I saw a post somewhere recently that said September is the new January, so now is a good time to get your new resolutions in order, think of all you can achieve by the end of the year, blah blah blah.
I don’t know if I hold with that. Why do you need to wait for 1 September to declare a New Year, a New Start, or make New Resolutions? Why not 5 September or 15 October or 31 March? Pick a date to reset and off you go. It doesn’t have to be the 1st of a month. The only extra impetus that might come with the start of a new month is the clean sheet feeling of turning over a calendar. (How many people have paper calendars these days?) (I do!)
If you want to do ReSetember (because we seem to like combining words these days) then go for it. If you’re not ready now, then aim for 3 October or 25 November or 4 December or whenever you are ready.
1 September usually puts me in a panic. August is summer here in the northern hemisphere. People relax and take holiday, work goes a bit quiet, the weather is (generally) better and people are happier. Then comes September and – boom! – reality check time, the time the weather starts to turn and I start to panic.
I panic because it’s the start of the academic year, when I start thinking about whether this is the year I sign up for Spanish classes (or French or Arabic or whatever language is interesting me this year) or when I decide to start learning Aromatherapy (or watercolours, or pottery). Usually the range of choices is so overwhelming I end up doing nothing.
I panic because the days start getting obviously shorter, I can’t get by without having a coat with me, the sky changes from a bleached faraway blue to a closer more intense blue that shows the sun has turned its attention elsewhere.
I panic because all the things I said I would do this summer remain mostly undone, and I feel a sense of failure for not having done them, despite having still been working full-time throughout August, albeit from home.
But this year I’m not going to have an academic panic, I’m not going to beat myself up, and I’m not going to let the weather bring me down.
This year I have already signed up for this course A Year With My Camera, which I haven’t been very good at keeping up with (admittedly, we had the month off for August, so I only had the optional creative challenges). This year, I have already done a course on fermented beverages, and having done it on 1 March, it meant I had all of lockdown to work on my kefir, kvas, tepache and ginger beer making. This year, I had a go at surfing for the first time in my life, and I know I need to do some upper body and flexibility training before I try that again. This year, I did the couch to 5K programme – running, me! This year, I’m not going to panic and sign up for a course out of fear that I need to be doing something, even though there are 100 things I want to know how to do or do better or learn about or create or make or build. Panic over.
Eat well, exercise, work, write and see friends. Anything else on top of that is gravy.
And all the TV weather people who were saying “Ah well, this is the last meteorological day of summer,” on 31 August, phooey on you. Summer is a state of mind and my mind is not ready to say Autumn yet. And my eyes are certainly not ready for the sight of Christmas cards and 2021 calendars in shops yet (which I saw today).
Change and set new goals or feel comfortable being how you are and pat yourself on the back for having survived a global pandemic. The world is changing rapidly enough around us. Do we need to be changing ourselves completely as well?