November has passed and took NaMoWriMo with it. I feel like I had a very successful NaNo, with only three days I didn’t work on my novel. While it’s supposed to be an every day thing, I will always cut myself some slack when circumstances warrant it, so I’m not beating myself up over those three missed days. Between rewrites and editing, I worked my way through 47,000 words in November. That’s a victory to me, no matter how you slice it.

Obviously, the year isn’t over yet so it might be a bit premature to be thinking about wrapping up the year. But to me, the end of November does feel like that in a way. December is a strange kind of annual twilight – not truly part of the year it falls in, but not part of the next one either. I’m sure this isn’t true for everyone, but for me, regular life feels like it’s on hold in many ways, as normal activities get superseded by December-exclusive ones like Christmas decorating, baking and parties.

This often means bad things for good habits, at least in my experience. Anything resembling healthy eating goes out the window. Budgets are pushed, pulled and ignored. Social obligations obliterate sleep schedules and normal introvert battery-charging strategies.

It seems likely that it will mean bad things for my daily writing/editing as well. I already missed yesterday’s editing as I worked my way through the checklist of things I wanted to accomplish and time I wanted to spend with people. And you know what? I had a lovely day. I’m not going to begrudge myself that just because I didn’t get any editing done.

I’m really pleased about this. I had no guilt yesterday and today I sat down and wrote this blog without hesitation. I’m going to do some editing after this too, and I’m going to do it without any sense of obligation or admonishments to myself about how I failed yesterday so I’d better get it together today. So often for me, missing a goal is a crushing event that results in the tossing of the goal entirely – I failed once, therefore this is a worthless endeavor and I should just quit now. Even if I don’t abandon it entirely, I have to lecture and cajole myself into giving the goal another chance.

Not this time. I didn’t edit yesterday and that’s fine. I will edit today and I’m going to do it just because I want to do it and it’s important to me. No guilt, no anger, no disappointment. I actually have some faith that I’m going to spend December getting editing done when I can, enjoying myself when I can’t, and when January comes my life and habits will go back to what passes for normal. It’s a very freeing feeling, and a wonderful year-end gift to myself. What a great way to wrap up the year.

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