January, Schmanuary. September is the new black. Or the old black. Mixing metaphors, but I think you get my drift.
September is often a time of new beginnings; in practice, more of a time of transition and change than January - really, only the "new year" as the Romans defined it, and often a good excuse to tidy up the indiscretions of the previous month. There was an article in the Globe last weekend about the anxiety that many folks experience when September rolls around, lingering from years of going back to school. I've never had a fall that I haven't gone back to school in some capacity. Because I teach, summer is a quieter time for me, and the intensity ramps up hard once September hits. My kids are also in school, so the end of August looms large in our family's experience - preparing for routine, gathering necessary supplies ...
The schedule changes. For us, it's a more rigid routine. This can be tough because it leaves less time for spontaneity. I'm one of those people, however, that is more productive and efficient when I have a lot to do - I schedule it in! Music lessons! Packed lunches! Work out! Lecture! Pick up kids! Piano practice! Can we take a moment to take a breath and relax in the hammock for some of the last lovely evenings of the season?
It is truly an opportunity for establishing new habits. Each fall brings new privileges and new responsibilities for my kids. It's a time for me to revisit the role of mindfulness and physical activity to my mental health. We carefully select after-school activities, and decide to what we will commit time and energy this year. I plan my major projects of the year, thoughtfully embracing some, and firmly saying "no" to others.
One thing that I have decided to do this year is actively contribute 10% of my clinic income to a rotating group of worthy causes. Currently my heart has been captured by the crisis in Syria, and I would like to raise the funds to sponsor a refugee family to come to Canada. If it interests you to contribute, in time or finances, please contact me - I'd welcome your collaboration! I will be embarking on the writing of a textbook. I will be running the Scotiabank marathon next month, and may aim to qualify for Boston again. I have also committed to breathing more. Doing less so that I can do more.
What are your "new year" resolutions? What projects inspire you this year? What will you make more time for in your life?