Monday was the first day of school in Graz. After a year of remote learning, it was wonderful to see groups of boisterous children with backpacks headed to the local elementary as I wrapped up my pre-breakfast run.

I’ve always considered the start of a new school year to be more of a fresh beginning than January 1st. There is excitement and a tension in the air. The leaves are changing but the year still has some oomph left in it. We’re still looking forward to what is to come, not reviewing, analyzing, and putting to rest what has been.

Mornings are crisp but not too cold. Pumpkins, sweet potatoes, and grapes still need to be harvested, and the summer tan still hasn’t faded. There will still be lazy afternoons for reading books in cafés, but an earnestness has returned to life. To me, this is the natural time to set resolutions and start new projects, not the dead of winter when all you want is for spring to return.

My new project for the autumn – as if I didn’t have enough things to keep myself occupied – is to teach myself rudimentary Croatian. I want to be able to communicate better with Gordana, our host in Primošten, when we return in the spring for a working holiday. Yesterday I checked a textbook out of the library and today I set up my first vocabulary set on Quizlet. Dobro sam se snašao!

What do you think the best time of year is to set a goal or start a new project? Leave a comment.

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