was especially touched by: “I lived such a long period of my former life in an introverted bubble of self-created isolation that when I started to come out of it a few years back I just couldn’t ever say no to a chance to party and enjoy adventures. I’m realizing now though that one of the reasons I’m so tired during your month is because I don’t save enough space for myself.”

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