With the end of summer, a sorry list of not-enoughs: not enough writing, not enough exercise, not enough attention to diet. And a silly, furtive feeling about all this: You can't start back now, not after having missed so much.
Because why? Because, having fallen down, you don't deserve to get back up? Because somebody might see that you backslid? And who might that be -- do you really have a bloodthirsty army of paparrazzi out there, eagerly waiting to chronicle your missteps? I didn't think you did. The only person who sees them is you. And God. And God has better things to do than give you demerits.
When a new season begins, it is as if the very weather were giving us another chance, as if the world itself were helping us turn a page we can't seem to turn on our own. The hottest summer must yield to autumn. The coldest winter contains a tiny green germ of spring. The sorriest assembly of failures holds the chance to do things differently today, a day that belongs to you, as yesterday no longer does. Yesterday has already taken its place in the past.
Oh, but I've lost so much time! Well, okay. So the answer to that is to lose some more? Never mind what you've lost -- what can you find in the time that remains to you? How's this for an epitaph: She was off to a good start and then made a few errors. Concluding that this made all her past efforts was worthless, she resolved never to try again, and she never did. Some time later, she died.
No? I didn't like it, either. Here's a better one:
She did the best she could, and it was often more than sufficient. When it fell short, she rested awhile and tried again. Sometimes she succeeded. In any case, she got further than any of us thought she would.