Books,  Just Life,  Knitting

Looking Back | November.

Hello friends and happy Thursday! I finally managed to compile my looking back collage and wow, is it just me, or does November already seem like ages ago?! Seeing all the photo together, I’m struck – yet again! – by all the blue!

Inspired by Emily P. Freeman, I started taking a Tuesday self-portrait/diptych – one photo looking down and one looking up – both photos from the same place. Thankful for my three times (at least) daily walks with Holly so my photos aren’t of the floors and ceilings in my house. I’m going to try to continue those diptychs … they tell a great story all on their own.

and now to the regular habit of Looking Back:

1. What am I celebrating?
+ we are all still healthy.
+ a tennis WIN! (and another match, where I played better).
+ another trip around the sun.
+ being able to share Thanksgiving with Katie and her family.

2. What surprised me?
+ how much time all the prep for the painting would take. (and now, on December 17, just how much time it would take to put everything back together again. whoa.)

3. What voices am I listening to?
+ Sarah and Beth on Pantsuit Politics, Anne Bogel on What Should I Read Next, Kendra Adachi on The Lazy Genius, Emily P. Freeman on The Next Right Thing, Brené Brown on Unlocking Us … these ladies keep me grounded and going (ditto from last month and again!). I am also regularly listening to Chelsey and Sara at Novel Pairings (like I need more TBR recommendations 😉 )

4. What did I make?
+ I finished one sweater and one pair of socks. The sweater makes an appearance on the 17th and the socks (Ravelry link) on the 12th. That #2 above meant I never did a real FO post for the sweater – it’s JiJ (Ravelry link)i, a new one from favorite Ankestrick. (I also have still not updated Ravelry with any more details than the needle, the yarn, and the size I made.) I love everything about this sweater and will for sure knit it again.

one of my favorite details is the sleeve increase line … and Marc captured it beautifully!

5. What was the best thing I watched?
+ the acceptance speeches on November 7 by President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Harris.
+ and after that it almost feels frivolous to say The Queen’s Gambit, but gosh it was GOOD!

6. Read?
+ I finished 10 books – and I still haven’t updated Goodreads for October’s reads, so here are my three (yes, three! y’all my reading has been so much better this year!) 5-star books

Clap When You Land (Acevedo is a fantastic narrator, but you’re gonna want to see the words on the page, too); The Lazy Genius Way (I’ve been listening to Kendra’s podcast for a while and I loved having all the “tips” consolidated into one place. Kendra and I are both Enneagram Type One and I resonate 100% with what she says. This is a book I wish my 30-year old self had … not that I’d wish my 58-year-old self to a different place, but maybe some of the struggles would’ve been easier); Inheritors (I saw this described as Homegoing, except Japan, and with the stories in a mixed up order … and I think that’s pretty accurate).

7. What am I working to leave behind?
– feeling resentful when “my” things don’t happen, but “his” do.
– comparing myself to anyone else.

8. What do I want to focus on in the month ahead?
+ our painting project … and then
+ Christmas …
+ and Sara here for three weeks!!

9. What’s something I’m reconsidering as a result of the last 30 days?
+ Goodreads and Ravelry. I haven’t updated either in weeks. and the only thing I’ve missed is knowing which size needles I used for Big Love (which was something 2019 me missed). hummmm…

10. What is one thing I’d like to start doing in December?
+ getting back to The Balanced Life (15 minutes of Pilates every day). I was on a great roll over the summer and it felt good. then tennis, and running, and well … I just stopped. I miss it!

Thank you for following along with me! the house is pretty much back together now and Marc even put up the tree … I hesitate to promise anything, but I’m really hoping to be back here tomorrow with an FO post!

any ideas what I might be hoping to share?

12 Comments

  • Carolyn

    Mary, there’s always so much I want to respond to! I will try to exercise my ‘succinct’ muscle. L. G. Way–I JUST got my hands on it last night! I thought of you, knowing it was in your queue. I can’t wait to begin. Making myself wait ’til I wrap up a few titles first. But–eager over here. And–so glad Kendra’s a One! (And you!, too). Because…Me, Too…and I suspect I’ll FEEL that when I read her. Congrats on your tennis win! And the work for #7 sounds like rich ground.
    Wishes for a wonderful season ahead with Sara! (Here’s to time going sl-l-o-w-l-y!)

  • Bonny

    My FiL was a builder and painter, and he helped us out when we moved into our house. He taught me that painting prep work takes 2-3x the actual painting time, and said if you don’t do the prep right you’re going to be painting again in less than a year. (Maybe that’s why it takes me so long to paint?) I’m glad things are mostly back together and that you enjoyed The Queen’s Gambit. I’ve watched it twice!

  • Sarah

    I think I know exactly what FO you’re going to share, and I cannot wait to see it! I have that chocolate brown fleece still sitting in a bag in my bedroom that I want to turn into my own version, and I’ve purposefully kept it out so that I’m more motivated to spin it (perhaps I’ll use part of my break to finish carding it, since that seems to be the holdup).

  • Juliann

    I love that looking up-looking down prompt – Emily comes up with some very inspiring ideas. And the my stuff/his stuff dilemma- I can relate to that.

  • Carole

    I love seeing your photo collage every month. And I have yet to do mine for November so this is a good reminder to me to get.that.done. I love GoodReads and can’t imagine not using it. Ravelry? I’m behind on updating projects, too, but it’s a valuable tool (as you’ve learned by not tracking that needle size) so I’m committed to getting it updated before the end of the year.

  • Kat

    That sweater is just so sweet! I like your yarn choice too! I am with Carole, I am a GoodReads devotee and will not give that up. Ravelry… while I would like to be rid of it for some significant reasons, I don’t know where else to keep good notes on a project (and althought I am woefully behind in marking projects this year, I will try and get it caught up soon!)

  • karen

    I love the sweater and the shaping detail 🙂 I am so glad you will be with family during this season. We will not but I’m thinking of my holidays as ‘simplified’ and I’m thinking of fun ways to be joyful.

  • kym

    I love your new cardigan, Mary! What a perfect “basic” for your wardrobe. That said, I can’t imagine not having Ravelry or Goodreads — not so much for the “social” aspects (because I use those not at all), but for the handy tracking and recording features. I’m surprised how many times I use both of those services to look things up – easily, effieciently and quickly. And painting? Oh, man. The prep is just unbearable. We’re redoing our lower level (after the pandemic. . . ), and the thought of all that prep work just wears me out thinking about it! But what wonderful, clean and bright spaces you have now! XO

  • lydia

    I only use Goodreads to keep up with the books I’d might like to read rather than bits of paper that I have to find a place for-I’m not interesting in leaving reviews. Ravelry is only used when I want to match yarn and pattern and find errata or what’s in my library! Ravelry is just not what it started out as, and have moved further away from knitting IMHO. Yes, November feels like forever away!

  • Patty

    The Queen’s Gambit was soooo good! We’re into season 2 of Billions and loving it. Congrats on the tennis win Mary…I can play Jingle Bells with 2 hands on the piano! (Man is it hard…) So happy Sara is just days away for you. 🙂

  • Margene

    Your Jiji is lovely! I understand your desire to put less time into tracking your knitting and books, but doing so is often helpful to your future self. I have been doing minimal updating but just enough to help jog my memory should I need to know about the project. It also helps your friends if they have questions. 🙂 I like Goodreads as I can check what my book group read or what year I read this or that. I’ve been using it so long I want to continue to track my reading in this format. I don’t do reviews as others do a better job. The star rating is enough.

  • Debbie

    Your sweater is lovely! I enjoy both Goodreads and Ravely for keeping track of my reading and knitting projects. I’m glad you enjoyed The Queen’s Gambit, I thought it was great!