Fall is coming, my favorite season.
Fall is sweater weather and suede boots.
Fall is colorful foliage, picking crisp apples in the cool air and football Saturdays.
And fall is back to school which kids are supposed to dread but I always loved. Fall meant new people to meet, new things to learn, and beginning the year with a perfect GPA and attendance record and dreams of keeping it that way. It never lasted, but it was always exciting at the start.
(OK, I admit to being a bit of a nerd to be so excited about the start of school. But the fact that my kids eagerly jumped out of bed to their first alarm this morning, something they will not do for the remainder of the school year, means they are a little excited about it too…)
And what says Start of the School year more than school supplies? There was nothing I loved more than to begin the year with unblemished notebooks, sharp pencils and my favorite, a brand new box of 64-count Crayola crayons.
It wasn’t that I didn’t already have (several) boxes of perfectly usable crayons. But they had been peeled and blunted, their perfect points mashed down to stubs. If the supply list called for crayons, I’d beg for a new box. There was something so promising about those bright perfect points, fresh and ready for use. I’d even take the time to remove all the crayons, color-coordinate them and put them back in the box in the most visually appealing manner. Anyone else do the same?
(It’s oddly satisfying, like discovering you are the first to put the knife or spoon in that new jar of peanut butter… I guess that makes me a condiment nerd as well…)
In time, of course, the crayons got used, the notebooks filled. And in time, the school supply lists no longer included fun, colorful items like crayons and markers but protractors and calculators and large-size binders.
These days, I mostly bemoan the exorbitant cost of all those school supplies and ask my kids why can’t they use what’s leftover from the prior school year. Do they really need a new backpack? Can’t we just fix that broken zipper? But I recall my own excitement over school supply shopping and so I buy in – literally – because I know it won’t last.
And I think there’s a lesson in it that ties into storytelling. It’s the opportunity to start a new chapter, to freshen up your own supply list. We’re no longer in school but there’s so much still to learn and be excited about.
Make the most of the season – the sweaters and suede boots, the football and foliage. Enjoy the Crayola-like colors, vivid and bright, and the opportunity to start fresh and anew.
And if you’re so inclined, buy that new jar of peanut butter too and enjoy that oddly satisfying first dip into the top…
Valerie Gordon is an award-winning television producer, content creator and the founder of Commander-in-She, LLC. She offers keynote presentations, group workshops and individual strategy sessions to demonstrate the role storytelling plays in our lives and in our success. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org