When was the last time you did something for the first time?
Was it too long ago to remember? Or so significant you will never forget?
I explored this question with a group of friends recently with interesting results. We all agreed “firsts” happen more frequently when we are young. It is only logical that the number of first-time opportunities would decline as we grow older.
Many of life’s earliest firsts are universal, with no relation to our race, sex, religion or culture. For example, we all celebrate a child’s first smile, first step, first words, first day of school.
As we mature, we experience the firsts that change our lives. We shout with joy over our first successful ride on a bicycle or first dive into the deep end of the pool. And who doesn’t remember their first kiss, first dance and first love?
When I asked about memories of a first job, every hand shot into the air. We may not recall our final work paycheck in detail, but we always remember our first. Many could describe the place they worked, their boss and co-workers, the length of their lunch break and their hourly wage (which was often below $1).
But the biggest response of all came from the question: “How many of you remember your first car?” We might forget where we parked our current vehicle, but we have no trouble describing our first car, along with the details on how we learned to drive and the price of gasoline to fill the tank.
Though we will never again experience these firsts, it is not too late to try something new. What have you always wanted to do? Paint a landscape? Explore a faraway place? Learn to belly dance? Yes, doing something for the first time is risky. But I believe those small risks enrich our lives.
So tell me, when is the next time you’ll try something for the first time?
By the way, if you enjoy articles like this one and have never donated to support The Active Age, we would appreciate your “first-timer” contribution. One option is to make a donation in the amount of your age. Whatever the amount, we will happily include your name on our donor list (unless you prefer not to be listed). And whether you donate or not, thank you for being a reader.
Susan Armstrong is a board member of The Active Age who writes cozy mysteries under the pen name Anna St. John. Her first book, “Doomed by Blooms,” was published earlier this year.