My book is due November 30th, so you can imagine I’ve had a close eye on the calendar. Earlier this week, I turned on the Christmas music, and I haven’t turned it off since. I’m on the third listen-through of Robbie Williams’s 2020 album. (Among his brilliant originals, he covers my favourite Christmas song, Emerson, Lake, and Palmer’s “I believe in Father Christmas.”) I started off this morning with Kelly Clarkson’s latest, a clever holiday and divorce album in one.

It’s raining again. We had a few days of reprieve after the climate disaster of early November, but the forecast says there are two more “atmospheric rivers” headed our way. I know us Pacific Northwesters are supposed to love the rain, but too much is too much. We’ve usually had at least one day of snow by this time of year, but it’s just not cold enough.

It’s feeling a lot like early quarantine again, stuck inside because of weather as well as a contagious disease, and I can’t help but wonder how much we’re living through our future right now. Stuck inside during summer because of wildfire smoke; stuck inside during winter because of floods.

I’ve exhausted my regular distractions. Two recent TV marathons were cut short when I realised Disney+ doesn’t have all the seasons (how dare they?). I’m deep into that phase of writing when you hate every word. I started my Animal Crossing island in September (a year late and 300 dollars short), but I’ve already paid off my last home loan. It’s no wonder I turned on the Christmas music; at least it’s something new.

It’s a time for turning to warmth and comfort. I took the last farmers market loaf out of the freezer and made sausage gravy all week. This month’s coffee is also local: Mükasi, a market discovery. I want familiar flavours and easy wins.

If you’ve also been looking at the calendar recently, you’ll notice it’s December next week. It’s nearly unbelievable we’re heading into Month 22 of ~all this. Next week’s newsletter will be my last for the year. I took last December off, too, and I highly recommend it. (Because I’ll be in LA for the beginning of January, I might just wait and come back in February.)

It’s a time for turning further inward, after nearly two years inside our walls and our minds. I don’t know; maybe 2022 will be the year I become the next version of me.