Discovery happens at many different stages during the course of our lives. As we begin making our way through these stages and learning from our experiences, we may receive confirmation of some of the things we thought we knew. At the same time, however, we may also find ourselves surprised and enlightened by other things that we didn’t.
Within the first few years of our life we learn to walk, talk, and feed ourselves. Through the innocence of youth, we discover what it is to laugh, share and play, and we tantalize our taste buds with the flavors and textures of many interesting foods. Before we know it, we are in school, every day discovering new and exciting things about our classmates, our world, and ourselves.
As we grow, we discover manners, what it means to ‘respect your elders’, and the joy of giving and receiving. We wait with little patience to become a ‘grown up’, and after what seems like forever, we finally reach our teenage years. After jumping the necessary hurdles of adolescence, the next few years go by and, in the blink of an eye, we discover that we have finally reached that which we’ve waited our whole, young lives… adulthood!
As we reach this milestone, we discover the joys of our newfound freedom and triumph with the knowledge that we now must answer only to ourselves. With hopes and dreams lighting our way, we begin to explore the many paths and experiences of adulthood.
Eventually we get a job, but along with this new responsibility comes something we probably never gave much thought to… just one of the things our parents knew so well. We discover what it means to budget and pay bills. We may also discover college, marriage, and even more challenging, the joys and tribulations of becoming a parent.
Parenthood can truly be classified as a whole separate category of discovery. If you’re a woman, the first pregnancy brings many new revelations along with it… the first aches as both the uterus and belly begin to grow, the flutter of the baby’s first kick, the first Braxton hicks contractions, the first real contractions and, ultimately, the beauty of childbirth. The birth of a first child is a life-changing event, and some women may be surprised to discover that, afterwards, both their world and their body may never be the same again.
As we enter our twenties, some of us find that we’ve reached a point in our lives which may seem like the epitome of adulthood – legal drinking age! If we’re lucky (and wise) enough, we discover that, just because we are old enough to drink, it doesn’t mean we have to.
Each year as we grow older, our minds and bodies continue to mature. Whether we like it or not, our lives continue to change, and we soon discover that there is a proper time and place for everything. As we fly through our youth, we believe we have our entire lives ahead of us and that we’ll be young forever. We’re proud when we get a promotion or a raise at work, and we hold back tears of joy and pride as we watch our children participate in school activities or sports. We think we have it all…
Before we know it, our thirties have suddenly crept upon us and we become comfortable with our lives, our relationships, and our bodies. We proudly watch our children as they themselves become older and more independent, no longer relying on us to feed or bathe them. They grow quickly and we delight in the discovery of our own nearly-forgotten independence. Some of us may decide to go back to school or pursue a second career and, if we’re lucky, we discover that we’re never too old to learn…
For many of us in our forties, our children are now grown and we find ourselves in the midst of discovering how it feels to have survived one of life’s toughest battles – the completion of our children’s teenage years. Better than this, we suddenly discover ourselves on the sidelines, watching our children who are now adults as they begin to go through their own stages of life. We smile to ourselves as they begin to discover some of their own life’s little secrets.
In our fifties, sixties and seventies we discover just how quickly our lives have gone by. We may look back at our life’s choices with regret at some of the things we never had a chance to do, but hopefully we smile from the things that we did. In our golden years, hopefully we discover one of the most important things of all…
Life is like a wheel.
It’s a big, round circle, constantly rotating us through our daily experiences, infinitely spinning around and around. We have no idea where it will take us, only that it will. As it does, we find ourselves being helplessly carried along uncharted paths… swirling and twirling on a journey into a future that is unknown until we get there. The farther we travel, the more the wheel wears down and the faster it turns. Before we know it, we are standing on the threshold of a new, unknown circle - the end of this life and the beginning of the next…
Look at the past with fond memories of things that were - friends, family, and love and laughter shared, and have no regrets. Instead of dwelling on poorly made choices, be thankful for the opportunities and experiences which have made you who you are. Learn from them. Mistakes can be positive if something is learned.
Although technology will continue to evolve, the future will always remain unknown. Do not fear it. Instead, discover and embrace it with wonder and excited anticipation. Hold on tight and enjoy the ride - the discovery of life.