I always see September as a month of renewal. I harken back to the years, where the beginning of September heralded a new school year, a new teacher, new friends and catching up with old friends. It meant I had been successful the year before and now, I was on to learning new, exciting things. Well, some were exciting — I wasn’t a big fan of algebra!
I remember the smell of the new pack of Laurentian colouring pencils, which my parents bought for me every year, along with the new notebooks, erasers, pens. The simple things brought joy.
This was a pattern for almost twenty years of my life, and then I have lived vicariously through my son, for an additional 17 years! So the joy that September brings, the excitement of renewal, is somewhat “bred in the bone.”
I believe that September is a great time for us to reconsider our lives given that in a certain way, we are conditioned to consider it as the start of a new year. For me it is a time to reflect on what is working in my life, what isn’t, what I want more of, what I should discard. And of course the “how” of changing things up.
It is very easy to go along in our lives and not take time to reflect. The train is moving so fast, the pressures so great, that to even consider a change to our circumstance is daunting! We get comfortable, or complacent, and allow ourselves to just drift along the river of life, without a thought to where the current may inevitably take us. And sometimes, when we arrive at the mouth of the river and get spat out, we look around and say, “Hey, this isn’t where I wanted to be.”
Reflection, review and renewal are the three “R’s” that I feel we should embrace as we get older. I know that the older we get the harder change is. When we are younger and there are no obligations, no mortgages, no kids, so changing things up is easier, because usually the only consideration you have is yourself.
But fear of change should never be a reason to avoid it. As far as we know, this is our one shot at life (although I’m still hoping there is more) and it is important to be fulfilled and joyful. You are not doing anyone a favour — whether your employer, your partner, your kids, or yourself — if all you are doing is staying put, because, well, it’s easier than the alternative.
I have changed up my life a number of times, and I’m pretty sure that I will until the day I am given last rites. And that is because when I have taken the time to reflect and review, I have realized at times that there were aspects of my life that needed a renewal.
And it wasn’t without a great deal of review and reflection that I entered into the unknown. Most times the choices were extremely difficult, but I knew I wasn’t doing anyone a favour by just coasting. And each time when the difficult aspects of the change were complete, the renewal brought me great joy.
So take time this September to reflect on your life. Take time to remember the excitement (and some trepidation) that came with the beginning of the school year.
Make this September, your new year.
I might just go out a buy a new box of pencil crayons and inhale the scent of new beginnings!