Fresh starts aren’t hard to come by, you know.
We think they are, the way we get so caught up in the whirl of our individual microcosms. We name our routines the daily grind and wonder why we feel so much pounding in our brain and ears by the time we reach the end of each day. The weekly rhythm picks up its tempo, moving faster and faster each week, leaving us breathless and frazzled.
We give ourselves two resets a year. One on January first while fireworks explode and sparklers dance. One at the cusp of fall when the yellow busses start on their routes and golden leaves drift to the ground. And if you miss these reset dates? If you neglected to craft the perfect schedule and lay it out artistically in a bullet journal? Or if you did just that, jumping right into the swing of things and then you couldn’t catch the rhythm of that swing? Well, you’d better just grit your teeth, hold on tight and wait until the next reset button comes along. We’re in the thick of things and there’s no chance things will thin out enough for you to catch your breath.
So here we are, clawing our way through the second week of October, feeling behind, feeling overwhelmed, feeling tired, feeling very much like survival mode is our only choice until we make it to New Years.
So here we are, completely missing the sweet grace of a fresh start. Running right past the faithful mercies of a new day.
October first seemed like a relief for me this year. September was good, but it was long and tiring and each day seemed to take up the space of at least twelve. The little habit trackers I’d made in my journal, the lofty goals and idealized daily agendas I’d laid out in August when the grass was green and the days stayed bright for hours had gotten lost in the wake of my continual movement forward.
So I opened to a blank page and I pushed pause and I gave myself a few moments of space to decide what was working for me and what wasn’t. Some goals I let go, some I adjusted, some I made more clear, some I kept exactly as they were. And then I woke up on October first and began again. Even though it wasn’t the start of a new year or a new season, even though it looked considerably the same as September 30th.
We are allowed to begin again, right where we are, whenever we want.
I got to October eighth and I woke up to congested sinuses and an empty fridge and all the good routines and rhythms I had envisioned this month holding seemed to have been swept away with the night’s falling rain. The new week was unplanned and unprepared, the goals I had for last week were only half met, and I sat curled up in a blanket with a box of Kleenex (a roll of toilet paper, actually, as we naturally were out of Kleenex as well as eggs, bananas, and any healthy food to put in the lunchbox.) wishing for a better start to this week.
Begin again, right where you are.
It actually doesn’t matter if it’s a new season, a new month, a new week, or even a new day. We have the lavish kindness of beginning again offered to us by our Lord every single moment of every single day. With each sunrise, each ray of morning light, each breath we inhale, each new second that ticks by, we are given the chance to start over. To try again. To begin like it’s the first time.
We’re allowed to press pause when things aren’t right, to let ourselves breathe in deeply and exhale slowly and rethink how we want to be living our days. We can call time out and press an emergency reset button when any time we catch ourselves chasing after things other than the abundant life we’ve been offered. There’s no failure too big that we aren’t allowed to ask for a fresh start and another chance to try again.
The second we feel like we’re falling off track, the instant we feel our feet slipping, the minute we realize we aren’t where we want to be, that is the exact moment we can begin again.
I’m here now, watching for the sunrise this Tuesday morning. Yesterday wasn’t perfect, nor am I conquering all my goals and plans for October like a queen. But I have a new moment right now, a chance to breathe in deeply and begin again, right where I am.