October is a graceful month, as the temperature dips and the world comes to an elegant transition. Spring is a time of renewal, but there is something more refreshing in its counterpart, an appeal that comes with experiencing the beauty that arrives before the precipice of decline. Soon enough it will be truly cold, and many will be mentally retreating back into sleek summer days as the world turns temporarily barren. But for now, everyone seems content with the looming winter.


Something we cannot depart from is the reality of the world, even with the arrival of another Halloween, again offering us the opportunity to slip into another skin for the night. There’s nothing wrong with pretending for a while, as long as our eyes remain open. As October passes, there are a number of causes that November is now known for, with the first being National Gratitude Month. What are ten things you are grateful for today? It does a lot for your spirit to take a moment to remember you privileges.


Not much of an optimist? Perhaps you’re a hair enthusiast. That’s right, it’s once again No Shave November, which means if two weeks from now your boss begins to comment on your slightly unkempt appearance, you can give a polite reminder that it’s for a good cause. Why do men forego hair maintenance for the duration of November? They are raising awareness for a number of men’s heath issues, including male suicide, prostate cancer and testicular cancer. Perhaps you can persuade a man you know to grow out his locks by agreeing to donate to a men’s health cause. November is also referred to as Moustache Month or “Movember,” allowing men the chance to also grow a mustache in support of men’s health issues.


It is also Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month. The American Cancer Society estimated that 53,670 diagnoses will be made in 2017 for pancreatic cancer. Symptoms include jaundice, abdominal pain, rapid weight loss, bloating and appetite disturbance, amongst others. November is also National Lunch Cancer Awareness Month, which is of vital importance, since lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death for both men and women. The American Cancer Society estimates that one-fourth of cancer related deathes are due to lung cancer, so don’t endanger yourself or your companions by smoking tobacco.


A health cause that affects many Americans also is put in the spotlight, as November is National Diabetes Month as well.


Another cause that deserves attention in November’s National Scholarship Month. If you are fortunate enough to have funds to share, perhaps take the time to look into ways to support education, with many local options available to bolster your own community and its students. It’s also National Family Literacy Month, once again championing the value of an education, which those of us who are fortunate enough to be reading this can help to spread.


Amongst many other worthy causes, November is National Inspirational Role Models Month, which is a great reminder to let one of your role models or mentors know how much they have sculpted your character. It is also National Alzheimer’s Disease Month and National Adoption Month. Chances are you have been personally affected by one of these causes, or know someone who has, so it is now is an opportune time to take that extra step in raising awareness.


Did none of these causes mesh with your personal preferences? Well, November is also Sweet Potato Awareness Month, because, I assume, sweet potatoes are delicious. The third of November is National Sandwich Day, likely because Sandwiches are even more delicious, and everyone should take a moment to enjoy one and be happy about the small things. More of a sweet tooth? It is also Banana Pudding Lovers Month and National Peanut Butter Lovers Month.


Remember, there are always little things to celebrate and enjoy, no matter how trivial, and bigger causes that need our awareness and support. To find out what else November is known for, visit https://nationaldaycalendar.com/november-monthly-observations/.


Emma Polini is the managing editor of the Van Alstyne Leader, Anna-Melissa Tribune and Prosper Press. What do you want in your paper? Email her at epolini@heralddemocrat.com to let her know.