Shortly after my son moved to Medicine Hat and began working in my private practice, he encouraged me to do some downsizing at the office. I will never forget how shocked he was when he found an envelope in one of the boxes. On the front of it, I had written "Mark's First Haircut". His response was "It can't be. You didn't really save my hair for more than four decades!"
Of course, I had!
Within minutes we had a pile of "treasures" from his youth including notes he had written in a grade five sex education class and miscellaneous forms of artwork. My instructions to him were simple. I said "These things belong to you. I want you to take them home with you and never, ever tell me what you did with them". (You see, I suspected that perhaps he didn't value them as much as I had).
Firsts are important and usually have an emotional component. Think about your first bike, your first day of school, your first kiss. Do you remember when you earned your first pay cheque, opened your first bank account or made your first major purchase?
What colour was your first car? What was the name of your first date? And where did you go together?
Firsts are a very important part of life as they take you into new adventures. But firsts also symbolize past, present and future. Having a first means that you leave something behind like your youth, innocence or safety. It means that you have a new experience in the present where you can gain skills and perspectives. It also means that you will gather memories for the future.
Sometimes firsts are wonderful and valued forever. Other firsts can be painful or awkward. All of them, however, help us to grow and learn.
Well, this week is extremely special because it holds so many firsts. Today is a new day in a new month in a new year in a new decade!
What are you going to do with this? Will you take time to think about the past and record what you have seen and done? Are you going to take time today to relax and give thanks for how much you have experienced and the fact that today is the gateway to new beginnings? Perhaps you are thinking about the future and what goals you want to accomplish.
When my children were little, I would always talk with them the day before school saying, "You have a brand-new scribbler with brand new pages so you can write anything you want in it".
Life is the same. Today just imagine that you have a brand-new scribbler with brand new pages, and you can put whatever you want into it".
What will you write? How will you live? How will you make a difference in the world?
You choose because these firsts belong to you!