Europe takes off most of August as a holiday. My husband's German and French colleagues aren't available for the month of August. Even though this is such a foreign concept to Americans, everyone in Europe seems to know and expect this.So I wondered how Europeans handle going back to work after taking a whole month off. I've discovered that the idea of returning to society is what the French call La rentrée, which literally means re-entry. Businesses re-open with signs declaring "Vive la rentrée!" It is a celebration of the return to routine and the familiar rhythms of daily life. Shops and restaurants reopen after closing for a long break, children go back to school, and adults back to work. The cultural calendar restarts, with announcements of new events and the social calendar resumes as friends reconnect and catch up.
This long summer pause means that the start of September also feels new. Even here in the US, September is a new rhythm and pace compared to our summer months. In our tourist town, it is quieter without the crowds and easier to find parking or a spot at the beach. The locals come out to enjoy our local restaurants without a long wait and reconnect at the coffee shop before kids get home from school.
I'm not sure why at the start of the new year in January, when I am in half-hibernation mode because of the cold and the dark, I think planning and dreaming for new year is a good idea. But what about September? We're rested from summer, full of energy and ideas, ready for a change. It's a new season and I think it's the perfect time for resetting and making new plans for the year to come. I'm taking time out to reassess and set intentions for the year ahead. I'm not just setting goals for my work, but making creative intentions as well. I'll be thinking about what I want in my relationships, my free time, and my future. Big thoughts in this new season and I can't wait!