Broken Bay Writers – Stories of NSW Central Coast and beyond

Scribbles on life, the universe and everything… Woy Woy, Ettalong, Umina and teh Central Coast that is!

That’s a First


How many times in your life have you uttered the words “that’s a first?” When one thinks back, there are so many firsts in our life that are a given, first steps, first day of school, first date, first love… The list goes on and on.

Some firsts are not much fun, first time falling, first car accident, first broken heart, first experience with a loved one dying, many firsts are ones that we would prefer to forget. But, the exciting firsts more than make up for it. Perhaps it is just a little first, or sometimes a big one such as first time married or first baby, what is stimulating is the knowledge that as you are experiencing this first, you are growing as a person.

The problem is that as we age, the firsts in our lives start are few and far between. I have the answer.

Move to another country, experience another culture no matter how subtle the difference. It has sure worked for me. I can’t believe how many “firsts” I have experienced since moving from Canada to Australia. This came to mind just today as I walked into a mall and was hit by the air conditioning. Being from British Columbia, I have never really specifically sought out air conditioning. Here in Australia it is summer right now. It is not necessarily hot. In fact many locals will tell you it is the worst summer in years because we haven’t had any prolonged heat waves. But it is humid!

For the first time in my life, I have had a really hard time sleeping for well over a week. A couple of weeks ago (on a Friday night), the temperature never dipped below 28 degrees celsius. Try sleeping in that! Impossible!

This humidity has driven me to seek air-conditioned places. In fact even Al was happy to spend the day in a shopping centre with me a week or so ago. It was just too hot to be outside! The shopping centre was packed with like-minded people. This was a first for me. I have never spent a whole day shopping just to get some relief from the heat!

Living in another country has afforded me many firsts in a very short period of time. I know moving to another country isn’t for everybody, but if any of you  have the urge to expand your life by embracing firsts, you don’t have to move to do it.

Try flying in a large plane for the first time which will allow you to visit another country (yes, Jackie this is aimed directly at you) or maybe it is something as simple as serving scrambled eggs for dinner instead of breakfast which is more likely a first Jackie will try!

What I am getting at is that when you are experiencing a first you are expanding your personal world. When you are expanding your personal world, you are learning. When you are learning, you are growing. Learning and growing is a life long process.

Don’t be afraid! Unless of course you are on the roads of Central Coast Australia. That is where you will find me driving a car on the right hand side of the road. It’s a first for me, and sometimes scary. It can also be funny. When you are in a right-handed car, everything is opposite including the windshield wipers and blinkers. This means that when I go to turn, I turn on the windshield wipers instead of the blinkers. leads to a very clean windshield! I get the last laugh though because our new car is a North American make (Jeep wrangler), which means it may be right hand drive, but the blinkers are on the correct side for me. This allows me to laugh at Ozzies who drive my car. They wash the windshield with the turn of every corner.

Experiencing “firsts” doesn’t have to be stressful. Embrace the change and have fun. It is worth it!

2 responses to “That’s a First

  1. jackie February 6, 2010 at 2:14 pm

    Why do I feel like at least part of this was directed at me???

  2. kim February 7, 2010 at 1:34 am

    great story Judy I wait for yours and Al’s writings to come out

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