My kids both started at new schools today, my son in middle school and my daughter at the high school. For days we’ve been gathering all of their materials, shopping for pencils and notebooks and a ton of other supplies that we loaded into each backpack last night. We carefully packed their favorite lunches, tucking them into the bags at the last minute this morning. Then I walked the kids to the bus and waved them on their way, confident that they had what they needed and were prepared.

When I got home, I found my son’s book sitting by the door.

A few weeks ago his teachers sent a letter asking their students to bring the books they were reading. My son spent the weekend debating which book to bring, selected his new favorite, and set it next to his backpack. And promptly forgot it.

I considered following the bus to his school to deliver it, but quickly reminded myself that he’s older now and I shouldn’t be doing that. If he doesn’t have what he needs, he should be able to deal with it, right?

Have what you need?

How often do we remember to bring along everything we might need? Do we always know what we might need? How often do we find ourselves in new places, with new jobs or roles, missing some skill or bit of experience that would really help us? I’ll answer this last one: for me, it’s every day.

My kids are different every day, and what I’ve learned about them doesn’t always prepare me for the new “tricks” around the corner. My job is also changing all the time; software and skills become obsolete or irrelevant. In fact, the world is so different from day to day that even after endless reading and working and learning, I admit that I have moments when I don’t know exactly what I’m doing. How am I going to figure this out? (I’ll wonder after spending hours on some new bit of social media.) Am I qualified for this??

Start anyway

The truth is, you may never feel prepared. Start anyway. Start because it’s today, and today is better than tomorrow. Start just to get the ball rolling. And start because the bus came and you’re there anyway so you might as well just do your best.

I hope my kids had a good day starting the school year (even if they didn’t have everything they needed). I started a few projects today because it seemed like the best day to start something new.  What are you starting this week?

“There are two mistakes one can make along the road to truth…not going all the way, and not starting.” ~Buddha