By age 55 we have done a lot…for a loooong time! This is good. We’ve read and studied, married and raised kids, worked for decades, we know what we like and what we’re good at. ‘Stick-to-it-iveness’ runs strong through our generation. This characteristic is part of what makes great parents and spouses, successful entrepreneurs and team members, artists and authors, friends and volunteers. At this stage of life we are busy, maybe even over-committed, with all the familiar, routine duties that we handle so well. BUT what about the things we’ve never done? Adventures we haven’t experienced and moments just not taken?
I was somewhat pushed into a “first” this week. I unexpectedly ended up with a friend at a gun range. Now I was unprepared, which is my least favorite condition in life, and I was out of my comfort zone on several levels. First, I was in a business dress, and wearing higher heels than usual, so I kind of stood out from the other jeans and hat clad patrons. Second, up until then I had never held a gun and wasn’t sure if that was something I wanted to do. Third, since I had missed the memo about this activity, I had not done any of my usual ‘studying up’ on the topic. No prep – whew, this was rough! I have come to realize that spontaneity is not my strong point, but I also do not like to wimp out, so I said “yes” to this opportunity.
Checking in, showing IDs, buying bullets (!), suiting up in eye and ear protection all did nothing to calm my nerves. As we entered the range area, a 20-something girl gave me a slightly incredulous look, asked if I was shooting in heels and then gave me a “good on ya” and a thumbs up! My friend set me up, showed me all the basics and as I tried to find my stance I got real smart and decided to shoot barefoot instead. My heart was pounding and my spirit was resistant causing my mind and body to move in heavy, slow motion. I powered through it and shot the first 6 rounds. Amazingly, I hit my intended target several times – I mean right on the bullseye! This was shocking to me, and thrilling. We shot for a while, I did well, had a great time and walked out feeling energized and kind of proud of myself. Really… obviously I don’t get out much!
This little experience, and the feelings that followed, have encouraged me to explore more “firsts” in life and also, to not think too long before trying something new. I’m a planner and being prepared is great, but sometimes it’s best to just jump in and wing it! Firsts after Fifty-Five. Any ideas out there? What Firsts have you experienced lately?