Saturday, May 1, 2010

When is the last time you did something for the first time?

I just love that expression. I am not talking about a bucket-list; I am referring to doing something you have never done before.
It does not have to be something big, like parachuting. It has to be something new, something that challenges you, even marginally.
I ask this question frequently, and unfortunately most people are at a loss to tell me anything they can remember. I am, unfortunately in pretty much the same position.

I am convinced this is a key to a much richer life. When you are young, a kid, everything you do is almost for the first time. No wonder the brain is developing at it’s fastest the younger you are. I do not claim this for a means of developing your brain, just as a means of maintaining interest in life and looking forward to something new: a pretty good definition of a youthful attitude, or even youth.

OK, what have I done for the first time lately?

Not as much as I should have, but there are a few things, this blog for one is something new for me, I never thought I would like too or even be any good at writing. I have developed my Backgammon game, no big deal, but it is new. I started to learn more about the Internet, lots more to learn.

I started to scuba dive a few years ago at 68 years old; that was a big deal.

The diving has to have been the most different, the newest, and the most memorable. It seems to be new every time I go down. I had a brain operation last year and could not dive. I missed it and am looking forward to it, next month I go down.

We live in Porto Heli and there is a great diving school here. My kids and niece, nephew and grand niece all do it and I got jealous. I thought maybe I was too old, bullshit; I was just the right age. I asked the dive instructor and he told me the oldest person he taught was a 72 year old monk, go figure that one out. I figured anything a 72-year-old monk can do, I can do also; at least when it comes to this stuff.

I am lucky to have a great teacher and I always go down with him. It is a fantastic experience, a unique feeling, weightless and free. I am not very good with heights, but going down twenty some odd meters just does not feel strange or fearful. We are not in one of those places like the Red Sea or Mexico with all the wonderful coral and colorful fish. We have a barren seascape, but nonetheless there are amazing things to see; an octopus changing color, and moving over different textures. Fish, fire worms, Jelly fish, with huge tentacles, wrecks, the mountains that go straight into the sea that you follow down, just a continuation of the landscape. I wish I were a better writer to describe what I see and feel.

I am looking forward to next month; I will let you know how it goes.

Perhaps a parachute jump is not so preposterous after all, hmm?


  1. I love this photograph Greg. You are hilarious and ever young.I want to see more diving Pic's.

  2. You certainly have inspired me. Thanks