Five Things I’m Glad I Did When I Was Young
October 13, 2011 § 4 Comments
Have you ever felt the angst of unrealized dreams? Is your “bucket list” overflowing with experiences you want to have … some day? The reality is that “some day” may never come as physical constraints and circumstances—or just plain tiredness—conspire against the completion of those longed-for adventures.
That’s why I’m grateful for the rich experiences and adventures I had while young. While my bucket list still contains things I would like to do, my memory bank is rich with what I have experienced in my earlier years.
Five Things I’m Glad I Did While I Was Young
1. Get Married
Dave and I dated for two weeks when he asked the 18-year-old me to marry him. Or did I ask him? Definitely a mutual decision, it was accomplished four months from the first date. Marrying while still in my teens meant we would grow together, and grow up together, and experience life together in the security of knowing a forever love. Now, 48 years later, I look back at that leap of faith in wonder, but wouldn’t do it any differently. Our mutual memories plucked from these many years together are a treasure, and there’s no end to the topic that starts, “Remember when …?”
2. Go North
We sold our newer Chrysler, and motorbike, packed our wedding gifts away in my parents’ attic and left for the Canadian Arctic when I was nearly 21 and Dave 22. I will never regret the life lessons learned on an arctic island where we had everything to learn about how to live and how to share our lives. The treasures of those years knocking around Canadian arctic communities are relationships, still intact and treasured.
3. Have Kids
Our first daughter was born when I was 22, the second at 24. I was young enough to not worry too much whether I was raising my kids right, or whether I had the latest baby equipment. (What baby equipment?) The girls traveled as infants under tarps in freighter canoes on Canada’s Beaufort Sea, were strapped to snowmachines to cross frozen sea ice for a spring goose hunt, traveled hours by unheated airplane to go to the nearest store, played outside at many below zero. Their first playmates were Inuit, their first footwear mukluks and their playgrounds were snowbanks.
4. Learn to Do New Things
In my twenties I ran a library in an arctic village, taught kindergarten, adult education and religious education, learned to embroider mukluks and sew parkas and bake bread, served on community committees, learned to speak, play the accordion and lead worship. What I didn’t know, I bumbled along until I learned. Being forced, by necessity, to become at least the “step-mother” of invention gave me rich experiences that I certainly wouldn’t have had if I had spent my twenties in an urban environment.
5. Say “Yes” to God’s Plan
I believe that God has a wild, varied and wonderful plan for our lives. Many don’t step out into God’s plan for their lives when they are young because it seems risky. Financial considerations loom large and they choose the “safer” path. This often leads to regrets for what might have been. By saying “Yes” early to God’s plan I have learned experientially that my trust in Him, in His will for my life, is not misplaced.
If you have regrets for what you didn’t say “Yes” to when you were young, the door of opportunity is still open. While the adventures in our senior years may be more sedate (maybe!), they are all still there waiting for us.
What are some things you are glad you experienced when you were young? Or wish you had?
ⓒ Inger Logelin 2011