Over the last few weeks, just like you, I have spent hundreds of dollars buying school supplies I never needed as a kid. Strange things like hand sanitizer, entire reams (500 sheets!) of paper and $100 calculators. I've ordered the Lands' End school uniforms and in a moment of weakness purchased trendy, expensive shoes that will likely not fit any of my sons in six weeks.
The fridge has been organized. The take-out containers have been tossed. Single- serving, processed foods I can launch into lunch bags in a fury are stacked high. Each son has received his "back to school" haircut and we have had another lesson on the importance of deodorant.
In addiiton, I've washed my pink, fuzzy bathrobe so I will look presentable driving the kids to school. It would be beyond embarrassing to have a car accident in a robe covered in chocolate ice cream stains and Cheeto-finger swipes. All in all, I'm feeling pretty prepared for the new school year.
The annual ritual of getting kids ready for school always sparks a desire within me to become more organized, more productive and just get my act together all around. The sight of glossy folders, the quick huff off a Sharpie, and the perfectly tipped crayons make me want to label stuff. But just for a fleeting second. I ponder properly filing things. I could fish my passport out of the filmy make up drawer and glide it smoothly into a crisp file folder marked "travel" or maybe just "P." But that feeling passes too, content knowing my passport is safely tucked next to a jar of wax. And since I probably won't need either for a while, why mess up a system that works?
In the past years of experiencing the turmoil of divorce, even armed with the best of intentions, already by the Thursday after Labor Day, my urge to organize, lose weight, and get a bit of exercise, seems to die as easily as slow flies in August.
But this school year is going to be different. Not only are my kids going to learn all kinds of math stuff I won't even be able to fake understand, I, too, am going to make forward progress. Newly divorced, I'm no longer in a holding pattern, wondering if I should stay or go. The tough stuff is behind me and the living is ahead.
Therefore, on this first day of school, as all students across America will recite the Pledge of Allegiance, I, too shall make a pledge to get my divorce-comfort-food-cherry-pie-very-large-ass off the sofa to declare my goal for the school year. If you've been "on hold" and let yourself go, come on, get up and say it with me:
"I pledge a redux to my sags and the bloated state of Abdomenia. And to my stomach... that bitch which expands: deflation, smaller bod, irresistible with dignity.... til the jugs start to fall."