In my area, today is the first day of the new school year.
It’s a “fresh start”. It’s an opportunity for a “new beginning”. It’s a chance for young children to experience a new way of walking in this world, and for older children to “recreate” who they are (or who they decided to be) after a summer off. There’s the excitement of getting on the bus, or being dropped off at school, with parents and grandparents waving and taking pictures.
For some students the experience is amazingly positive and uplifting. They excel scholastically, are naturally “popular” and walk through life with what appears to be a golden road laid out before them. Other children dread this day, whether they’re five or fifteen.
Many students go “back to school” in new outfits and shoes. New backpacks, new folders and new binders are just waiting to be filled with papers and notes and assignments. New crayons, pencils and pens are ready to be tried out, to make a “new mark”.
Not weighed down by the heaviness of a school year’s worth of assignments and “stuff”, lockers are empty and offer a new opportunity for putting in exactly the “right things”.
The newness creates a freedom. These children aren’t burdened by the tests they haven’t studied for, the assignments that aren’t quite completed, or the projects they haven’t started. They’re coming in with a “blank slate”.
Many parents look at this time of year as a chance to create new methods to make the school year flow more easily. Teachers look forward to a new class of students, and an opportunity to make an impact on those children’s lives.
Our homes and relationships are a lot like a new school year. When we start out (whether that’s marriage, partnership, choosing to live with someone, or in a new home), we generally (hopefully) enter with the excitement of a new beginning—a new day at school. We put on our best “faces”, we make sure that we’re putting our best foot forward, we’re careful about what we say, and how we say it. We listen intently to what’s being said. We pay attention to “the little things”, while we navigate through the hallways of this new “school”.
Over time, we may get a little less attentive; a little less engaged.
Maybe we just throw on some old jeans and that top with the hole in it, because it doesn’t matter how we look; we don’t feel like we’re even ”seen”.
Maybe we decide not to even join the “lunch table” because no one there is going to talk to us anyway.
Maybe our folders are overflowing, and our notebooks are crammed with so many assignments that we don’t think we could EVER possibly catch up so we say, “What’s the point in trying?”
Maybe our pencils just aren’t as sharp as we wish they were, so we give up trying to express ourselves.
Maybe our lockers are so jammed with STUFF that we never see the few things that we actually do need, use or love.
Maybe the ways we’ve tried to adapt, to the world we live in, are so out of sync with our spirit that, in spite of thinking that we’d truly be HAPPY being “that” person, we’re living outside WHO WE REALLY ARE.
Maybe we don’t finish something we intended to do because “it’s just another job on our endless list”.
Maybe we give up all together because we’re NEVER going to make the grade, so we decide, “Why bother at all?”
What if we could figure out how to make our homes, our relationships and ourselves fresh and new? What if we get rid of ALL the junk in our home’s folders? What if we clean out our proverbial lockers, so that we actually see what we have in there? What if we decide that we are worth putting on our best clothes? What if we decide we can sit at any table we want? What if we decide to make a fresh start?
Whether you live alone or with someone else (or a lot of other folks), pick a day between now and the first day of autumn (September 22nd) to have your ”first day”.
Consider carefully how you’d like the next year to play out.
Examine your relationships, home, and all the stuff you possess, in a new light.
What if you COULD start over?
What would remain from the life you’re now living?
What would you get rid of?
What would you keep?
How would you treat the people in your life differently?
How would you LIVE in your home differently?
How would you approach each day if you always started with a blank slate?
Today offers an opportunity for a First Day. What picture, in your new notebook of life, do YOU want to draw?
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