So, some of you may have noticed that I’ve been a little quiet here on My Bellyful for the past few weeks. Life and its inevitable stresses got the better of me at some unknown point in early October and I really felt like I needed to take a bit of a break.
At this time, I was also suffering from some writing-based problems that were contributing to my blogging silence. You may remember that my last post was all about finding a writing niche and I wondered if a bit of distance might help me to find mine. I’m not sure I’ve stumbled across it quite yet, but I’ve come to realise that that doesn’t mean I should just stop writing, quite the opposite, in fact – surely, the more I write the more likely I am to land upon the topic that I was meant to write about, one that truly inspires me? Let’s hope so!
Anyway, my little hiatus has meant that I didn’t post an October Monthly Musing (there are people out there who missed it, right? Right?!!) and so consider this a bumper edition, one where I will not only outline November’s upcoming content, but reflect on what I’ve been up to over the past few weeks. So, get comfy, we might be here for a while…
In years gone by October has been, for me, a miserable month. The beautiful autumnal sunshine, the incredible changing colours of the trees and the welcome return of my winter coat and hat, have (in the past) been eclipsed by the horrible feeling that the day is over by five o’clock.
Strangely, this year, I’m less concerned about it. Perhaps it’s because, at the moment, I get to spend more time outside during daylight hours rather than stuck in a dimly-lit office. Perhaps it’s because I don’t have to spend ten minutes de-icing my car in a cold, dark car park before I can get home from work. Or perhaps it’s because, as a family, we now have a lot more to celebrate during the month of October.
Whatever the reason, this year I’ve been much more on board with everything October has to offer and subsequently, it has been a really enjoyable month. Not only did I visit Cheltenham Literature Festival a couple of weeks ago (to see writers Emma Gannon and Otegha Uwagba talk about creating a career that works for you), but we also stopped in at Westonbirt Arboretum which, I have to say, looked unbelieveably beautiful in the sunshine. If you’ve never visited, make sure you get yourselves there whilst the colours are still so vivid.
National Adoption Week was held in October and, although adoption is a topic that is very close to my heart, I didn’t feel quite able to write about it this year. Sadly, my husband and I found out a couple of years ago that we couldn’t have biological children and we have since started our family through adoption. I’m incredibly proud of this – the adoption process is a tough one and I certainly felt that we learnt a lot about ourselves during this time and in the weeks/months since we brought our little one home – but, if you follow me on Instagram then you’ll know why I was a little hesitant about posting anything for National Adoption Week. I don’t want people to think that adoption is easy for any party involved – adopters, adoptee or birth parents – and my husband and I are very aware of the impact adoption has and will continue to have on our child. It’s a tricky one, but I hope that one day in the not too distant future I will be able to write something about this that is a true reflection of my feelings.
Finally, I’m not really one for Halloween but I did make a Halloween inspired cake which I’ll be posting on Insta shortly. It was mint chocolate and my friend kindly said: “It’s nice because I feel full, but I also feel as though I’ve cleaned my teeth!”. Suffice to say it wasn’t the best thing I’ve ever baked, but I’m still working on my ‘Ode to Cake’ piece which has been sitting in my drafts folder since March so it kind of felt like research in a way!
November is usually a bit of a mixed bag for me. Often I’m still coming to terms with the change in seasons, but there is usually a point, fairly early on in the month, where I decide that it’s much more acceptable to put my pyjamas on at 6pm when it’s actually dark outside (as opposed to slipping into them early doors in the summer when, for many, six o’clock is still basically the middle of the day) and inevitably this realisation prompts a shift in attitude.
Now, given that I’ve taken the last few weeks off, I’m going to be completely honest and say that I’ve spent very little time thinking about my November content and so I think the best thing I can do over the coming weeks is to look back through my September Monthly Musing and catch up on anything I failed to post. This includes my how-to series (which, despite my blogging silence, I have started to write!) and a new autumn/winter goals post. I’m aware that I’ve been lacking some blogging focus over the past few weeks/months and I feel like the best way to combat this is to start finishing off the posts that are languishing in my drafts folder. Not only will this give me space to start thinking about December content (hello, Christmas!), but it will also stop me thinking about what to write and allow me to focus on the writing itself.
So, for now, I’ll leave you with the promise of more content and, with a bit of luck, the next Monthly Musing won’t be another bumper edition! As always, thanks for reading and enjoy November.
📷: burst.shopify.com via Pexels