A new year


Sunset on our last evening walk to the harbor, August 29, 2015.  This is the place where we celebrated our wedding, (15 years ago Wednesday!), and I love that we so regularly visit it during the summer with our children.

I loved Jena Schwartz’s post about her Blue Moon Vows.  Truthfully, I have never been a New Year’s resolution-maker.  New Year’s itself makes me sad, mostly, with the bald way to highlight’s time’s forward motion.  Undeniably, despite this undercurrent of sorrow, there is something new-start-ish about January, and while I don’t make resolutions I feel that surge of energy, that blank-slate sense of possibility.

This time of year always feel like a new beginning to me, too. Something in my spirit will always beat to the academic calendar, and as such the start of a new school year feels both sad and promising.  Summer, my favorite season, is over, and we’re entering something new.  And this year I’m feeling the impulse to say some things out loud.  Less, perhaps, about making promises to change and more about things I now know to be true that I don’t want to lose track of.

1. I will keep protecting my quiet time with my children.  This summer reminded me with punch-in-the-gut force of how limited is the time I have left with both Grace and Whit living with us.  I want to soak it in, to be here.  That has a variety of implications for how I live my life.  Because it’s my most essential priority it is easy to line everything up to support it.

2. I will remember the list of things that are non-negotiable for me to love my life. Sleep, quiet, exercise, time with my dearest friends and my family. It’s a short list, and every item on it is essential.

3. I will remember that I am the sky, and my emotions are just the clouds.  This is so so so so true.  I tell this to my children, and of course it rarely sinks in, at least not in the throes of moments of heartbreak or fury, but I need to keep remembering it too.

4. I will remember to be here now.  Nothing is more important.  This is all we have.

5. I will remember not to eat too much bread or sugar.  It fills me up and I always feel badly after.

6. I will tell the people I love that I love them.  A lot.  See #4.

What are you focusing on this fall?  Do you feel the same sense of a new beginning as I do at the outset of a new school year?

7 thoughts on “A new year”

  1. I love fall, the start of a new school year, for much the same reasons. It’s a fresh start, a blank slate, and I get giddy with excitement and anticipation of cozy fall days, books and hot tea.
    I tend to want to do and change many things and then they all fade away, leaving me somewhat disappointed (very much New Year-ish!). Maybe a slow realization, now that I get older, is that it all takes work, that we all start over again all the time, and that certain things about myself will (sadly) never change and that I need to make peace with that.
    Love the reminder to be here, and to protect the time with our most loved ones. Your blog is a great help to focus on what really matters. Also agree on the braed and sugar thing (sigh ;))

  2. This time of the year feels like a beginning to me as well. My son started high school which makes me realize how time is so fragile and fleeting. I feel protective of our time and my time with my other loved ones. I feel every word in your post as my own. Thank you! Xox

  3. This is a wonderful list to live by. Like you, the start of September has always been dear to me because of how much I loved being in school at all the various points in my life; blank slates are always exciting when filled with the prospect of learning new things. But when my daughter was born, I did not appreciate how much her birthday (9/6) would change that for me. This time is now also fraught with the sadness that comes with the closing of another year of her childhood, each year becoming more difficult than the last.

  4. Hello from a new reader. 🙂 Katie Den Ouden sent me here because she thought your words might resonate with me … and they do. This post is a list I could have written myself– except for the clouds and sky part, which I have never heard before but definitely want to remember. Thank you for sharing your heart in this place. I hope to return again soon! *r

  5. Thank you so much for this comment! I adore Katie and any friend of hers is a friend of mine. I’m so grateful to have found your blog, which is just beautiful. I’ve only read a couple of entries so far but am enjoying it thoroughly. I think we are both redheads too! xo

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