Life’s Milestones .
Two weeks ago my firstborn daughter, Kate, celebrated her wedding with a wonderful young man. They are a beautiful couple, and they look forward to a lifetime of adventures and achievements to enjoy together. It was a plain to all in attendance that Kate and Ross were absolutely in love and filled with happiness, and I know that from here forward they will mark their lives by “before” and “after” that very special day.
This is what young (and not-so-very-young!) adulthood should be about: milestones of progress toward personally meaningful life goals. Developing close relationships outside of family, moving forward with life into new and exciting opportunities, and celebrating achievements. Imagine life without these exciting punctuations… days, weeks, months and years that are pretty much indistinguishable. Attending others’ graduations,weddings, and baby showers, but losing hope for your own such celebrations. It’s a grim thought, isn’t it?
Many, many people are in this situation, and they describe their lives as “stuck” and “meaningless”. I see them every day in my work. I am sometimes challenged to help my clients identify their personal heart’s desires and dreams, and to sort these out from what they have thought were their forced and narrow choices. Everyone has unique hopes and dreams for life, but it can take imagination and courage to identify what these are, and to say them aloud.
Life’s meaningful milestones are highly personal and individual. Starting a career path, completing an educational or training program, making a significant friend, producing a work of art, or finishing an athletic goal can be important milestones that mark significant “befores” and “afters” in a person’s life. These are the experiences that demonstrate our accomplishments and help to form our identities as a competent and worthy adults. These are the fantastic moments that add zest and a sense of importance to the passage of time.