The big yellow school bus is coming down my road again. The neighborhood kids seem happy. The dogs are not. The kids are no longer around during the day and Jersey is going to drop a little weight without all the treats they have been bringing her this summer. I must admit that when I see the bus, I feel sorry for those poor suckers. And I express my gratitude that I'm no longer going back to school this time of year.
But I am noticing that September stirs in me the urge to learn and do something new. How long do we have to be out of school before we lose the September urge? How long does it take, how many generations must pass, before we lose our agrarian urge to harvest in the fall?
As soon as the days get noticeably shorter, as soon as the nights are a little crisper, and as soon as the big yellow school bus starts appearing in the morning I get energized to learn. I could tell it was starting last week when I bought a new hiking skirt and a batch of socks. They are soft, fluffy chenille socks. They're perfect for fall weather and sticking my feet into them makes me feel oh so very good. The urge to write is stronger too. I've got more newsletter ideas than I can hold in my little brain so I picked up a batch of 25 yellow legal pads and more pencil lead just for the occasion. And read. Yesterday I went to Amazon.com and ordered ALL the books I've had on my wish list for some time. And I've bought some new PDF software that I'm now learning as I play with some new coaching offerings. You'd think I was getting ready for school myself. New clothes, new software to learn, new books to read and a writing frenzy. Yup, as much as I think I've graduated, the back-to-school syndrome seems to be ingrained in me. I know it's not just me. My coaching practice always picks up this time of year with new clients wanting to make big changes. I think we're all ready to learn a little something new about ourselves.
So as 2003 begins to wane, take on some new environments, meet new people, and learn something new while wearing something new.
Between now and winter break, your assignment is to surrender control rather than seize it. Learning is never about taking control, but about letting go and trusting. Since the big yellow bus was a place where we could all go internal, especially on the morning ride when we were not quite awake, put yourself on that bus now. You're in 3rd or 4th grade and on your way to school. You didn't ride the bus to school? That's okay. You can play too. If Mom or Dad drove you, put yourself in the family car. If you walked, imagine yourself on the path. Ask yourself these questions:
- What is the one thing I've been dreaming about since those bus rides of my childhood; the thing I've always wanted to do but have not done yet? Don't know what that is? Ask a close friend or family member. Ask the person who sat next to you on the bus. They'll be all too willing to tell you what you've been saying for years you've wanted to do.
- What's the one thing I loved doing as a child—the thing I wish I were doing instead of riding this bus—that I have stopped doing as an adult?
“Dreams are the touchstones of our character” ~Henry David Thoreau
"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." ~Mark Twain