As a parent, we document all our babies first; first words, first steps, first tooth, first tooth loss, and so forth. At what point do we stop recognizing our life’s firsts? Do we even consider them anymore after college? I can recall my first car, my first kiss, my first boyfriend and even my first husband. But why is it that we don’t get as excited about our life’s firsts the older we get? We don’t mark our calendars or make albums out of these momentous occasions. Life doesn’t end when we start adulting. We should be celebrating life for as long as we live.
My big brother (Robin) passed away almost seven years ago. He was 39 years old and lived a life fuller than most people who live to 80. He was an adventurous, thrill seeker. His list of experiences ranged from wild boar hunting to jumping out of a helicopter in skis. You name it, he did it. So in honor of his life, I celebrate his birthday every year with an adventurous first. On his first birthday without him, his would-be 40th birthday, I jumped out of a perfectly good plane. Some people would call that skydiving. The years after that were: swimming with sharks, stingrays and dolphins, fired a semi-automatic rifle, zip lining, white water rafting in Bali, and flyboarding (that’s where you fly using water propulsion). This year’s birthday is coming up and I don’t have any plans yet for my adventure. Maybe I’ll go parasailing, ride in a helicopter, or ride along in a race car. All I know is that it will be a first time experience.
The beautiful thing about starting this tradition is that it seeped into my everyday life. I am more spontaneous and adventurous. I take risks and say ‘yes’ more. And most importantly I found my rewarding journey, a path in which I may never have had the courage to start: yoga. Yoga has been this amazing adventure that no skydiving or hiking trip can ever quench. To me, it’s the greatest adventure of me versus myself. I’m a self-taught, home practicing yogi that dedicates her practice on a daily basis (well almost daily). I have learned more things about myself in the last 2 years than quite frankly I ever have. I’m taking risks, testing my limits, breaking down, and yet constantly wanting more. I started a 200-hour yoga teacher training program this year and I have to say I’m half loving it and half freaking out. It’s an adventure where I’m not risking my life to prove something, but instead honoring my life while I’m still here. I realize that yoga is my never ending journey of breakthroughs and firsts. I found my passion of firsts like my brother did as an adventurous, thrill seeker. Don’t worry, I’ll still have crazy adventures too!
I’m turning 40 this year, a year my brother never got to reach, but his legacy helped me find mine and I am forever grateful to him. I’m living a life full of firsts, sharing it with my beautiful family, and hopefully inspiring you. Oscar Wilde says it best: “To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all.” Are you just existing? I say to you and my three boys: You will be remembered not by what you owned, but by how you lived your life. So fill your life up with experiences and firsts, not things. Your experiences are what make you richer. When I think of my brother, I am so proud of the life he lived. So don’t forget while you are adulting to live a life worth living.
When was the last time you did something for the first time?
What first time activity do you think I should try next?