What’s good to symbolize a fresh start? Flower? Sunrise? New Car? Breakfast? Wait, a puppy!

We pass Labour Day weekend and everything starts up again. 

School, work, lessons, church, sports — all the regular stuff begins again.

Of course, this September things are different. 

School is starting, but in different forms and a whole new level of uncertainty. Some of it is in reduced class sizes, quadmesters and some of it is online.

Work is back, but more often at home now or distanced or wearing masks or actually some of it is just gone. Stores the were part of our daily lives have disappeared or reduced their outlets. 

Parents take pictures of their little ones with their backpacks and lunchbags ready to head to school on the first day. And it happens every year. It marks a new beginning, a fresh start. A Pastor friend of mine is starting year 2 of his Master’s program and so he did a backpack on the front porch picture just like the kids! Love it.

BTW the pup pictured above is Obi who is begins basic obedience classes next week. I guess we are the ones being trained to train him. A fresh start for our fresh pup.

How’s it for you? 

Getting prepared for things to be different? Or have you done that already?

Things are different. No question about that.

I think every store or business I’ve gone to lately has a designated door person who gets you to sanitize your hands and who sometimes directs you to things in the store so you’re not just lingering and touching everything. 

I went to a small family run specialty store to get my wife a birthday present. They had the door locked and only let people in one at a time when you knocked! They had sections of the store roped off and signs saying please ask for help with the items out of our reach. That’s the most extreme example I’ve seen so far.

Going to the movies has changed. We had to reserve our seats and there were distancing protocols in place. They limited people to every second row and less than half the seats in the rows were used. Theatre probably would have held about 300 people if full. I’d guess with the current configuration, 80 seats. Kind of nice actually to have all that space and no one kicking your seat. But it does worry me for the theatre industry.  The first movies we went to in theatres there were 8 or 9 on hand ready to sell us concessions. In the last couple of movies including last night, there were only 2 to 3 people working. And attendance when we’ve gone lately has ranged from two of us only to a maximum of about 14 people in a theatre.

I hope your work is adjusting to the situation this fall. Maybe there are less people there working or less customers. The online and at home work environment is definitely surging now. Think of ways to make the best of it. With less people are you able to get more done or can you customize your work environment at home or workplace to make it more productive?

If you haven’t started yet please realize that while it’s worth taking precautions it’s not worth over reacting. Social distancing (a term we never heard before March 2020) and frequent cleaning activity are practical steps. 

It’s a good time to start a new work routine or to adjust your workspace. It can feel like a fresh start if you take it that way. And especially if you’ve been working from home, doing a refresh on your workspace can make all the difference in your work atmosphere. I remember as a child my mom would help me rearrange my bedroom once or twice a year and it felt like having a whole new room! Same furniture but set differently. I actually enjoyed working at my desk then. (Weird kid eh?)

Rearrange your desk, shelves, files (if you still have physical files), art, decor, whatever you have in place. Maybe even invest in a new desk, chair or decor to freshen it all up. Use inspiring quotes or Bible passages on your bulletin board or computer, some art that reminds you of God and your dependence on Him, or something that reminds you to where God has brought you.

And what about the time you spend with God? 

Can you change that to go with your fresh year? 

Maybe a different place to do it, a new journal, or a new devotional to read? For me, I started a new journal not long ago and am starting out this month with a different spot to do quiet time. That and fasting as part of this month’s quiet times gives a new beginning. A fresh commitment to doing quiet times or how you do it can make a big difference in your year.

So whether you take a backpack toting pic on the front porch, or change your office around, make this year a new fresh start. Fall naturally feels like a new beginning. So, go for it. You can do it. It’s up to you. And I bet it will help with your productivity, attitude, and even your connection with God.

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Fall’s a Fresh Start