I go back to school today.
I have notebooks, pens, paper, dividers, sticky notes, and text books.
That’s right. I have text books. And when I picked them up, I had to resist the urge to do a happy dance and post a selfie with the books.
I’ve been around education all my life and have worked in higher ed for eleven years, so you would think this wouldn’t be as exciting as it is. The beginning of a semester should seem routine, but that’s far from true.
One thing I love about higher ed is that every semester is a new beginning.
As a believer, my desire is to approach each day as a new thing. I want to forgive others and myself for things done and undone. I want to bring fresh energy and fresh eyes into each encounter. Even with that goal, it can be easy for attitudes and situations to become ruts. Having a clean slate and fresh start every semester is an incredible gift.
The beginning of the year also calls us toward new beginnings. I’m not a fan of resolutions; I prefer to set goals and choose a focus or theme. My word for 2017 is love. I want to act in love. Respond in love. Take information in through a lens of love. With love as a basis for my thoughts and actions, I hope that my actions will provide others with a place of safety and courage.
Not only others. Me, too. My conversation with myself also needs to be within a framework of love.
The other part of my 2017 focus is to not shy away from hard things. Hard conversations (done in love, of course), hard work (while still loving myself to honor my time and energy), and truths as I learn to love others (and myself!) more fully.
Listen to this. Does it sound easy?
It doesn’t to me. It sounds pretty challenging.
But that’s love. Actively seeking the good for others and in others while while also honoring ourselves.
And today is the day to start.