September Is the Other January

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Orange maple leaves in autumn.
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Even though I haven't been in school for a long time, for me, September marks the beginning of a new year. Orange is the new black, breakfast is the new lunch, Monday is the new Thursday, pork is the other white meat, and September is the other January. (And yes, it's still September, even though most schools start in August nowadays.)

January is the official start of the new year, and I always get a burst of renewed zeal at that time, but September also gives the same feeling of an empty calendar and a clean slate. The air seems charged with possibility and renewal.

Back-to-school is a time of self-evaluation and reflection--and also a time when I feel the urge to clean out my office.

Because of the new year feeling of September, when I wanted to do a happier-at-home project, I decided to start it in September.

So many of the elements of a happy life come together in the idea of home: marriage and parenthood, in my case, though certainly not in everyone's case; time; possessions; body; neighborhood; and, perhaps most enigmatically, the idea of now. I wanted to set aside a time to focus on the aspects of my life, to try to be as happy as I could be.

Also, as I've recently discovered, there's nothing like being in a 6.0 earthquake to make a person appreciate home.

If you're thinking about doing a happiness project yourself, now is always the best time to start–but if you do like to pick a particularly auspicious time, September is a good one. Think about it! From September to May, in one school year, you could take some steps to boost your happiness.

Summer is over, and the fall brings fresh beginnings and new possibilities. Now is now. Do you feel inspired to turn over a new leaf in September? Or is this just me? (For readers in other zones, please substitute your beginning-of-school-year time. The same principle applies.)
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