November Feels

November 5, 2020

Can you believe it’s November already?  Where has this year gone?  In a whir of a new reality of a Covid-19 world is where!  It’s certainly been a year like no other hasn’t it?  Putting Covid aside for now though, did you realise that every month of the year kind of holds a certain feeling and expectation from us. 

What are your November feels?  

November feels for me are …

  • Jacaranda trees in bloom.  In November, Brisbane is awash in the purple haze of beautiful Jacaranda trees in bloom. Footpaths and yards become carpets of purple and lavender.  Generally this blooming is from late October through to late November but has been known to start earlier some years.  For most of us it reminds us it’s ‘exam time’, or at least it was when we were at school and/or university.  There is a saying “As Jacarandas bloom, exams start soon”. There is also the ominous warning about blooming Jacarandas and heavy grey skies meaning it’s too late for uni students to open their books and start studying. Apparently, superstition holds that if a Jacaranda bloom falls on a student’s head, they will fail exams.  

Jacarandas in bloom on a fine blue skied and sunny day (stock image from Unsplash by Tim Cooper)

Coronation Drive, Brisbane

Jacaranda Trees in bloom on a rainy day in Brisbane with storms building (photo by Min).

  • My Dad’s birthday on 1 November.  Sadly, Dad is no longer with us, but we all still mark the occasion of his birthday in our own ways.  This year was a special one as he would’ve turned 90.  Mum and one of my sisters were at Noosa and had a sunset dinner at a restaurant on the beach to celebrate.  Myself and a sister went out to visit Dad and then had lunch at his local tavern.  There were so many signs that day from Dad that we knew he was with us.

Cheers to Dad on what would be his 90th birthday

  • 1 November was also my parent’s in-law (Alan & Betty) wedding anniversary.  This year would’ve been their 73rd!!

  • Summer’s coming!  It starts to get hotter and the storm season starts.  Summer doesn’t officially start until 1 December but we all know it gets hot and summery before that here in Brisbane.  This year the storms have started early!

  • My Twin’s Birthday!  They were born on 19 November 1992, so this year they will be 28.  That is the age I was when I had them!  How can this be? 

  • Christmas is near.  It creeps up on us out of nowhere doesn’t it?  To be honest, I find I can get quite stressed at this time of year.  All those gifts to buy (what to get?) and trying to equally balance myself between two families and so on.  I must admit though that this time of year is a lot easier now I don’t have kids in school.  When I was not only working full time but also juggling three schools with all their end of year activities, it was very full on!  In 2014 I wrote about a phenomenon called ‘Endofyearitis‘.  In 2016 I wrote ‘Tips for Managing Christmas Season Stress‘ and ‘Let’s all go on a mind holiday‘.  Clearly it’s a running theme for me at this time of year.  I’d very much like a little holiday away right now!

And so there you go, that’s a wrap up of what November feels are for me.  Before we know it, it will be December and I don’t mean to alarm you but did you know it’s only 7 weeks till Christmas!  Time for me to have a refresh read of Tips for Managing Christmas Season Stress, and to both chillax and get a bit organised.

Are your November feels similar to mine?  Got anything to add?  Are you ready for the silly season ahead?

Ciao for now,

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  • Reply Deborah Cook November 5, 2020 at 6:47 am

    Time is certainly flying. Although there’s a ‘the days are long but the months are fast’ kind of feeling about it for me.

    When I was in Brisbane in early October the Jacaranda trees were lovely and though we have them here they aren’t as plentiful.

    I’m glad you got to spend time with your family on your dad’s birthday. It was the anniversary of my dad’s death a couple of weeks ago and I had the night with mum and we went to the cemetery. He was cremated so it’s a plaque in the wall.

    Happy birthday to your twins and I’m surprised at the height difference in that pic. Did that continue?

    • Reply Min November 5, 2020 at 1:58 pm

      Hi Deb! This year has gone really quickly hasn’t it? I guess it’d be 5++ years since your Dad died? I’m glad you and your Mum have each other for these occasions. It’ll be the 3rd anniversary of my Dad’s death on 2 December, so another visit out to the cemetery then and probably lunch with family. I think the height difference is not real in the photo of the boys – one is not standing up tall and straight so he looks a lot shorter. I think they are much the same height then and today – maybe one slightly taller than the other.

  • Reply Lydia C. Lee November 5, 2020 at 6:59 am

    Did you take that lighting shot? That’s FANTASTIC!! Love the jacaranda too – so uplifting.

    • Reply Min November 5, 2020 at 1:59 pm

      Hi Lydia – Noooo that thunderstorm pic is a free stock image – not taken by me.

  • Reply Natalie November 5, 2020 at 9:10 am

    Min, Beautiful jacaranda trees and a few important dates in your family. Happy birthday to your twins! Over here, November is typically a grey month weather-wise, sandwiched between our Thanksgiving holiday in October and Christmas in December. This week we have unusually warm temperatures, high around 17C and sunny skies so I’ll take it! My family has simplified Christmas gift-giving many years ago so it’s been more relaxing and fun for all involved. #lovin’lifelinky

    • Reply Min November 5, 2020 at 2:02 pm

      Hi Natalie – aren’t the Jacaranda trees beautiful. I love them so much! Thanks for the birthday wishes for the boys (men but always my boys). It’s funny isn’t it how our seasons are opposite. Of course we don’t have Thanksgiving over here unless you’re from the US or Canada and living over here I guess. Our Christmas gift giving procedure has been somewhat simplified over the years thank goodness but I still have quite a lot of gifts to buy. Hope you’re having a wonderful week! xo

  • Reply Denyse Whelan November 5, 2020 at 6:34 pm

    I too am of the opinion that each part of the year has its feelings and memories. November for me reminds me I am about to have a birthday and do I really like the attention?!It also signalled the end of the school financial year (30.11 – same as my birthday!) so as a school principal it was a full-on time in the lead up and in the readiness for things like Christmas concerts and so on. I too think of exams but in NSW we did not have the jacaranda as much as you Qlders do. I do know the there was a huge jacaranda tree at Sydney Uni which had to be cut down because of danger and it held much significance for Uni students there. November was a huge rush of Grandmotherly planning of Christmas gifts too. However we are a very practical family and as the kids are so grown up we give them some money to do after Christmas shopping. Christmas gift giving pressure is gone. I think families eventually come to this conclusion. Lovely to read your words Min. Denyse.

    • Reply Min November 7, 2020 at 2:23 pm

      Thank you Denyse! I hope you have something special planned for your birthday! Yes of course having been a teacher and principal November would be full of end of school year stuff for you – or memories of that now. We’ve simplified our gift giving practices for Christmas somewhat compared to the past but i still manage to get myself in a bit of a flap over it all. It’s a little more difficult this year because of Covid. I really don’t want to have to go to any big shopping centres, so we shall see I how I go! xo

  • Reply Joanne November 5, 2020 at 9:13 pm

    Those purple trees are just beautiful! My husband and I often remark that our oldest is now the age when my husband and I met– he seems like such a kid to me (and he is at 16) but I felt pretty grown up then. It’s uncanny how time flies by.

    • Reply Min November 7, 2020 at 2:24 pm

      Thank you Joanne! Yes it’s very strange how time has flown and my boys are now the age I was when I had them. They are at a very different life stage than I was. I was married and now I mother. They are single and still living at home!

  • Reply suzanne vosbikian November 5, 2020 at 10:58 pm

    Min, we have Jacaranda trees in Florida which bloom in Spring (April) for us. The blooms don’t last nearly long enough, but they are magnificent. Thanks for sharing the folklore behind the tree. As for November, we are on a holiday until the 14th, at which time I will return home and turn my thoughts toward Thanksgiving, and Christmas. I am determined to not stress and just let it unfold. Good luck with that, right?

    • Reply Min November 7, 2020 at 2:25 pm

      Hi Suzanne, I imagine that having Thanksgiving as well as Christmas at the end of the year would make for very busy (and probably stressful) days! No Thanksgiving here but I do have my boys birthday in November to put some attention to before I fully focus on Christmas! Here’s hoping we can both enjoy and remain stress free! haha xo

  • Reply Debbie Harris November 10, 2020 at 12:25 pm

    Hi Min, we don’t have jacaranda trees here but I love seeing them and just on the weekend we went to the coast and there they were in their majestic glory!! I enjoyed your catch up and feel the pain of your dad’s birthday and your parents wedding anniversary. Loved reading about your month. Take care.

    • Reply Min November 12, 2020 at 9:20 am

      Thanks Deb – they’re a beautiful tree aren’t they? Dad’s 90th birthday got to me a bit but I feel very pleased with how I spent the day and really felt his presence that day. xo

  • Reply Leanne @ Deep Fried Fruit November 12, 2020 at 5:58 am

    I saw on the news that in Sydney streets people were holding up traffics to take photos with the jacaranda trees. They really are absolutely divine!!! I haven’t seen any in Canberra-ville

    • Reply Min November 12, 2020 at 9:19 am

      Yes I’ve seen some Sydney photos too. I love them – my favourite tree! 🙂

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