I have always loved September.
When I was a little girl, I loved school. In fact, the first day of school was right up there with Christmas Day for me. (That - and my family's annual trip to the Kiddie Land amusement park.) Big excitement! It was all so fresh . . . and new!
I loved summertime, too. . . don't get me wrong. But by the time the end of August rolled around, I was ready for the NEW and the CHANGE that September represented. I was ready for structure. I was ready for school. I was ready to get to work!
Come September, I had a new teacher and a new grade and a new classroom. I got new shoes and a new lunchbox and some new dresses. Best of all . . . I got new school supplies. I loved buying - and then organizing - my new school supplies. Crayons. Big Chief pads. Pencils. A big eraser. A ruler. A new pencil box.
The academic calendar -- September through May with a restorative break for the summer - has resonated with me since first grade. Even when I was out of school (finally. . .) and working (before I had kids on their own academic calendar), I felt that Pull of September! For me, September seems to be the most appropriate time to launch new goals and plans and resolutions. I understand the whole New Year's thing. . . the turning over of the annual calendar and the fresh January feeling that comes with it. But. . . it's still the middle of winter. Nothing is changing, really. Except the number of the year.
So. . . for me, September = Fresh Start.
Or. . . it DID.
In 2008, September started to represent something altogether different for me. It was in September 2008 that my cancer nightmare grabbed hold and wouldn't let go. It was in September 2008 that I entered the horrible period when I knew that something was terribly wrong with me. But I didn't know what . . . yet. But words like. . .biopsy . . . and malignant . . . and lymphoma . . . were in the air.
September 2008 . . . offered no diagnosis. No idea of possible treatment options. No doctor. No notion of extent or prognosis. (That all came in October.) Just the awful. . .
clawing at the air for answers
kind of agony. Through all of September. It didn't feel like a Fresh Start. It felt like a nightmare.
In the Septembers that have followed . . . 2009, 2010, 2011 . . . I've slowly come back around. Those first couple of Septembers were pretty tough. I went to The Edge. I plunged over.
Last year, I was much better.
And this year? 2012? Four years later?
I'm feeling the Pull of September in a very strong way. A good way. This year, I feel like dancing at The Edge.
So I bought myself a new box of crayons.
Just to open them up and see their colorful, fresh points . . . all lined up in the box.
My new crayons . . . are a symbol of . . .
a time to set goals
an opportunity to re-group and prepare myself for the next nine months
life . . . moving forward
For the first time in a few years . . . September = Fresh Start!