The Start Over

I had a nervous breakdown last weekend.

Not an actual nervous breakdown. But I was pretty close to smashing plates and throwing things out of windows in an overly-dramatic Greek fashion. I had internet troubles. I had website troubles. I had an entire jar of Nutella.

I’m not joking.

I sat on the couch with a spoon in one hand and a phone in the other and alternated between screaming at Verizon and shoving hazelnut spread into my mouth, while simultaneously trying to recover all the blog posts I had somehow erased when switching to a new laptop.


If memory serves me right, this is now my eleventeenth time deciding that I would blog/write on a regular basis. I figure that anytime there is more than a six-week break, it constitutes a Start Over. And since it’s been about eight blessed months since I’ve paid this site a visit, it was definitely a Start Over moment.

Which led me to a new laptop (my old one had a long list of ailments), losing a bunch of work, and the resulting Nutella incident.

Despite this particular setback, I am a big fan of the Start Over. If you were to break into my office, move the chair out of the way and peek under my desk, you would find not one, not two, not three, but FOUR partially-used planners. For this year alone. (I’m now on Number Five and determined to make it stick. Check back with me in a few months.) I’ve convinced myself that buying new planners will make me more organized.

I don’t like the layout of this calendar; I need to Start Over.

If I bought a smaller planner I would carry it around more often; I need to Start Over.

I do these home workout videos, and the too-perky instructor likes to say “If you’re tired of starting over, stop quitting.” To that, I say…girl, but have you seen some of those new planners at Target?

But I get what she’s saying. Not exercising on a regular basis makes starting those videos over even harder. And it’s harder to cut back on my daily Nutella allowance when I allow myself to eat an entire jar in one sitting. (The commercials say it’s healthy!)

But isn’t it great that we have that option? That we can Start Over whenever we feel like it? That our choices or decisions from yesterday don’t have to be our choices or decisions today? That at any given moment we can pause and reconsider. That we can shake off the dust from our current path and shimmy off in a different direction with a new attitude and a new plan. Or planner, as the case may be.

Whether you have big goals or little dreams or just want to make it through one day without cursing out every driver on your commute to work, you can start now.

Yes, yes. I hear you over there in the corner, muttering to yourself about things like lingering consequences and failures and whatnot. There’s a part of me that would like to join you. To wallow in the mud and lament together that we’ve screwed up or given up way too many times. That we still feel the sting of bad decisions or poor choices from months or years ago. That what’s the point of Starting Over, yet again, if we only end back up here?

That’s what makes the Start Over all the more glorious. There’s no cap. No limits. Unlike that much-touted Verizon “unlimited” plan, you don’t need to worry about burning through your allowance. (Clearly, this is still a touchy subject for me.) How many times it takes is how many times it takes. No more. No less.

To Start Over is to believe. To have faith. To be optimistic about the future. Do any of those words conjure up feelings of failure to you? It’s fine to dip your toes in the mud for a little bit. But don’t linger in that corner too long.

Some days I wake up with a list of Start Overs the length of my arm. Some days I simply vow to not honk my car horn at drivers going slow in the left-hand lane. Maybe I’ll make it the whole day. Maybe I’ll make it the whole week. Maybe this time it will stick.

Is there something in your life that needs a Start Over? Maybe something big like your finances or your relationships? Maybe something small like an addiction to Nutella? (Come on, who’s with me?) Forget yesterday. Forget five minutes ago. Start now. Because you can.


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