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Contemplate Before You Celebrate


Life + Learning

  • frozen lake and trees

Shaun, Hespeler | November 1, 2018

November is here, and although retail stores are already urging us to get into holiday spirit, there are many people who associate this month with loss, not festivity.  I’m speaking, of course, about those who have been affected by violence and war – those who associate November with Remembrance.  Personally, I am one of the multitude of Canadians fortunate enough to not to be directly affected by war, and for that I am grateful.  I am familiar with loss, and though I would never compare my life with those who have sacrificed so much, I feel a sense of kinship on Remembrance Day.

For me, November might be the perfect month to contemplate the more serious matters in life, Remembrance Day aside.  The days are getting shorter, colder, and quieter.  Trees are bare, colours are muted, and the lively sounds of forest creatures have all but vanished.  For many, the initial pangs of Seasonal Affective Disorder are starting to appear.  The world seems to take a somber turn.  Folks move indoors, under blankets with hot drinks, and many of us move inwards with our thoughts as well.  

Why not lean into this somber month?  Before the holiday season comes roaring in with its joyful gatherings of families and friends, it might be an idea to take some time contemplate personal grief and loss, and perhaps emerge on the other side grateful and ready to celebrate the upcoming festivities.

If you are looking for an ideal place for quiet reflection, why not visit the Idea Exchange?  It’s a discreet, safe, non-judgemental environment filled with resources to help you if you feel you need it.  If you do stop by, here are a few our more recent resources you may wish to consider.  I’ll be looking forward to your visit one of these frosty winter nights.

Modern Loss book coverGrief Works book coverBreaking Sad book cover Option B book cover                        

Light Therapy Lamps are also available for in-library use on a first come, first served basis at all Idea Exchange locations, except Old Post Office and Design at Riverside.


Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on

Such a good idea-- keeping November for quiet reflection and introspection. Perhaps coming to terms with losses like friendships ending, moving, or changes in family celebrations upcoming. Thank you for the inspiration.

Submitted by Shaun (not verified) on

Thanks. There's a seat waiting for you by our fireplace next time you need a quiet place.