Firsts and Lasts

If you read the title and thought this was going to be a reference to Talladega Nights, sorry to disappoint. It has nothing to do with Ricky Bobby.

Open up your social medias these past couple weeks and you are probably finding it full of back to school photos. They are awesome, not going to lie. And so much better than the negativity that social media is usually saturated with. Some of these pictures are actual first days of school ever. Some are the first day of the last year of grade school. Some are the first day of their last year of Jr. High and High School. You get the idea…you see them too.

As I am scrolling through them I am reminded of a video I watched a week or so ago of self help guru Mel Robbins on her last night in her house. They were moving to a new house. Had spent 25 years in the home they were leaving. Raised their kids there…spent countless holidays in that home. Their kids started and finished school in this home. It would be the last time they slept in that home. The home where so many memories are made. She says something at the beginning of the video about how amazing it is that a house is really a container for a period of time and memories. And it struck me because it really is…a container. A container that holds many firsts and lasts honestly, not just getting kids through school.

This really isn’t about houses though. Or school. Or containers. It is really about how often we find ourselves at the first or last of many things. I just recently experienced this when Kristina and I were coming back from the first trip we had taken since we moved to Wisconsin and how weird it felt to be going home for the first time to a totally different home. Our first trip away from the new home. Our first trip back to the new home. And it was weird because prior to this moment I had not paid much attention to ALL of the firsts and lasts we had already experienced.

Our last couple months in Illinois were as packed with as many firsts and lasts as two people could experience and in all honesty its a Christmas miracle we made it out of them as some of them were very big. We were selling the home Kristina raised the boys in. We were buying a new home in a totally new place knowing absolutely no one close by. Her youngest was graduating High School, he had a bazillion lasts (homecoming, prom, baseball games.) One twin was moving into his first rental property. He would have his LAST sleep at the house and go to bed the next night for the FIRST time in a new one. The other twin starting a new job. It was insane if you think about it. And an emotional roller coaster.

Life honestly is, a never ending cycle of firsts and lasts. The cycle of change as it would be best understood, can go on for a long time. If you have ever bought a house for example. THAT change is daunting and stressful and feels like it will never end and that is because you are right smack dab in the middle of a major first and last. Same with getting married. One minute you are single, then the next you are not. BIG first and last. Not all firsts and last are this monumental (or expensive.) Sometimes you change jobs. There will be a last day and a first day. You sell your car. First day driving it, last day driving it. You get the idea.

The thing is we try to rush through both of them. It doesn’t matter if its first or last. We try to speed through it without paying attention to how any of it makes us feel. Its human nature. Move on to the next thing. We do ourselves a huge disservice if we do not honor each of them in their own way. Celebrate them. Honor them. Give each of them the time they deserve. Try not to rush through the moment. Beginnings and endings are hard and we experience them almost daily. But most of us will push the emotions down or do our best to ignore them and just push through. Regardless of whether it is first or last, if you take the time to give them the space they deserve, you will open yourself up to something completely new and wildly exciting. No it is not easy. If you are a new Mom you know this better than anyone. How quickly a baby changes into an infant, than a toddler and so on. First tooth, first time rolling over, first words, last bottle, last time they sit in your lap…you get it.

Most importantly. None of us know when our last breath will be. So savor every first and last everything. Do and try things you couldn’t possibly believe you could do or try. You will be amazed at where you will end up when you do something for the first time or finally let go of something for the last time.

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