The November List
Updated: Sep 2, 2019
I found out on Halloween that my work trip to Asia was canceled as part of a travel freeze instituted by senior management at my firm. This means that my additional days in China to see my grandmother were impacted as well. I looked into flying to and from China on my own, but with a travel time of 24 hours each way from New York and a +2 day arrival on each leg, I decided that it didn’t make sense for me to try to go for a week.
I didn’t know until it happened how upset I would be about this trip being canceled. I’m so sad to miss this opportunity to see my grandma. It’s been 13 years since I was last in China. She’s in her mid 90s. The sense of urgency to go grows all the time.
I’d drafted a November list for the latter half of the month, when I’d be back to find the holidays in full swing. But now that things have changed, my plans have shifted accordingly.
Tomorrow is Election Day and I am so ready to cast my ballot. I know that as a New Yorker, my vote is one of millions in a deep blue state. Still, it's so important to be one among many, if for no other reason than to show those elected the sheer number of people who turned out to have their voices heard. Additionally, there are three local propositions that I'd like to have to a say in.
In late summer and thus far into fall, my husband and I have really made great use of our weekends. Going upstate, trying new restaurants, checking out the recently opened Grimm taproom (by the way I love that we can now get their brews directly from the source without having to hunt for them), and sprinkled amongst that, plenty of down time, studio time, family time, alone time. We even got through some shows that have been on our watch list.
As we move into colder weather, I want to make an effort to keep on keeping on with this wonderful balance of weekend activities.
I’m a huge fan of roasted chestnuts and we are in the season for them! I love the idea of a home warmed by an oven and filled with some delicious smell. Also, my husband has been lightly jabbing me about how long it's been since I last baked bread. I'm getting the hint.
Show my extended family they are in my thoughts
I’d ordered an album of wedding photos in a large format book for my grandma to bring with me. Instead, I’ll have to mail it to her. I’m trying to forgive myself for not having done this sooner, and more generally for allowing myself to have gone so long without seeing family in China. In truth I can’t help but to feel guilty that I only made plans to go because I HAD to be in the region for work.
My cousins there and I are all adults now. Three of them even have kids. I’m going to try to find other things to send my extended family to show them they are in my thoughts, and to provide a glimpse of what my life is like now and the person I’ve grown up to be since they last saw me before I started college.
Look back at the year
When I have a spare couple of hours this month I'd love to start my look back of 2018. I've often felt worn down this year, but at the same time I know there have been wonderful things that have come to me over the course of the past 12 months as well. I'd like to take stock.