This is the season of “and before you know it, it’s here” and “before you know it, it’s gone.” 

It was 65 degrees out just three days ago, and it’s been a steady 30-40 now. I dug out my coat from storage, had my unwashable sweaters dry cleaned. I’ve noticed a slight nagging at the base of my throat. Breathing isn’t as easy as it was earlier this week. It’s that time of year. Christmas and Chanukah presents are being discussed. So are holiday plans and plane tickets home. Before we knew it, it was here.

This is the season where it seems to all be hanging over our heads, and all we can do is try and prepare. Everything is constantly reaching and competing for our attention. Pick me! Buy me! Watch me! You need me! Listen to me! All the stores are trying to shine brighter, be louder. It’s so easy to be distracted in November. It’s so easy to have your head in December. Don’t be afraid to tell December to wait, to take a drive through the mountains one last time before all those beautiful fall leaves aren’t there anymore. Before we know it, they’ll be gone.

November is all these feelings, all these anticipations, a settling down and then an all-at-once excitement. November makes me feel like I don’t have anything to say. It’s something in the air that I can’t tackle down to a page. It’s a cold, rushing wind that whips around my face and says, “Just be here right now, okay?” It makes me want to put my iPhone in the place farthest back in my closet, make some hot tea, and just be with people and learn them. Don’t let December pull you away from these precious moments. Before we know it, November will be gone.

So listen for the changes. They’ll happen in your sleep. They’ll happen while you’re distracted, while you’re dressing things up in red and green and silver and gold. They’ll happen in the holiday stress, when you’re setting the table or when your flight is delayed or you’re stuck in traffic. November is begging us to listen. Before you knew it, it was here. And before you know it, it’ll be gone.