A Fresh Start
Truly, every day is a new beginning, and a chance to chase our dreams, learn new things, and make new friends.As a kid, the month of August meant bright white shoes (Tretorns, check), a new backpack (LL Bean, Teal, check), and a shiny, new school year. My dad would take me clothes shopping, and I would pick out all manner of colorful get-ups. The shopping expedition would usher in the annual deliberation process for the all-important “first day of school” outfit. It had to be perfect to set the tone for the new school year, as well as to showcase my stylish Tretorns. I set about organizing my spiral notebooks and my kitten-covered Trapper Keeper, excited for what the new year would bring.
August meant the slate was clean and the possibilities were endless. I could tweak my personality a bit (less Laura Ingalls, more Alyssa Milano) and be the best version of me. This year, I would be HAPPY! I would be COOL! My Ogilvy home perm would make heads turn!
Thankfully, my school days (and my perm days) are over, but now I have two kids of my own embarking on a new school year, feeling all those anxious, hopeful, butterflies-in-the-stomach emotions. (I may or may not be feeling more nervous than they are. I admit nothing).
Truth is, we have fresh starts and beginnings all the time. I am especially reminded of this as my youngest starts kindergarten this year, taking her first steps into “real school” and getting her first taste of independence. I, too, am having a new beginning of sorts, with both my kids now in school full-time. It’s the end of so much concentrated, intense time with the kids at home, but the beginning of their journey to discover the world on their own and my journey to begin the slow, agonizing process of letting them go, bit by bit. (while holding my breath and throwing a mini-tantrum in my mind).
As the summer winds down and the crispness of fall rolls in, even the seasons give us a chance to start anew. Although fall happens every darn year, it stills feels like a brand new chance to break out the jeans, the boots, and pumpkin-flavored everything. The sizzle of summer finally subsides, and the cooler temperatures beckon us outdoors to rediscover nature and feel the satisfying crunch of leaves beneath our feet. Winter follows, bringing the child-like excitement of the holidays, full of boundless possibility year after year. And then Spring zips in, the ultimate fresh-start season, as the flowers and trees begin to bloom, yet again.
Thankfully, a fresh start is always around the corner, which is especially comforting to those of us who sometimes feel like we’re falling off the path and losing our bearings. As a new day dawns, we can shake off the past, push the reset button, and get vertical yet again.
Truly, every day is a new beginning, and a chance to chase our dreams, learn new things, and make new friends. Yes, of course, we all screw up from time to time (some of us more than others, but I won’t mention names). We make bad choices; we take a detour and end up on the wrong path for a time. But, each morning, miraculously, if we so choose, the slate is clean. We can start afresh, and we always have the choice to take a few steps or a giant leap in the direction of whom we are called to be.
Actually, when you get right down to it, every single slippery second, every MOMENT, is an opportunity to breathe and recalibrate. Sometimes, when life gets hard and messy and complicated (see paragraph above about Child #2 starting Kindergarten), we have to take life moment to moment. And in those times, every moment is a chance to be resilient and to accept the gift of another breath.
As the new school year begins and autumn rounds the corner, we can embrace it as a new beginning for all of us. We can step outside our comfort zones a bit, try new things, get excited about SOMETHING, and be grateful simply because we are alive and have the incredible opportunity to begin anew each day. As for me, I’m going to dust off my old Trapper Keeper, lace up the Tretorns, google Alyssa Milano (still hot!) and march with open arms into the biggest classroom of all: LIFE.