Is September Your Real New Year?

September is my unofficial New Year

Until September, 1972, I lived a contented, slow-paced life on the farm with my stay-at-home mommy and pilot daddy and little sister and baby brother. Then I went to kindergarten, and my world expanded suddenly and gloriously. The classroom was a wonder — it was decorated with large, colorful cut-outs of happy children skipping toward a red brick school building amidst the swirling, crunchy leaves under their feet. Immediately, I understood that I was one of those children who had a place to go every day and, more importantly, work to do. I intuited that there were things expected of me in this room, and every task and the materials for those tasks were organized by time and place. Here were the cubbies for our jackets. Here was the rug where we sat while the teacher read stories to us. Here was the table and my chair where I colored and cut and glued and watched with horror while the boy who sat next to me ate the paste when the teacher wasn’t looking. And best, best of all, here was the teacher’s supply closet, a wondrous construction filled with cunning compartments to hold all manner of papers and felts and streamers and stickers and delights I had never imagined could exist. When the teacher opened the door to her magical closet, I used to catch my breath. There was no telling what she might bring out, and what were we going to do next? My days in kindergarten were some of the most organized and productive of my life.

Forty-two years later, September still gives me that gift. Languid August is over, and no matter the forecast, I half-expect to wake up on the day after Labor Day to sweater weather and crunchy red and gold leaves under my feet. I am ready to re-organize whatever has become sloppy, make a fresh start, find a better routine, and be productive. Vacation is over; time to get to work.

What about you? Is September your real New Year? Do you long for a fresh start? Do you have something new to engage with this month? What’s going on in your life?

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4 Comments

  1. Gina McK
    Posted September 30, 2014 at 9:52 pm | Permalink

    Although I love the warmth of long summer days, reading in the yard, taking day trips, I always look forward to fall and getting back into a normal schedule. Then there’s the organizing. In the spring, it’s cleaning, but fall is for organizing, further dejunking, and looking ahead and preparing for cold weather. I am so energized by Target/Walmart’s organizational helps, and oh, Pinterest! One of my favorite categories is organizing the home. First, let’s get rid of more stuff. 🙂

    • Posted October 6, 2014 at 7:50 pm | Permalink

      I’m afraid I’m a more enthusiastic organizer than I am a cleaner. I probably do more cleaning in the winter when I am inside more, actually. Having a clean, airy room with a few beautiful objects in it is a delight, isn’t it?

  2. Bobbie
    Posted October 4, 2014 at 8:43 am | Permalink

    I’ve never thought of it as the beginning of a new year, but I suppose you can take any time as a new beginning of one kind or another, can’t you?

    I also sat near a boy who always ate the paste – which, honestly, SMELLED delicious, so who could blame him? He was also the one who, later on in 3rd grade, told the teacher that the only reason I could read better was because I had gotten glasses, and that it wasn’t fair. Now he and I play Words with Friends, and he beats me at least half the time, so I guess the paste didn’t affect him too adversely…

    I was one of those odd children who dreaded the end of the school year and loved when September came ’round again, who had to be told during the summer to STOP READING and GO OUT AND PLAY. Repeatedly. The kids who hated school were confusing creatures I could not relate to in any way.

    I suspect you were much like me in that way, Lori.

    • Posted October 6, 2014 at 7:48 pm | Permalink

      I agree with you that paste smells good — I think lots of odd things smell good. Sam and I were agreeing just a little while ago that we love the smell of commercial garages. And, yes, I really enjoyed school, although I didn’t dread summer vacation. I always enjoyed the change of pace on the farm.

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