Now, I have a tendency to get excited about, well, nearly everything...(click here if you missed that whole tangent), but the commencement of fall deserves (and receives) serious enthusiasm. I'm sure I don't have to explain why autumn is so amazing (rich, vibrant colors on the trees, trips to the apple orchard or pumpkin patch, snuggling up in the brisk evenings with a hot mug of tea and a cozy blanket, etc), because it just is.
Of course, fall brings with it the beginning of another school year. As a professional student, I have become quite skilled at starting new semesters, with the beginning of each one signaling a step closer to my life goal*: graduating for the last time ever. This fall has been particularly special, because it marks the start of my tenth (and final!) year of higher education. Although I'm on internship this year and my schedule hasn't really been influenced by the official start of the semester, the symbolism of this fall in my life feels monumental. All future autumns and starts-of-schools will impact me, but never again as a student...perhaps as a professor or as a mommy to my (still-hypothetical) children, but not as a student (yippeee!).
Despite the special impact this year, to me, every fall feels like a season of renewal and a chance to start fresh. I know this is traditionally reserved for a) New Year's Day, B) spring, and the "blossoming of new life" (or whatever), or C) Mondays (particularly for middle-aged women about to start a diet**) but my personal preference is to keep fresh starts for the beginning of the fall season.
|Butterflies: The official symbol for fresh starts and renewal. (Right? Or maybe I just made that up...) Either way, these guys really know how to embrace change and start anew.|
As it happens, I was recently lucky enough to learn some new things about myself that will have a huge (ish) impact on how I move forward in my life. I think it's no coincidence that this information came to my attention at a time I have already carved out for new beginnings. I look forward to embracing the changes that come my way this fall, in my own life and in my environment (as in, it's going to be gorgeous outside and I'm going to [try to] celebrate every single crisp, cozy moment).
According to the Farmer's Almanac (here), the autumnal equinox starts in just a few minutes from now (10:49 am EDT), which is the perfect time to throw out a new challenge for my readers: What new beginnings will you embrace this fall? What do you most look forward to during the changing season, and how will you celebrate it? Leave your comments below, I just love reading about your thoughts and experiences - you are so inspirational to me!
Happy Autumn to you all, and go enjoy the sunshine!
*That might have been slightly overdramatized (never!)...I actually have quite a few life goals (including, but not limited to, having children, getting paid to do the work I love, being financially secure enough to randomly surprise strangers with neat things, fitting in a pair of size 6 jeans [that are not 90% spandex], publishing a book, remembering people's names the first time I hear them, hiring a house cleaner [or learning to love cleaning my own house, but that's probably the least likely to happen], drink wine in Tuscany, be on a radio show, and keep a plant alive [by myself!!!] for more than six months [bamboo plants do not count]), but it would be super sweet to be done with school.
**Don't get me started on diets. Make healthier decisions most of the time for your whole life, and you'll be fine. I promise. And start the next time you eat, not on Monday.