Over the years I have changed my view of things. When I was younger, milestones like birthdays, anniversaries, and those significant days that help to provide keepsakes that will live in our memories…were all fleeting by at a very high-speed. Perhaps friends and family would gather together, while other times life just got too busy to really make time to celebrate or pause. That seemed okay because after all it seemed, “it was just another day” on the calendar to mark time.
As I have gotten older (not “old” by-the-way) I have become much less cynical about the milestones, they need to be observed. They need to be cherished for the place they signify on the timeline of our lives. Sure some of that can generate melancholy that can just bring the tone down on the very thing we should be celebrating. But it doesn’t have to. And if we let it , we are missing an opportunity to be thankful for the occasion to count it. What are we observing/counting anyway?
Our milestones (however small or significant) are there to provide us the chance to remember. Remember the good, the bad, the joyful times and the struggles that we have lived through. It is part of life, so in fact we are celebrating life in all of its detail. We are also celebrating the people and loved ones in it, and that simple fact that God is there to surround you in the moments each and every minute of them.
So this weekend my wife and I will celebrate 33 years of marriage. I used to think that sounded like something just old people would be happy about, but I don’t consider myself “old”. I enjoy the same humor, same music, same movies, same books, same food, same need for relationships and life’s validation as my children and their friends. I can feel older since my body has certainly begun to show wear. I can know that I am wearing out because of a date on the calendar, but it is the collective experiences I have had over the last 33 years that make me the richer person for it. I love my wife and the children we raised as the most Earthly rewards either of us could ask for. I look forward to eternity with them someday.
I am also positive that someday it will end, and as someone who fights cancer everyday there are special anniversaries to celebrate with my loved ones and with God. They are everyday milestones. It’s the reason and need to keep going and enjoy the passage of time. Like the ads say “celebrate more birthdays”.
So it seems – everyone has milestones to pass along the calendar of our lives. Some we may not observe but should, others may pass with little celebration. For some souls, time is too short and they leave us behind to keep time. For those of us that get more – we need to grab hold of the minutes and make them be the best.
Here’s a song that says it all from one of my favorite musicals, RENT.