I was walking to my car after work yesterday and suddenly felt happy. At first I wasn’t sure why. I’d had an okay day at work, but it’d also been fairly ordinary.
I inhaled normally, and then it hit me… The air was cooler than it had been in many months; it felt like fall in San Diego.
Fall means back to school.
Fall has always signaled a fresh start for me. I think this originates back to when I was kid, and fall meant a new school year was starting. Every year, I went shopping for back-to-school clothes, picked out school supplies, got my class schedule with different teachers, and had the hope of making friends.
The previous year didn’t matter anymore. This new year I could be whoever I wanted to be.
Out with the old, in with the new.
Even in San Diego, where the seasons aren’t as pronounced as they are in other parts of the country, we for sure experience fall. The leaves change from green to yellow, orange and red, the temperature dips a little during the day, and a lot at night.
There’s something about the change in weather that invigorates me. Maybe it goes back to my childhood because I would overheat in the summer.
Fall temperatures were refreshing, as the Wisconsin humidity melted away.
I loved putting on a sweater and cuddling up under a blanket, especially since the temperatures weren’t yet so cold that I didn’t want to go outside.
Maybe that’s the way God designed it. Maybe fall is meant to be a time of new beginnings. Just as trees shed old leaves to make room for new ones, humans are supposed to shed their old habits and begin again.
Fall as a source of promise.
Even though I’m not in school anymore, I realized recently that I still see fall as a time to hit the reset button.
The topic somehow came up recently with Logan, and he said that he doesn’t like when the warm weather dissipates because it reminds him of winters in Indiana. Seasonal affective disorder was very real for him.
But I’ve never felt that way. In fact, through that conversation, I realized that fall has always been invigorating for me. It fills with more hope, ideas, and determination. I feel an overwhelming sense that “the world is my oyster.”
I can’t think of a year when I needed the change that comes in fall more than this one. I’ve talked on many occasions on our blog about how this summer has been rough for me. It’s seemed like I’ve had never-ending struggles and uncertainty.
But yesterday, as I stepped out of the office and walked to my car, I felt a wave of relief. And I realized that the slightly cooler years – low 70s – was pumping me with energy.
September is the new January.
Typically we think of January as the time for change – the proverbial “new year, new me.” Many people even make resolutions, most often related to diet and exercise. But only about 8 percent of people actually follow through on their resolutions.
In ancient times, the new year was celebrated in March. It was only in modern times that January became the time for renewal and the idea of making resolutions popped up.
I don’t think there’s a “right” time of year to hit the reset button. I think it varies person to person, and that’s totally okay.
What reset means for me.
For me, resetting isn’t the same as setting goals. I think this is because I’ve always been a driven person, so goals don’t really help me to get more done.
Instead, hitting the reset button is more of a mental shift for me. Fall is a time when I take on new projects, spend more time developing ideas that have been percolating in my head, and feel more motivated to be creative.
Whether it’s September, January, or another month, there’s value in choosing a time to hit the reset button. Create the opportunity to let go of regrets, arguments, loss, and negative energy – they are in the past anyway. With them gone, you’ll have room to welcome in the new – after all, that’s your future.
What time of year do you hit the reset button? Do you set goals or is it a mental shift? Comment below to be part of the conversation!