• Michelle Dawn Mooney

School Days Forever

A mini Mooney circa 2nd grade.

It's back to school time! For many parents out there, it truly is the most wonderful time of the year. Of course, a lot of kids may not see it that way, but growing up I remember I couldn't wait for the first day of class. There was something about the newness of it all. It was a chance to start fresh with a clean slate and in a way reinvent yourself to become the very best "you" you could be that year.

Even today, I guess you could say some things never change. While my school years are well behind me, when this time of year rolls around I almost feel a little giddy thinking about what I can choose to do with the next nine months. I'm no longer waiting to see who I'll be sitting next to in math class, but I am reevaluating my life and trying to find those areas where I still need to be "schooled".

I'm sure most of us can find at least one or two things that we know we need a little work on. Prepping for better sleep (as in NOT scrolling through your phone - in the dark - before you close your eyes. Just me?), throwing in a few more fruits and vegetables instead of processed snacks (despite their deliciousness), or maybe getting back into the gym. Keep in mind though, it's not just about "fixing" things or finding better methods to tackle our responsibilities, but also finding things that make us happy and figuring out ways to make that happiness grow.

Why not take that foreign language you always wanted to master, learn to cook, dust off that old guitar, or maybe get back into reading? You are in charge of your class schedule, so YOU can choose the things you want to fill up your curriculum. I know that can be easier said than done for many of you who right now are thinking - I have absolutely zero time for any of this because I am just too busy with everything that is going on. I completely understand, so I'll end with the cliff notes of this post and tell you the number one thing you should add to your "school year". The biggest subject that we could all use a refresher course on each year is ... love. Let me explain.

My husband recently spoke about a time when he was a teenager and had the honor of speaking with several decorated veterans at a nursing home. Noting the wealth of experience they had between them he began to ask them a few questions about their lives and finally asked the group if there was anything they would have changed or done differently. Each and every one gave the same answer ... love. They would have loved more, worked less, and taken time to appreciate special moments in their lives instead of taking them for . When we stop to think about what truly makes us happy, it usually revolves around the people we hold most dear to our hearts - our loved ones.

As this new school year gets under way, we can all use a little brushing up on "Love 101" when it comes to valuing the people in our lives that we sometimes take for granted, letting them know they're loved, and making more time to cherish them while we have the chance.

So, I hereby challenge all of you in the class of 2019-2020 to not only work to better yourself during the next few months, but also to work on prioritize your calendars so that you're not only making a living, but making a life that you can look back on without regret. Life is too short, to not let your loved ones know that they are in fact loved. ;)

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