Yesterday my favorite five year old ran up to me modeling her brand new pink and purple backpack. One by one she introduced me to the new treasures hidden inside – pencil case, scissors, erasers – proudly displaying them like badges of honor. You see, school starts in a few weeks and she’s going to be in kindergarten (accent is hers). Variants of this scene are playing out in kitchens everywhere as we celebrate the great American ritual called Back-To-School.
I may not miss the protractors or dramatic wardrobe arguments with my mother (please don’t tell her she was right about the parachute pants) but I have to admit that I miss the spirit of renewal that came with back-to-school time. It was an opportunity for a clean slate where the familiar security of old friends made it easier to deal with the nervous excitement of encountering new people and situations. Each year there was the potential for reinvention; a shy bookworm could re-imagine herself as a “popular girl” decked out in the latest styles and clutching a squeaky clean Trapper Keeper. The fall became a time to begin again.
Now that I am a grown up, the fall is just another season and I have lost my natural reset button. Don’t get me wrong, that doesn’t mean that change is impossible. On the contrary, there are plenty of beautiful and exciting ways for adults to introduce renewal into their lives, it just now requires more intention.
So, grab your pencil case and let’s make this fall our back-to-school season. What do you plan to renew, re-imagine, or reset?
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