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Launching a year of firsts | Pamdemonium
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Launching a year of firsts

June 29, 2010

My elaborate plan to do all sorts of cool things before my 50th birthday in February 2011 hasn’t picked up much steam. The list is long – tandem skydiving, balloon ride, learning Spanish and/or Latin, cooking duck – and time is short or at least seems short.

I have done the balloon ride, and it was amazing. I will make time for some of the others. Looking back over these past few months, though, I see a list I did not intentionally make.

A list of firsts. Yes, the balloon ride overlaps but so many other firsts in the last five months were unplanned. Like life, they just happen. This totally random list of recent firsts starts with the Nashville Flood of 2010.

Certainly this was not my first flood or major natural disaster. It was, however, my first natural disaster as a non-drinker. My pre-hurricane ritual in New Orleans usually involved boarding up the house with Shaun, obsessively watching The Weather Channel once back inside and downing a bottle of champagne with myself, then going off to work the next day to see what hit.

In early May, I finally looked downstairs when the water was already 1 ½-feet deep. I shut the door, left the television off, and went back to work. I probably ate chocolate.

I made my first visit to the Lane Motor Museum in Nasvhille and it was way cool. I wll go back and write about it. I joined my first “meet-up” group online, Middle Tennessee Hiking, though I have not yet joined them for my first hike. I took my first Qi Gong class and loved it.

My introduction to multiple chigger bites remains memorable. At Shaun’s request, I used tweezers to yank a wood tick (I hope it was a wood tick and not a deer tick) from his torso in the middle of the night. It was the first time my minestrations produced a yelp. Shadow and Pilgrim, my other patients, just suck it up.

I am, slowly, building my first website, though I do call on outside help. Pamdemonium is my first blog attempt.

My first video script turned out to be 20-minutes long, an overview of new programs and construction and all sorts of good things going on at Volunteer State Community College in Gallatin. I saw the completed project for the first time Friday when it was played for a Tennessee Board of Regents meeting on campus. My first big screen.

Work is filled with other firsts. First brochure copy. First website-only copy for multiple business clients, with very different target markets. First press releases.

A week ago, for the first time, we did not buy a house on which we had a signed contract. Great price, wonderful space, fabulous investment for rental purposes but the inspection overflowed with hidden disasters. It isn’t the first time we should have walked away but it is the first time we did.

Many firsts in the garden: first time I got any pole beans to actually make beans; first snow peas and sugar snap peas; first attempts at watermelon and cantaloupe; first time my own tomato seedlings are doing as well or better than the store-bought plants. It is, alas, the second time tomato plants have buried my sweet pepper plants.

I still want to jump from an airplane, learn Spanish and Latin and cook duck but in the meantime, I will pay more careful attention to the unplanned.  We are never too old for firsts, and new experiences help keep us young. One of my new plans is to take note of them, large and small, good and bad. I believe that an examined life, within reason, holds meaning, promise and joy.



brian thomas smith June 29, 2010 at 6:07 pm

perhaps it’s more the forest fore the single tree. at least in this case.

Sherry June 29, 2010 at 9:06 pm

I another day above ground is my goal. The rest is a gift.

Ruby July 1, 2010 at 4:19 pm

I like this for you!! Another way to say this might be . . . Mindfulness in Pam’s Life. Wahoo!

admin July 2, 2010 at 3:32 pm

Thanks Ms. Ruby. Every day is different though the constants make a good foundation.

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