As I began this post I thought, “Oh, this will be simple!” As it turns out, I’ve had quite a few new and noteworthy experiences in my almost 5 decades. If I tried to list them all I think it might break the internet. A friend and I were recently discussing how if certain things we’ve experienced weren’t our experiences, we would be jealous of ourselves. I feel that way about most of my life. If this wasn’t my life, my adventures, my experiences, I’d be jealous of them. Of course, there are a few parts I’d definitely leave out or do differently but, for the most part, my life has been full of adventure and new experiences – and I’m grateful.
This #FridayFive writing prompt from Mrs. Disciple was “New Experiences”. I looked forward to this one! The last few have been on the heavier side for me. I enjoyed this one as it afforded a beneficial time of reflection. Sometimes we forget all that we’ve experienced, especially the good parts. It’s so easy for negative to overshadow. I hope you’ll enjoy my reflective rambling. If you ever wanted to know me better, this is a good start.
1st Decade: Ages Birth to 10
Well birth, I suppose, is a pretty great new experience – although I don’t remember it well. I started school. My family moved to Brazil when I was 7. I learned, in a fairly traumatic way, to take whole pills (but I’m pro at it now and can swallow multiple at one time). I learned to speak Portuguese (which I’ve forgotten). I became a Christ follower. I was baptized in a cemetery swimming pool in the ocean (I know that doesn’t make sense). I learned that adventures are good! I experienced lice for the first time of MANY while living in Brazil. My family traveled to 7 (at best count) countries and experienced having to pee in large coffee cans in our car, digging for emeralds and amethysts, staying at an amazing coffee plantation, visiting Machu Picchu where we drank coca tea (Yep, I basically drank cocaine at about age 9. We all did as they told us it would help with altitude. And it did. haha!). I bought a huge stuffed Pink Panther in Argentina that I had to carry all over creation. I learned to read. I learned to play the harmonica and the piano. I bought my first record – Bill Haley and the Comets. Barry Manilow and ALL of the Donny and Marie Osmond records would follow. I had the new experience of seeing 3rd world poverty up close and personal. I learned that I couldn’t really help all of those orphans, that I couldn’t fix it – but I sure wanted to. I experienced my first tears of compassion even though I didn’t know what they were at the time.
2nd Decade: Ages 11 – 20
The new experience of repatriation presented itself as my family moved back to the US from Brazil after 4 years. I bargained for the first time to get an awesome pink Sombrero in Mexico for cheap. My faith and my calling were solidified. ALL the new experiences of being a middle schooler and becoming a teenager (most of which I’d rather forget). I grieved my first loss in the death of my Granny. I got my first job at 15. I learned to drive. I got my first car speeding ticket (and a few more). My family moved a few times. I had the not so wonderful experience of having Mono. I fell in love for the first time in 9th grade and experienced my first broken heart. I became the pianist and background singer for a gospel band, New Heart, made up with my sister and a few friends, which is where I met Tommy. I experienced my first real love for the written word. I wrote many songs and poems during this decade. I fell in love for the last time – with the boy who would become my husband.
3rd Decade: Ages 21-30
In this decade came marriage, trying to learn how to stay married, LOTS of new addresses (we had 5 different addresses for our first 5 Christmases), becoming a mommy with our first two, becoming a family was the best gift of this decade and my life. We bought our first home (chosen mostly because I loved the front door), navigating postpartum depression, running, planters fasciitis from running, forming strong bonds of friendships that still go deep, exhaustion like I’d never known, love like I’d never know and the discovery of everything bagels.
4th Decade: Ages 31-40
My 30’s were the best. I’m kind of hoping my 50’s will blow my 30’s out of the water. In my 30’s I felt like I was finally able to settle into life. Settle into myself. I was the most comfortable in my own skin than I had ever been before. Marriage was good, church was good, friendships were good, kids were good… not without issues, of course, but life was pretty good.
New experiences in my 4th decade of life included our 3rd child, only two new houses, getting our first dog (Bella), homeschooling, sushi (YUM!!), learning that I loved graphic and web design, becoming a WOTH (work outside the home) mom, helping grow a new church, become a pastor’s wife. Our family experienced the tragedy with the death of my nephew. We became financially free during this decade and also experienced marriage counseling for the first time.
5th Decade: Ages 41-amost 50
This decade has been chock full of new experiences. Mostly good and some not good at all.
The new experience of Facebook, the wonders of Apple (iTunes, iPhone, iPads, Macbooks, etc.), writing on my first blog, having high school aged kids, unbecoming a pastor’s wife (just the pastor part, I remained his wife), moving our family to Singapore (which comes with new experiences too many to fit on the whole entire internet).
A few of my new experiences of this decade have included kids who went to college on the other side of the world, kids who used their passports more than their driver’s license, learning to love and eat and cook all sorts of amazing foods, lifelong and global friendships, a love for foot reflexology and head massages, doctor fish (google it), a love and appreciation for really good wine and cider, being diagnosed with Celiac and all the new experiences that come with that. My mother in law unexpectedly went to Heaven at the age of 63. We experienced the worst season of our entire marriage – and are surviving it. We moved back to Texas, bought our first inside dog and flipped a house. This decade, so far, has included 5 different addresses and traveling to 13 countries, some multiple times. Two kids have gotten married. We gained two amazing kids by marriage and one grandson. Our grandson is the star of this decade by far! Our third child is working, driving and getting college admission letters. The empty nest is a new experience just over that yonder hill.
I’ve got just about a year and a half left in this decade which means there’s still time for more new experiences and maybe grandchildren. (hint hint but no pressure!)
I’m sure I’ve left out a few good ones. I know I’ve left out some bad ones. I’m not sure if this list excites me or exhausts me. Haha!
What are some of your new experiences that come to mind?
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This reflection of new experiences is brought to you by Mrs. Disciple’s Friday Five Link Up. I am linking up with my good friend, Kelly, at Mrs. Disciple and a few other friends here, What You Don’t Expect When You’re Expecting. This Friday Five theme has inspired some great writing creativity and a host of topics. Go check them out and leave some comment love. Share your new experiences with us!