For the day that’s in it, and because today’s milestone will see me commence my 51st orbit of the sun, I have been reflecting on some of the milestones that have shaped my life during the first 50 orbital cycles. In many ways, these are a template for what many life journeys look like over time but where the precise details on how the milestones happen are different for all of us, in good ways and in bad, just as it should be.
In the interest of time (and data privacy, as some of the details could be used as security questions for online systems), I’ve deliberately not divulged any specifics. However, I have enjoyed recalling those to myself and my family, and hope that you enjoy reflecting on your own individual answers with you and yours, no matter what age you are (or are not).
I guess the ordering of the items is somewhat chronological (and telling) in my case, which can result in some curious inferences about my priorities in life at the time 🙂
- First childhood memory
- First Christmas morning (that you remember)
- First day at school
- First time riding a bicycle (without stabilisers)
- First time shooting a gun
- First time visiting your Dad’s place of work to see what he does all day long
- First time catching a fish by yourself
- First time rowing a boat by yourself
- First time riding a horse (or donkey)
- First time at Bingo (and winning £25, a small fortune at that age)
- First time camping (in a tent without a zip on the doors)
- First time swimming more than 5 metres by yourself
- First time staying up past midnight to see the clock radio switch from 23:59 to 00:00
- First time on stage performing at a music, arts or culture event
- First time on TV
- First sports day at your parent’s place of work
- First state exams
- First record/tape/CD (or digital music) purchase, with your own money
- First time on an oceanic car ferry
- First date
- First kiss
- First paying job
- First bank account not controlled by my parents
- First Godchild
- First time paying tax (still don’t understand that one)
- First time voting in a national election
- First pint (Guinness, of course)
- First hangover (resulting in lifelong aversion/allergy to a specific alcoholic brand)
- First time passing your driving test
- First college qualification (29 years ago today too, as it happens)
- First night after moving out of home
- First professional job (for which you are academically qualified)
- First serious data loss due to not taking backups seriously (credit to Heather MayburyRIP for using a blameless culture (before that was a thing) to help me learn from it).
- First flight
- First sun holiday
- First car
- First (and only) marriage proposal – when, where, and how?
- First house (and mortgage)
- First (and only) wife, where your house became a home
- First neighbour’s house warming, who would become lifelong friends to this day!
- First time being best man at a wedding
- First person you’ve met who was born after Italia ‘90
- First mid-week barbecue leading to copious amounts of Bulmers cider
- First child, and the unbridled joy of calling yourself a Father (followed by abject fear of what lies ahead by being responsible for something so beautifully delicate)
- First life loss (and what this can teach you about life) – one I’d rather was not on this list
- First College Reunion
- First time skiing (on snow), and thinking you didn’t need sun cream because it was so cold.
- First time paragliding
- First time arriving on a video call, expecting a single colleague but finding half of your extended work team there to wish you a happy milestone birthday, complete with photos from your earlier years that were clearly provided by members of your immediate family!
- First loss of a parent (definitely missing my Dad today)
So as I begin my 51st orbit of the sun, I count myself very lucky to have experienced so much good in my life (with a little bit of the bad and the sad to keep me firmly grounded).
I hope you enjoy thinking of some of the moments that have shaped your life, along the same lines as mine above, and I look forward to updating the list in the years and good times ahead.
Thanks for listening!