November would be my least favorite month if it weren’t for Thanksgiving. Late October is kinda sucky too.
So, to be precise, my least favorite month is the 30-31 days ending on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving.
Well I like Thanksgiving a lot. Thanksgiving is wonderful and it’s my favorite holiday (being grateful + eating amazing food + not needing to dress up or stay out late = winning holiday!). And the day before Thanksgiving is generally pretty good too because we’re usually visiting family or on our way to visit family or cooking yummy food. (Sure, Black Friday is effing lame but I can avoid it.)
But the month leading up to Thanksgiving is a doozy. Fall colors normally peak around October 15th, so it’s pretty drab (hence the lack of photos lately). The days get short. And then the evenings get particularly short with the time change. It gets colder too, especially that cold and rainy mix that is horrible. I also tend to travel a lot for work during this time of year (although less so this year), which adds stress. This time of year, I just want to cuddle up with a bowl of chocolate chip cookie dough, fall into a sugar-induced coma at 8 pm, and sleep till 9 the next morning.
And then there is deer rifle season… anytime between Sept. 15 and Dec. 31 is some type of hunting season in our household, but deer rifle season is the worst. First, it’s virtually impossible to go out in the woods for any time of recreating– sticking to the roads and rec trails in town helps a little, but I can’t bust out a long hike on the North Country Trail or run/bike on woods roads. We also have family staying at our (very small) house for an extended period of time during this time of year, which just inevitably gets old and frustrating at times.
Getting over it
Of course, there are always really cool things happening this time of year. Sure, a few nights I do go home and numb out with TV, wine, and (or) obscene amounts of cookie dough and chocolate. But I also do really cool stuff. The past month I’ve spent a lot more time blogging (although not as much as I’d like…) and sewing (new and improved clothes!!). I also usually have a lot of trouble staying active into the fall, but I’ve been much better this year because I’ve gotten more interested in strength training and started cyclocross. And there have been some fun get-togethers and parties with friends.
All these things (and perhaps a good amount of time off from work in early October?) have made my least favorite month a little more tolerable this year. This year, I’ve generally avoided turning into a weepy, emotionally unstable, unhappy, angry mess of a human being. Whew!
Knowing that this time of year is rough and that I tend to become inactive, I’ve been making a bigger point to exercise outside in inclement weather. I make a lot of excuses (cold, rainy, snowy, deer season, see above) for not getting out, and the result is that I end up also eating poorly, numbing out, and feeling bad about myself. One day I went for a 5-mile run (with walk breaks… I haven’t been running much lately…) when it was about 33 degrees, foggy, and misting rain. It ended up being really nice to be out (me and my hi-vis yellow, water-resistant jacket = dork!) and I was completely happy that I made the effort. Later, a woman I know who lives in the area said that she saw me running, and that she thought I was crazy and wanted to stop to ask if I needed a ride, except she had a bunch of kids in her car!
I’ve also biked three times in snow as part of the end of cyclocross season. I thought it would be a lot colder to bike in the snow, but its not as bad as I thought. I did have to buy new gloves and a hat that I could wear under my helmet, but otherwise it’s pretty much like skiing– just move a lot and hope that your feet stay warm!! And, as an unexpected side benefit, biking yesterday when it was 12 degrees out (and, yes, that’s °F) helped recalibrate my internal thermostat. For the rest of the fall, will I really be able to complain about running when it’s 20 or 30? Probably not. Because now I’m feeling pretty badass and know that I’m not going to freeze.
What do you do this time of year?