Cherry Blossom

Copyright © 2012 David Yu via Flickr, Some rights reserved

Don’t you ever want a fresh start? A way to make today the day, the beginning, without people looking over your shoulder at all the Past you’re pulling behind you. Some trunks burst with pain and heartache and shame while others–often the heaviest ones–overflow with the emptiness of broken promises and unrealized dreams?

My sad attempts at social media feel that way most of the time. This blogs sits here like an old family picture collecting dust on the top of my silent piano. I love it, I want to save it from a future fire, but somehow weeks pass as I stumble through my busy schedule and I keep thinking “Tomorrow. Tomorrow I’ll pick it up, dust it off, smile as I try to plunk out the melody of ‘Memories’ or ‘Send in the Clowns’ and I’ll prove that I love this photo… that the top of the piano is a place of honor rather than an elephant graveyard where memories come to die. Tomorrow will be a fresh start.”

But the days collect like the dust, the decaying carcasses of misused seconds and minutes and hours waiting to be scooped up and thrown away, and the photo goes untouched.

The blog goes unchanged.

It sits here, unused and ignored. Sometimes I think about dusting it off, but then I wonder what others might think. And I feel shame. Yep, shame. And the heaviness of a bulging bag that tells me I should have done more. Should have kept up. Should have made it a priority.

Is it too late? I wonder. Have I missed the train, boat, car, scooter? Is my career over before it began because I’m not [insert awesome writer here] who has been able to craft novels, blog daily, tweet hourly, pin a zillion photos (or even 12), develop a following on Instagram while also getting mother-of-the-year and a Nobel peace prize? I don’t even have kids!

*breathes into paper bag*

*calms down*

*waves off paramedics*

And I realize–just now–, if I don’t want people starring at my baggage, maybe I should stop bringing it everywhere I go.

*drops bags and runs*

Fresh starts are not only possible, they are necessary. They are the Springs that take us from Winter to Summer and the Falls that provide relief from the scorching heat of too-much-sunshine. Fresh starts are the do-overs and the mulligans we always asked for as kids and need even more as adults. They are apologies and trying again and picking ourselves off the floor when we’ve stumbled for the umpteenth time. They are the cheers from friends and strangers, and they are the tiny moments of triumph that remind us that we can.

I’ve decided today will be–IS–my tiny moment of triumph. It’s dusting the photos and playing the piano and reminding myself that it’s never too late to try because it’s never too late to live.

Unless you’re dead. And then, my friend, you have other problems.

Happy writing, living, loving, being!

May today be filled with whatever fresh starts you need.