Hands up . . .

who thinks the new year starts on January 1st?

Well, yes. technically I suppose there are arguments to support that idea, but for me the new year always seems to begin a little later – in September.

September is the time for new pencil cases, fresh notebooks, and a sparklingly positive mindset and I embrace it with gusto every year. It always feels like a great time to set new goals, make new plans, write new lists and I love it. Is there anything more fun, to my mind at least, than starting something?

Of course, this feeling is a hangover from my school days and it’s curious that, even though I left formal education well over three decades ago, I should still feel the same about Septembers all these years later.

So, with the first of September comes a new sense of things beginning, of new opportunities.

And Yet . . .

September also makes me sad.

The changing of the seasons from summer to autumn is washed over with a sense of deep melancholy for me and I struggle with it every year. If there is a person who loves the summer more than I do then I’d like to meet them and shake them by the hand just so I can feel that they’re real.

I’m sure that my alter ego must be a lizard! As soon as the temperatures rise then I am at my happiest. It can rarely be too hot in England as far as I’m concerned (although I might have to change my planned activity a little) and I spend all winter longing for the days to lengthen. Even when we get those crisp cold blue-skyed days beloved of film-makers everywhere (and really quite rare in my part of Yorkshire) I’m not truly happy. I would always rather be warmed through to my bones by then sun than kicking through autumn leaves or watching snowflakes fall.

So, whilst September is exciting because I see it as the start of something new and exciting, it also marks the end of my favourite time of year and it finds me bracing myself for falling temperatures and the nights drawing in, knowing that it as well as being full of promise and expectation, the month also makes me sad.

THIS year

is stranger still because my two younger children are going away to college leaving me and my husband with an empty nest. This is yet another new beginning for me, the start of the next part of my life. It’s scary and I’m trying not to dwell on it (although of course I’m likely to blog about it once it’s happened) because it feels a bit like grieving for the quarter of a century just gone, but also it’s kind of exciting – just like September ought to be. Who knows what will happen next . . . !