Mothers are crying and/or celebrating. The kids are back in school dressed for success. The kids mostly are excited to see their friends. Some actually look forward to learning.  The teachers, despite some complaining about  new rules just as the students also complain, look forward to the year. New beginnings are afoot!

Have you ever examined why this time of year often makes us clean our houses, organize our offices, buy a few new things in preparation for WHAT? For at least eight years, and mostly twelve to sixteen years or maybe more, we looked forward to our new year of work called school. That routine and cyclical high stays with us long after we leave school permanently. The autumn excites us, not just with more moderate weather, but with the newness of fresh starts. The WHAT we are preparing for are new beginnings and perhaps some changes in our lives.

I spent over twenty-two years in academia as both a professor of economics and business and as a Chairperson of that department. So I add those twenty-two years to my eighteen years of education and count forty years in that new year cycle starting in the Autumn. My body loves that cycle. It pushes me to clean, plan, change, reconsider my life, and charges me with tremendous motivation. Motivation appears to wane in late summer for me. I let the weeds go a bit in my garden. I laze around more, often just staring at the trees and bushes in my city yard. Perhaps it is in this lazy period that I’m setting my energy levels to be ready for the great Autumn Motivational drive.

I am excited about life today. I am no longer in school or academia. I did not get a child ready for school. I did not prepare teaching materials, but I am just as excited about this new start as the child going to kindergarten. I often wonder if a new beginning in any endeavor allows a forgiveness or forgetfulness about past failures and losses. A new beginning may offer hope. We all need hope to go on to live the best lives we can. So today I am hopeful for me, my family and friends, my readers, and all others living in this world, our world.

K. B. Pellegrino, Author

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