Sharpen Your Pencil
…ByJulie Clark Robinson
“Look at a day when you are supremely satisfied at the end. It\’s not
a day when you lounge around doing nothing; it\’s when you had
everything to do, and you\’ve done it.”
I realize that I\’m in my 40\’s and that I haven\’t really gone back to
school – truly I do. I mean, I don\’t have a shiny new David Cassidy
lunchbox or anything. But, come autumn, the feeling in the pit of my
stomach is the same as it was when I was a school girl choosing a new
outfit, notebook, folders and pencil pouch — and it\’s one that I\’ve
not only come to depend on after a summer of chasing sunsets, I thrive
on it as well. A new beginning. A deeply ingrained feeling of
Most people see New Year\’s Eve as the time to resolve to do more…do
better…do something that will move them closer to where they want to be
in life. Not me. When school buses fire up their engines and start to
rumble down the street, I sharpen my proverbial pencil and prepare to
dig into whatever lies ahead.
After summer has slipped away, I find that it\’s easier to go to bed on
time and get up on time. Suddenly, I noticed that I\’m eating a real
breakfast that will last me until lunch and even my wardrobe somehow
takes on a more serious attitude. When I\’m dressed and ready to take on
my day, I look at my schedule and marvel at how much I hope to achieve
by the time the sun goes down. And, all the while, I love the newness
of it all – no matter how many “first days” of fall I\’ve had the
pleasure of living through.
Maybe it\’s easier for me to dig in and get busy this time of year
because no matter how old I get, symbols of fall transport me back to
my days of homework and lockers. Football is in the air and even though
I can\’t remember the last time I actually watched an entire game, I
still get excited at the very sound of a whistle on a faraway field.
And don\’t even get me started on Halloween.
I\’ve finally put my finger on why this season brings such a feeling of
getting busy again. What lies between the first kickoff and pumpkin
carving? Nothing. No distractions, no three-day weekends, nothing to
make you want to “blow off” the task at hand. Instead, we can inhale
the cooler air and focus for a while.
If that sounds like a long haul and nothing to get excited over, try
changing your perspective. Consider how great Thanksgiving will feel if
you\’re able to look back to Labor Day and realize how much you\’ve
Fall Journal Exercise:
Go ahead, make a list and keep it in a place where you can look at
it often to check your progress. Put everything on it that you\’d love
to finish by the time turkeys get nervous.