That Back-to-School Feeling

It’s in the air…on everyone’s faces…and on the roads…

Kids went back to school this week and I’m feeling much like I have too, despite having actually returned to work nearly ten days ago. A short week will do that to you (I highly recommend coming back from holiday to a bank holiday. A holiday, followed by a holiday! Genius!)

It’s not an unpleasant feeling.

There are two ways of looking at this time of year. The first is with despair – summer’s over, it’s all downhill from here, we’re undoubtedly in for a long hard winter – and admittedly, that has been the way I’ve regarded September every other year since I moved here. The other way, the Pollyanna way you might say, is with that sense of childhood excitement and wonder, set off with new clothes and books and pens and the knowledge that Christmas is just around the corner (to get this right, you need to hammer down the slightly sick feeling that the thought of Christmas tends to engender in anyone over the age of 20).

Although I am a fan of Christmas. Christmas!!! So exciting. Image: Flickr/nknh

This year, I’m doing it the Pollyanna way. I’m in no doubt it helps that this year I actually had a summer, and that I’m well aware I will be spending a month in glorious NZ over Christmas. But it is more than that – it’s also the feeling of being settled again, in the best way, of having plans and goals and time to work on them. New school year goals. Funnily enough, I’ve never thought of setting them in autumn before, and I swear it’s never been mentioned by anyone else to me either. But this year, I’m reading about it everywhere, from the Guardian to the Times to Marie Claire, and everyone seems to be talking about it. It’s this season’s barbeque summer – but not reliant on the weather, so has a considerably better chance of happening.

I set my goals while sunbathing on the beach on Mykonos (I promise that wasn’t written to brag, even though it’s obvious it could really quite easily be taken that way). I had a notepad and a pen and it was the second to last day of my holiday – the timing was perfect. I set some fairly big goals which I very much hope to achieve, although they are dependent on others also, so we’ll see. And then I set some rather small goals so I could make sure some were attained at least – and because I decided I wanted ten and then couldn’t think of ten lofty high goals. So in there are mixed in bullet points that say things like ‘get boots re-heeled’ and ‘clean out wardrobe’, amongst ‘read the entire works of Charles Dickens’ and ‘get really really really fit’*. The little goals have nobody but me required to fulfill them, so there is an outside possibility they will be realised.

 Mmmmm. So they're now set, and I'm not lying on a beach anymore (not physically anyway. My mind's been pleasantly all over the place recently). Only thing to do is get on with it really...autumn is now well and truly here, as if someone flicked a switch, and it's time to put them into action. Mmmmmm. Guess I'm off for a run?** 

*Two of the goals in this sentence are made up and will never happen, so don’t hold me to them.

**Um, that was one of the 'lie' goals. Really, don't hold me to it.