My daughter went back to school this week. She was so excited, she hardly slept the night before. I didn't either. I'm not sure who was more nervous and excited, her or me. I watched her as she sat quietly, looking out the window on the drive to school. What was going through her mind? Later, she admitted to feeling like she was going to throw up. You wouldn't have guessed it, though. She had a big smile on her face to cover up all the nausea. When we pulled up in the carpool drop off line, I jumped out and snapped a quick picture.
Thankfully, that's what all the other parents were doing. It was almost like a well-rehearsed dance: we all pulled in, put our cars in park, hopped out, snapped a shot, kissed the kids, then jumped back into our cars, almost completely in sync. I watched my daughter walk up to her new school as I pulled away, another lineup of parents right behind us waiting in the wings to perform their first day drop-off ballet.
She ended up having a great day. She loves the new school. A couple of the girls she met over the summer are in all her classes. She really likes all of her new teachers. And the fact that she gets a locker to decorate and hang out at pretty much sent her over the moon.
The beginning of the school year is such an exciting time. It always reminds me of the fun I had as a kid, walking in with fresh composition books filled with blank pages ready to absorb new ideas, new concepts, and new dreams. The first day of school reminds me of the opportunities we all have to start new. To build something. To make a move. To be healthier.
To live a sweeter life.
At the beginning of every school year, I create a list of things that could use a fresh start. To keep myself focused, I like to keep it to the simplest, most important categories:
When revisiting my goals, I try to make sure that I'm staying aligned with who I am and how I want to live. I even like to meditate on my list to make sure that I haven't adopted someone else's goals for me, which could send me in the completely wrong direction. Life isn't always perfect, but I do try to make sure that all four categories get equal attention in order to keep those areas of my life as balanced as possible. And I try to remind myself not to neglect any one out of fear of failure or for lack of time or patience.
Neglect happens, for whatever reason. That's why it's so great to give yourself a fresh start.
For health, I'm working out with a trainer, getting back into yoga, and losing some of this extra fluff that I've been carrying around for a year and a half. In the relationships area, I'm carving out more time to focus on activities with my kids and husband (including healthy ones to go with my health goals). I'm also making it a point to spend a lot less time staring down at my phone when I'm with them. That's hard for a Twitter addict, but so is having kids that hate you because you didn't spend enough time with them. In the spirituality category, I'm making time to meditate and pray in the mornings, which goes hand in hand with my yoga practice. Finances... well, those are kinda private, but you get the point, yeah?
Before you say anything about business, I didn't forget about that. For me, that falls under finances. All business goals have to align with the other categories. What good is having a lucrative business if your health, relationships, and spirituality suffer? But without work, the other areas will definitely suffer. What I do and who I am have to integrate.
And that right there is the simplest recipe for living the sweet life.
So here we are. The beginning of another school year. A reminder that we can always start fresh on our path. I hope you have a moment this week to sit in a quiet spot and write out your own fresh start list! Here's to living the sweet life, and...
Here's to a new year and a fresh start!