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bookish1's avatar

What's your takeaway?

Asked by bookish1 (13064 points ) August 18th, 2012

This question pilfered shamelessly from Generation X by Douglas Coupland, one of my favorite books from high school that I’ve been re-reading.

”[...] after you’re dead and buried and floating around whatever place we go to, what’s going to be your best memory of earth? [...] What’s your takeaway? [...] Fake yuppie experiences that you had to spend money on, like white water rafting or elephant rides in Thailand don’t count. I want to hear some small moment from your life that proves you’re really alive.”

Here are my contenders:
-My first kiss, on the beach at night under a full moon, with a beautiful girl I had been in love with for a year but with whom I had thought I had absolutely no chance.
-Harvesting mangoes from the tree I planted in my backyard, baking and photosynthesizing in the Florida sun.
-Saving myself from ER-serious low blood sugar on Christmas Eve by eating every candy cane on the Christmas tree. I think I ate the plastic wrappers too…
-Kissing my friend at 4 in the morning after I told him I have loved him for years.

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14 Answers

bkcunningham's avatar

Such beautiful words and memories, @bookish1. You made my eyes feel good reading those lovely thoughts. Thank you.

ragingloli's avatar

Döner Kebap.

trailsillustrated's avatar

fish n chips! chicken hotpack! lol

wundayatta's avatar

The time we forgot to lock the door to our room in the B&B. We’d gotten there early in the afternoon and one thing was leading to another. We were spooning on the bed, clothes all still on, but hands wandering into deep, dark, delicious crevices, when the maid pushed open the door!

I don’t even know if I became fully aware of what happened before the maid figured out she didn’t want to be there and backed out. But it didn’t kill the mood and we spent some very high quality time together for the next few hours!

tedibear's avatar

My takeaway – at least at this point in my life – is helping my dad retain his will to live after my mom died. It’s such a long story, but I will try to condense it here. Essentially, my father had been, and still was, in the hospital when my mother died. (Another take away – my middle sister and I holding her hand through the night until she passed very early in the morning.) Every weekend until he came out of the hospital and then the nursing home, I drove from Cleveland to Buffalo. (This drive went on about a 4 month stretch after she died, and the 6 weeks prior to her death.) I would go to wherever he was (hospital or rehab) and spend from 10AM to 8 or 9PM each Saturday. Then Sunday for a few hours until I had to drive back. I was so necessary to him at that point, and I have never felt that useful, needed or helpful since that time. I had a purpose.

woodcutter's avatar

A smile on a dog.

janbb's avatar

The sweetness of my sons whom I have raised to be loving men.

MilkyWay's avatar

Loving my little sister… holding her when she was born… it was a magical moment.
I think with her I was old enough to realise just how special a baby is and so her birth is the one that sticks in my mind the most, though I love all my siblings just as much.

Sunny2's avatar

My personal kaleidoscope would include: my father’s return from overseas unexpectedly; making love under an apple tree; lying on the warm summer grass watching fireworks overhead on the 4th of July ; seeing the green flash when the sun went down; saying, “I do” with absolute joy; my baby’s first grin obviously meant for me; and so many more

ETpro's avatar

So many little things. The smell of a fresh-cut Christmas tree, plus the fun of walking through the woods with dad searching for the perfect one, then cutting it to drag it home. The first time I saw our Milky Way Galaxy far from the light pollution of populated areas, and took in the true grandeur of a billion stars. The day I learned that the Universe has billions and billions of galaxies, some far bigger than ours.

Yes, my first kiss—so unexpected and so thrilling. The scent of woman—not perfume. My best acid trips and a few wild times on ludes as well. Welcoming three wonderful babies into the world and loving them as they grew up. Finding out just how strange quantum mechanics truly is.

augustlan's avatar

A long, lovely make-out session on the living room floor with a teenage boyfriend, lying under the lit Christmas tree in the middle of the night. Becoming a mother for the first time, both the birth and the months afterward, when I felt I’d finally found my purpose on Earth. The night I fell in love with my husband while talking and smoking in the dark, when the realization hit me with an almost audible ‘click’.

susanc's avatar

I open the car door at the beach where I live and smell all the freshness and rot and ongoing life. My cat’s body resting with utter comfort on my body. My husband’s little laugh. Times when I work in my studio, get into the Zone where I’m doing it right and carried by The Process. The look on my grandson’s 3 year old face when he first sees me, because right now we’re in love. The moments when I bring something good and deeply comforting out of the oven and my whole family breathes a big sigh. Times when I take charge instead of wondering what’s going on. I know what’s going on if I admit I do.

ETpro's avatar

Oh, how could I forget? The first time I saw the Northern Lights. I was helping my elder son move from my place in Saint Paul, MN to his first place in Eden Prairie. The guys he was moving in with were all part of the moving crew, and we were working late to get it all done in one evening. We’d just finished up around 1 AM and walked out to say good nights. I happened to notice something was strange about the sky out in Eden Prairie, away from the city lights of Saint Paul. There were what looked like clouds at first, but they were colored. Very vague, but definitely not ordinary clouds. I pointed them out to the rest of the crew. Within 15 minutes, the real show erupted. Diaphanous curtains of vivid colors danced across the skies. From time to time colored lightning bolts flew between them. We all laid down on our backs on the cold winter ground and watched the show till it tapered off around 4 AM.

this_velvet_glove's avatar

Every time I play guitar and/or sing.

Staying up all night with my best friend.

Swimming in the most beautiful sea I’ve ever seen.

The moment I found my cat <3

Waking up on a Saturday evening.

I also love the simplest things, like enjoying the sun, listening to the sound of the rain, looking at the clouds, or being around animals.

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