5 “Back to School” Rituals to Keep in Adulthood

by a contributor

from JJ Lynne, author of Footnotes to Family Recipes:

  1. Purchase fresh pens and notebooks. That bulk of blank pages glaring up at you accusingly as you write out your grocery list will make you feel guilty of neglect. Soon, you will be grabbing one of your virgin pens and staining those pure, white sheets with it.
  2. Reinvent and restock your wardrobe. Slipping into a new skin every now and then will act as a reminder that we all wear some sort of mask – the one that you put on each day should be one that you’ve carefully chosen.
  3. Adopt a gung-ho approach to all work-related tasks for the first two weeks of September. Remember that initial burst of creativity and that ambitious will to outshine your peers that you felt back at the start of kindergarten? Give that a try again. This go-getter spirit will survive briefly before it becomes exhausting, and like your five year old self, you will soon be coloring outside of the lines and throwing tantrums again. Enjoy the self-satisfaction while it lasts.
  4. Adhere to a syllabus of reading and writing assignments. This self-prescribed list does not need to be as stringent as the meticulously outlined course designed by your college physics professor, but having an outline for the year ahead will make you accountable for giving yourself time to learn and create. This should keep your brain lubricated until Christmas, when the holidays will dissolve your determination in fizzy glasses of spiked cider and champagne.
  5. Cultivate the craft of brown-bag lunches. Let’s face it, writers and artists don’t have day jobs because we are breaking bank by fulfilling our passions. Fall back on that good ol’ PB&J sandwich and save that lunch money for a spring break trip to anywhere but here.