So last year I got this idea that I wanted to document everything that was new and different. But several months into the plan, I abandoned it, because it looked like I was bragging or trying to be a Big Deal. And although I enjoyed rereading what I had done early in 2016 (I forgot about my first trip to the Ziegfeld Theater), I still feel that I don't need to document anything for the world. I just need to keep a better journal for myself. Trying new things and lifelong learning are part of my DNA, and I'll always try to live my life that way. But as a way to wrap up the year gone by, here are some 2016 firsts I didn't blog about:
- I built my first instrument in 2016. A tenor ukulele.
- I took a first class (Irish bread) with one of my oldest friends.
- I helped someone learn how to drive.
- I attended my son's high school graduation and threw a party in the backyard while we were having a well pounded. (Not a great way to multi-task.)
- I learned how to strip milk paint off of old floors and stairs (glamorous!) and helped replace a few windows in my house (my help was nominal on the first day). There were 39 of them in total.
- I survived a sudden deluge while driving in an open Jeep on a major interstate highway. That quickly went from "Fun--I was born wet!" to scary in a short period of time.
- I attended my first concert by the PA Sinfonia Orchestra.
- I took up swimming and biking.
- I marched in a parade for the first time in 30 years.
- I lost my sister Chris (rest in peace).
- For the first time I saw Tony Bennett perform live--at his 90th birthday celebration. I also saw Lady Gaga, Michael Buble, KD Lang, Kevin Spacey, Diana Krall, and Stevie Wonder perform for the first time, at that same event. It was the first show I knew would be televised later during prime time.
Stevie Wonder performing for Tony Bennett's 90th birthday @ Radio City Music Hall.
- I helped remodel our bathroom. And yet, it's still not finished.
- For the first time, I was the first person to get a book signed by a first-time author. (The book was My (Underground) American Dream by Julissa Arce.)
- I took my first glass fusing class with my best friend.
- I refinanced my house. Please, never again.
- I drank my first hefeweizen beer.
- I learned how to blow glass and made a paperweight and a candy bowl.
- We celebrated Christmas with our first "real" tree in 15 years--for the first time a Frasier fir.
- I reunited with a dear friend I hadn't seen in 20 years. It was a great day!
- My first Jeep--a 1997 Wrangler, the first vehicle I ever loved--died.
- My best friend from college told me she is expecting her first child.
This was a good lesson to learn--that I don't have to share everything just because I can. The greatest joy should be in experiencing those things, not being able to post them on the Internet.
There are still a lot of firsts I didn't accomplish--skydiving, getting my motorcycle license, traveling to Italy--but that's the fun of life: something new to accomplish.