November 2021.

I mentioned in my writers’ group that my sense of time passing has still not recovered since the pandemic began, and somebody said they thought the current time weirdness might be permanent, and I’m starting to fear that might be true! I feel unstuck in time and can only seem to focus on things on a day-to-day basis — and that’s when I can focus at all. I know there are lots of articles floating around about “languishing” as a shared emotional state at this stage of the ongoing pandemic crisis, and I know that I’m struggling in a similar way to many others. At least I’m not alone, I guess! Ah, well. On to the monthly wrap-up.

November 2021

LEARNING

I resumed my Norwegian practice on Duolingo, but that was about it last month.

MAKING

I didn’t quite get my monthly t-shirt finished, though I should still be able to wrap up my 2021 sewing project in December. I made a delicious pumpkin-flavored vegan bread pudding early in the month and a tasty crustless pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving.

WRITING

My new-ish newsletter went out on its regular schedule, and I failed miserably at NaNoWriMo. Oh, well! You can’t win ’em all.

CONNECTING

After almost two years off, it was both pretty weird and fairly awesome to resume choral rehearsals (singing fully masked)! We won’t have a full-fledged stage production this year, but we’ll have a tiny online show, and that’s better than nothing. We also attended a karaoke party and had lunch with my partner’s family.

HOUSEHOLD

I chose to neglect housework as I got busy last month, but I did pick up a few hand towels at a great price during a Cyber Monday sale.

MONEY MATTERS

My Personal Spending
I don’t have totals again, but I didn’t overspend as badly as in October, despite the lure of Black Friday sales. I’ll start with a blank slate in January, as I plan to experiment with a different tracking system. (Part of the reason I got so overwhelmed in previous months was that I made some changes that made tracking more complicated than it needed to be.)

Household Spending
We overspent on groceries in November, which was less about Thanksgiving (believe it or not) and more about a few larger once-in-a-while expenses, like our quarterly Vitacost order. I also bought several gifts earlier than usual. I plan to rework our budget again in January after reviewing our year-end numbers.

How I saved money in November:

  • I had two free drinks on my Starbucks card. (I’d let my points build up.)
  • I downloaded a free t-shirt pattern.
  • I used rewards points on a credit card to order underwear. You can’t beat “free” underpants!
  • I downloaded four free Kindle books and an Amazon First Reads title.
  • I ordered tea for Christmas presents and got a free-with-purchase mug. I meant it to be an additional gift, but the slogan suited me too well, so I kept it!
  • I downloaded some free holiday graphics from Creative Market.
  • I read ten ebooks and two physical books from the library. I also read a Prime title, a free Kindle book, and listened to a book from the Audible Plus Catalog.

How I made money in November:

  • I caught up on 2021 work for a once-in-a-while client.
  • I worked extra hours at my regular job to fill in for someone taking a vacation.
  • Though it’s not paying yet, I did some behind-the-scenes work on a new project (a “side hustle,” if you will allow me to use that dreaded term) that I hope to launch soon.

 

FINAL THOUGHTS

It’s going to be 2022 before I know it! Though I’m not much on resolutions, I’m big on experimentation, and I would like to take a new approach to these wrap-up posts next year. I only post these for myself, but I would like to continue with them. They help me stay focused and give me an excuse to keep track of things. That’s a good thing, but I think I could improve on my current process. We’ll see.