New Year's Day for me shifts like Thanksgiving or Easter instead of being fixed to a date on the calendar. Here in Texas, lately, it falls on the fourth Monday of August. In my childhoood, it usually fell the Tuesday after Labor Day. For me, the new year starts with the first bell of the school year. For more than half my life, the year has revolved around school. In the interim years between college and having a Kindergartner of my own, I missed the anticipation of the first day of school. The approach of September triggers memories of crayons and new shoes, squeaky clean chalkboards and stacks of brown paper bookcovers waiting to protect their charge for the year. I loved cracking open my textbook and seeing the list of students who flipped through pages in the years before. My kids don't put their names in their textbooks that same way and they miss a piece of history. The chalkboards with their welcoming green glow and choking dust are no more. No more cleaning erasers during recess or annoying a friend with the screech of fingernails. Now we have "smartboards" that automatically save the erasable marker notes to a computer drive. But still, the anticipation of the new school year thrills my girls just as it thrilled me.
This year holds adventure for all of us. New beginnings and bittersweet endings. The year holds lots of changes for us. My oldest is a sixth grader - the top dog in her local elementary school. She starts band. She's in advanced math which sets her course, in sixth grade, for her math curriculum through her senior year. She will have special privileges, new responsibilities, and more opportunity to begin to be independent. My younger enters second grade, ready to set the world on fire. She can hardly sleep with the excitement of being back among her friends.
I look forward to a week with some time to myself. I enjoy summer, but we all do better with a routine and I enjoy having some time to spend alone. But in a week, I will also be embarking on a new adventure, going back to work outside of the home after eleven years. I'm excited to have a life beyond the family. I've worked and studied to do this job well. I'm grateful to be able to use what I've learned both through school and life experience to walk alongside others on their own personal journeys.
I hope we are all ready for what this new year will bring. We will all grow. Some days, we will most likely be stretched so far we do not think we can bear it. And June will approach more rapidly than we can imagine. I look forward to taking stock of the year and look back on how far we have all come. There are some things I want to accomplish this year, some goals and dreams.
I want to grow professionally and begin to pay my own way.
I want to write something for publication.
I want to explore and experience my creativity in new ways.
I want to integrate the physical and the spiritual through some form of body work.
I want to create a group of women who can support each other on our journeys.
I want to help my children stretch and explore and develop their passions.
I want to deepen my connection to my husband.
I want to travel somewhere I have never been.
I want to balance - work and family, marriage and kids, activity and rest, introspection and relationship.
I am looking forward to 2010-2011. Bring on the school year!