| 11.7°C Dublin

No September misery for me: it's a fresh start

Is it just me, or does everyone have a distinct "back to school" feeling this week?

Sure, the weather isn't helping. It's suddenly got dark in the mornings, and it's been blustery and miserable, but it's more than an unfavourable climate that's pointing to the end of the hazy, lazy days of summer.

The winter coats have come out, the Late Late Show is back, as are Marian Finucane and Vincent Browne.

In the space of a few short days, our noses seem to be once again pressed to the grindstone. It's as though summer never happened ...

Personally speaking, the weekend's exploits at Electric Picnic were my last bit of official fun for a couple of months.

Since my last mojito on Sunday night, I'm now off the drink. And in the interest of reducing stress and sleeping better, I've given up coffee too.

What's more, I've put away my summer clothes, booked my car in for an NCT, I'm about to go live with my blog and I'm going to start running again -- just as soon as Irene stops blowing me away.

As I keep joking to my mates, I'd better start buying lotto tickets because, at the moment, I have no vices left.

Yep, summer is definitely over, and without meaning to, I've got the 'buckle down' bug, and I'm all set to look on September as a chance for new beginnings.

Autumn seems like a pretty cool time to write the 'bucket list' and get going on making things happen. Whether it's something organised like evening classes, or making a Christmas holiday happen, or buckling down to fighting the flab, September seems the perfect time to get going.

While the kids are getting used to a new routine, we should follow suit. And after the hazy balm of summer, when our eyes might have been opened to new ideas, perhaps we've got a new lease of life to push a long-standing dream over the line?

Because the new year is a miserable time to make 'resolutions'. At the start of the year, when you're bloated and broke, summer seems so far away and goals can be just to hard to visualise.

But the start of autumn isn't quite as austere. We've got this far in the year, let's make the rest of it count.

And whatever we achieve, there's the shiny, sparkling carrot (or sprig of mistletoe) of Christmas hanging in the air, when we know for sure, the good times will return. And we'll have a few days away from work to enjoy them.

So, basically, any hard work tackled now will reap benefits when we want them.

I'm embracing back-to-school September.