Life consists of milestones
By STEPH TAHTINEN
Mt. Pleasant News
It seems like there have been a lot of 100th anniversaries lately. The maiden voyage and subsequent sinking of the Titanic happened 100 years ago. Juliette Low founded Girl Scouts 100 years ago. The current Henry County courthouse was built 100 years ago. A friend’s grandfather celebrated his 100th birthday last weekend.
With all these 100th anniversaries, it seems like 1912 was a rather eventful year.
But it wasn’t, really. At least, it wasn’t any more special than 1911 or 1913, for example. It may seem like all these 100th anniversaries are popping up all over the place lately, but that doesn’t mean they don’t happen at other times. I’m sure there were 100th anniversaries in 2011. I just didn’t pay any attention to them. And I’m sure there will be 100th anniversaries in 1913.
Milestones are happening all the time – you just have to look for them. And I’m not just talking about the big milestones, either, though those are the ones that tend to garner the most attention.
Yet, even the small milestones should be recognized. In my opinion, these smaller milestones are just as important, if not more so, than the bigger milestones. After all, it is these small milestones added together that allow us to reach the big milestones.
There’s a saying that a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. The same is true for reaching milestones. Each step along the way is another milestone you reach on your way to “the big one.” You have to stand before you can walk. You have to celebrate your first birthday before you can celebrate your 100th.
My sister celebrated a milestone this week when she defended her master’s thesis. Her year or so of collecting and analyzing data paid off as she stood in front of her faculty advisor and other school officials and impressed them with her research. Although I don’t really understand the topic of her thesis (something to do with deer and nitrogen levels) I have never been more proud of my sister, the master of science.
I myself am reaching a mini milestone this upcoming week, as tomorrow it will be a year and a half since I moved to Mt. Pleasant and Wednesday will be a year and a half since I started working at the Mt. Pleasant News.
It’s amazing how time flies, and milestones are there to help us keep track of it. But more than that, milestones are there to remind us of how far we’ve come. That’s why it’s important to recognize them. I would say celebrate, but I realize that some milestones – i.e. the sinking of the Titanic – are not a cause for celebration, but rather a time for remembrance.
There are a few reasons I think it is important to recognize milestones.
For one, they give you some perspective on your life. They remind you of everything you’ve experienced and what you’ve accomplished. They can give you a sense of pride and motivate you to keep working.
Sometimes, when a task may seem daunting, recognizing the smaller milestones makes it less overwhelming and makes the wait for the bigger milestone more bearable. On busy weeks I try to think, “Yes! It’s already Wednesday!” rather than lamenting the fact it isn’t Friday yet.
But mostly, celebrating milestones just makes life happier. Finding something to celebrate and be happy about makes your life more positive, and a positive attitude can help your overall health.
So that’s the challenge I’ve set for myself – to recognize and celebrate the little things in life because it’s the little things that add up to make the big things. And if you spend your life waiting around for the big things, you’ll miss out on a lot.