The Six Most Significant Events in My Life

This year marked my 34th retreat at the Demontreville Retreat House in Lake Elmo, Minnesota.  One of our assignments during the retreat this year was to list the six most life changing events in our lives.   I completed the assignment as directed. 

Three weeks later at my weekly writers’ class, I remarked on this retreat activity to our writing instructor.  Dr. Carolyn Wedin (our writing instructor) thought it would make a great writing exercise.  She suggested that we do a 50-word summary of each of the six most significant events in our lives and bring them to class. 

Following are my results for this assignment.  If you want to make any comments, I would love to hear what your “most life changing” events were.  Please feel free to share yours or any comments you may have about this activity.

Enlisted in the Military in 1964

You’re in the army now, you’re not behind the plow.  You will never get rich by digging a ditch, you’re in the army now.

Snuck out at 3 AM in the morning to go to the recruiting station.  Who has the best-looking uniforms?  USAF here I come.  Can I fly a jet?

Who’s that knocking on my barracks door?

Good friends steal softly in my barracks room at 1 AM.  “John, we are going to rob the BX and go to Mexico.  Come with us.  It will be a blast.”  Six months later, I am testifying at their court martial trial.  Jail and dishonorable discharge awaits.  Glad I did not go.

Only Child Born

Never thought I would be a father, but that is what happens to people ignorant of birth control.  On April 19, 1968, my daughter Christina was born.  Blond and blue eyed, she looked like her mother.  Have not heard from her for fifteen years now.  I still love her.

College Here I come

Trouble maker in high school.   No college wants me.  No money anyway.  Two years after my military service, I am accepted into a college thanks to a HS counselor who helpfully lost my school records.  I work nights and go to school days.  I later earn a Masters and Doctorate.

My Dream Job

Can’t believe they are paying me to do this.  I would gladly pay them.  Finished my Ph.D. and started work one week later at PMI.  The fit was perfect.  Training and consulting were my best skills and I loved every minute of the challenges they offered.

Marriage the Second Time Around

Did not notice her when we were introduced the first time.  Fell in love with her smile, but it took her perseverance to seal the deal.  Cannot imagine marrying anyone else now.  Second marriage is a winner.  We will grow old together, what could be better.

Time for Questions:

What are your six most life changing events?  How have they changed or impacted your life?  What if they had not happened?

Life is just beginning.

“That which causes us trials shall yield us triumph: and that which make our hearts ache shall fill us with gladness. The only true happiness is to learn, to advance, and to improve: which could not happen unless we had commenced with error, ignorance, and imperfection. We must pass through the darkness, to reach the light.” — Albert Pike


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Jeanine
    Aug 12, 2017 @ 06:14:35

    1 Meeting my future husband at 16 and marrying him at 24. I do not know what my life would have been without his love and support when I needed it most. 
    2 Giving birth to my daughter when I was 24. I cannot remember being more elated than the moment I laid eyes on her.
    3 After my daughter was in school I was hired by SSA and was thrilled to be back to work. I was 32 and I loved this job and the friends I made.
    4 At 38 I got active in AA and NA which had a big significance in my life. I would probably be dead without them.
    5 My sister came to live with my family for 3 years. Life as I knew it to a radical turn.
    6 August 30, 2007 I retired from SSA. Another chapter begins.

    I cannot imagine how my life would have been different if these events did not take place.




  2. johnpersico
    Aug 12, 2017 @ 19:51:21

    Interesting list. Fascinating how each of us has their own very unique set of significant life changing events. Thanks for sharing Jeanine.



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