My niece and a lot of other kids are headed back to school this week, and while I don’t have children of my own, I still get caught up in the excitement of the season. Growing up, I always loved going shopping for school supplies, starting off the year with a lineup of pristine tools. I remember the smells of new pencils and erasable ballpoint pens… the stiff spine of a brand-new composition book, its glowing, blue-lined pages just waiting to be filled… the neat color-coded tabs of a three-ring binder, complete with folders for each subject, a tiny calendar, a (never-to-be-used) protractor and a stiff plastic pencil pouch not yet smudged with ink and graphite.
Those school supplies spoke to me. This year, they said, you’re going to be the perfect student: prepared, creative and organized. Even today, I get a rush when walking past school supplies on display in stores. The Trapper Keepers have TV characters I don’t recognize on them, but they smell the same, and they’re still packed with the promise of a fresh start.
Even if you’re not a student or parent, back-to-school is a good time to make resolutions, begin new projects and shed bad habits – possibly better than Jan. 1, since the days are still long and our bodies aren’t sluggish with cold. This year, my back-to-school resolution is to pick back up on my novel, which has been left hanging nearly all summer while I’ve visited with family and spent time with friends. In a twist, the novel takes place in summertime, so I guess I’ll be getting the best of both worlds – focusing fall energies on capturing the memories of those lazy, hazy summer days.
What would you like to accomplish this school year? Share your back-to-school resolutions in the comments!