Happy New Year, Everyone!
(insert silver paper noisemaker being blown in your face.)
No, I don’t need to check my calendar. This is the authentic New Year. September is the month we truly begin again. While it is nice to have a party in the cold darkest depths of December, it is at the slow turn to autumn when we shake up our lives and start fresh. So let’s ring the bells and celebrate our natural New Year!
Back-to-School means much more than a return to academia. It is the pivot point for every aspect of our lives. We prepare for this change much more than we do for the simple calendar flip on January 1st. September brings new clothes, new books, new experiences – and most of all, new attitudes.
While January brings resolutions, September brings the real change.
The New Year for children requires preparation. Back-To-School lists are extensive. I work like a mad thing getting all the material goods the kiddos need to be ready for their classes. I try to work on the intangible changes too. We talk endlessly about the new classrooms, the academic work as well as the social soup of elementary life. I try every trick the internet has to offer to boost my daughters’ self-esteem and confidence. Hopefully one of them will stick.
Afternoons and weekends shift. There are new activities to schedule. Last year’s swimming and soccer are this year’s piano and gymnastics, as my kiddos grow and explore new interests. Somewhere between the Girl Scouts and the cross-country practice, I will block in their “just daydream and goof off outside time” to make sure they have the chance to just be. The shape of our daily lives will be radically different than the lazy days of August, and different again from the lives we lived last September. Welcome, new adventures.
But the world is renewing beyond the the land of school and offspring.
Projects that had languished as colleagues vacationed suddenly have alarmingly sharp deadlines. People stop asking about your relaxation plans and suddenly need to know your work availability. I find myself sharpening pencils, cleaning out the inbox, and color-coding my day-planner. There are new challenges to meet.
Personally, I feel a desire to be new.
January resolutions always feel false and forced, but in September I genuinely want positive transformation. Not only do I want it, but when my whole daily routine is already getting forcibly revamped, it feels possible to actually make it happen. I re-examine my habits, both good and bad, and decide which ones to include in the new world order. More walking and less Instagram lurking are on the agenda for this fall. If this were January, I’d ask you to wish me luck, but in September, I’ll just quietly do it.