Why Celebrate Milestones?

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Our first photo together: May 1996. (Richard still mocks me about my vest!)

Richard and I recently celebrated our 20th wedding anniversary. For months ahead of time, we began to imagine how we would commemorate this day. We initially considered seeing the Northern Lights in the Yukon Territories. At -17C (1.4F), what were we thinking?

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Vancouver Island, January 2020.

As winter began to decend upon us, we decided on an all-inclusive beach holiday to the Mayan Riviera. We’d been to other parts of Mexico before and loved each of them. But something was different about this trip. Could it have been the significance of the celebration?

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Tulum, Mayan Riviera

The practical gal in me reminds that every single moment is important. So why is one day deemed to be more special than others? This led me to think about the significance of milestones and the myriad of pieces that they embody.

Milestones encourage us to reflect, affirm and give thanks. They help us to create memories, relish joy and celebrate those whom we love. They build a springboard to our future. They also give us permission to be genuine, play, and not take ourselves too seriously.

Planning for milestones builds anticipation and excitement. Reflecting on them allows us to contemplate where we’ve been, how we got here, and what (and who) is most important to us.

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Hold on to your hats. Celebrations also cause endless photos!

Milestones affirm our efforts, our growth, our accomplishments and our relationships. They remind us that each step that took us here profoundly matters.

As an aside, milestones often include food. But that warrants an entirely separate post.

We are all so busy looking up at the multitude of things that we need to do. The challenges can be daunting and exhausting. Celebration allows us time to pause and look down the mountain at all the hopes and dreams we have already accomplished. On one side of the coin, milestones mark the end of a chapter. On the other side, they mark the beginning of the future, and they do so with hope and optimism.

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Celebrating milestones allows us to save sunshine for a rainy day.

As I nestled one of our recent vacation pictures amongst our family photos, I caught Richard with a playful grin. “I can’t wait to celebrate our 25th anniversary,” he said with a gleam in his eye. I think that I’ll warn the kids now that I’d like a celebration…and I’d like it to be big!

Immense gratitude and hope for the future. What incredible riches they are.

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Big or small, what milestone will you next be celebrating?

 

 

 

113 Replies to “Why Celebrate Milestones?”

  1. I love this Donna and both you and Richard looked so happy. I followed your photos on Facebook and felt a twinge that Mike and I didn’t celebrate our 20th anniversary back in 2018. It is important to celebrate milestones that is why I was very happy to celebrate my 60th birthday. You have written this beautifully and I actually felt a little teary reading it – neither of you have changed as I look at the photo of 1996 and I wish you both continued happiness. Bring on your 25th! I’ll definitely be celebrating mine. Love to you both xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi, Sue –
      Thank you for your warm and caring comment. It reminds me just how much I appreciate our friendship.
      Richard and I didn’t celebrate our 10th anniversary together because work commitments got in the way for both of us. That’s another thing that I love about retirement — it helps us to set our own priorities. I think that a return trip to Canada to celebrate your 25th would be perfect. Bring on 2023!

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Congratulations. Our next big milestones are our oldest son’s 40th birthday next week and my husband’s eightieth birthday in May. How did we get so old? We once booked a Swiss winter wonderland coach tour and then had a lot of snow here the month before. I think we wished we could swap it for a trip to Mexico.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi, Anne – Advanced birthday wishes to your son, and to your husband. Two of our sons have already turned 40. I echo your sentiments — how does this happen?! Funny annecdote about the Swiss Winter Wonderland Tour. Another deciding factor for us was cost. Ironically, it was signifcantly cheaper for us to do a two-week all-inclusive in Mexico than to do a one-week a couple of provinces/territories away.

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  3. Donna, Helen and I will celebrate number 49 this year and, if the schedule hold together, we should be in or just leaving your country. Next year we will celebrate our 50th and we continue to list our options (which is half the fun). We’re blessed. I loved the pictures of you and Richard together. The picture at the winery is adorable. Congratulations! Joe

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  4. I think we need the reminder of a milestone to pause, even for a second or a sip, to mark the occasion, reflect, do the gratitude thing and smile for a photo. Sure that sounds trite but it’s actually, as you write, the very opposite of that. Congratulations you guys and may those smiles continue to be wide and joyful.

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  5. You both look great in1996, and great today too! We had a low-key wedding and usually have low-key anniversaries. We almost had a big party for our 25th but we’re so dithery about most of the decisions we abandoned the idea and went to Tenerife instead. That didn’t quite work out to plan …
    https://glasgowgallivanter.com/2014/04/23/tenerife/
    Our ruby wedding is March 2021. Perhaps by then we’ll have made a decision about what kind of party we want.

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  6. I like your vest. And you and Richard look so happy while you’re wearing it so clearly it was a good choice on your part– both the vest and the man. Congrats on you latest milestone. May you have many more, celebrated big or small in a way that brings you pleasure.

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  7. Congratulations!! We loved Tulum when we visited a number of years ago. We celebrated our 40th Anniversary by going to York, England, which is where we got married. That was 3 years ago. We need to think of something great to do for our 45th. I am a big believer in celebrating milestones!

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  8. Congratulations to you both!
    It is important to take time to reflect and celebrate milestones and achievements (says she who is bad at doing just that). There are so many moments in a life worth remembering and having a special celebration to recognize and honour them is only just.

    big hugs,

    Deb

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  9. Hi Donna, I agree it is so important to actually stop and mark these milestones however we can. You haven’t changed a bit and look so happy in all the photos. Isn’t it fun looking back at photos?? Congratulations to you both, it is so good to see you celebrating and already planning the 25th. I for one love a good celebration 🙂 Just lovely #mlstl

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  10. Welcome home, Donna and Richard! I extra love your first photo together! You have not changed much at all. I love the genuine happiness on your faces.

    Beautiful, poignant words, Donna, on why milestones are significant. Permission to play is evident in your photos. I cannot help but smile.

    Your post is a testament to your love and your commitment. A love letter to Richard. Your words also help me reflect on my life and how grateful I am for the people I love in my life.

    A lump in my throat and tears when I read “Celebrating milestones allow us to save sunshine for a rainy day.” I will save this close to my heart. Thank you Donna, for sharing your sunshine.💕

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    1. Thanks so much, Erica. Funny thing about that first photo. On our second date, Richard invited me to a local wine event with some of his longtime friends/clients. They held a photo session (both group and individual). I strongly protested about joining in on the photo (fearing that months later Richard would say, “who is that girl and why is she in this photo with me and my long time friends?”) Luckily, Richard won out and we have the photo today!

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Congratulations on your anniversary! I think celebrating milestones is very important. Looking back to our wedding day can refresh the love we felt on that day. We’ve only been married 6yrs (2nd marriage for me) but of course, looking forward to a long future together

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      1. Thankyou so much. My other blog is Midlifestylist.com, which is about maintaining a healthy lifestyle in your midlife years. I’m enjoying reading blogs by other midlifers and am so glad I found this group

        Liked by 1 person

  12. In April 2019 we celebrated our 10th anniversary at Walt Disney World and did the deluxe dining plan. Oh my! What a treat. Now we are thinking about our 15th. We were both widowed when we met in 2008 and since we are both retired, we enjoy celebrating milestones. #MLSTL visitor/shared on SM

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  13. Hi Donna, Congratulations to you both! Thank you for sharing your lovely photos and beautiful words. I’m all for fun celebrations, especially milestones. I loved Tulum and the turquoise Caribbean Sea when I visited that part of Mexico.

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  14. Congrats on 20 years Donna – I’d love to read a post on how you met and what your lives were before and after meeting. I always find other people’s love stories so enjoyable. And you’re right about milestones – with all the darkness in the world today, we need to celebrate the light and be proud that we’ve reached each milestone as it comes along. You both looked like it was a fantastic time away and that your love for each other has continued to grow. Wishing you another 20 years and then another on top of that! xx
    Thanks for linking up with us at MLSTL and I’ve shared on my SM 😊

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    1. Hi, Leanne – The short story is that Richard and I met on a blind date. The next day, Richard phoned and hung up as soon as I answered. He phoned back almost immediately. When I asked if he had just phoned and hung up, he admitted that he had. How could I not fall head over heels for a guy like that?

      Liked by 1 person

  15. Many congratulations on your 20th wedding anniversary! Here’s to another 20 !
    I love that you say that these milestones give us an opportunity to reflect on their meaning Donna. In the usual rush of things it’s rather easy to put the ritual and reflection aside.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Congratulations, Donna and Richard … May your lives be filled with happiness …
    Anniversaries are important because it’s sort of a milestone, reminding us the distance we have travelled, an occasion for introspection, a moment to thank for all the good and bad moments that have helped us learn lessons, and look ahead with renewed energy and optimism.
    — bpradeepnair.blogspot.com

    Liked by 2 people

  17. Hi Donna – we can all celebrate somehow … I enjoy celebrations and would always do so … even now on my own – there’s things happening that can make people feel special. Love the way you’ve written the post … and what fun to see one of your DIL’s pick up the idea of that big celebration. Going south seemed sensible … but I’d love to visit Whitehorse one day – though summer seems an easier time. Congratulations to you both – love the photos and the foodie ones … here’s to many more – cheers Hilary

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  18. Congratulations Donna! You are very good at celebrating. We celebrate our 50th anniversary this July. We thought we might buy another set of dishes! One thing we won’t be doing, however, Is having a large party. We learned a while ago that it just wasn’t our thing! Cheers!

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    1. Hi, Fran – Thank you so much for stopping by. I’ve missed you! When will you be posting again? I think that new dishes would be fabulous. Anything that commemorates the day, and is enjoyed by both of you, makes sense to me. Sending warm advanced congratulations!

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    2. I only write when I have something to say! However, the momentum might be building for that moment. We in the final emotional upheaval of deciding to sell the house that we both love. Stay tuned!

      Liked by 1 person

  19. Congratulation on celebrating your life together. My last big celebration was when i turned 60, paid off the mortgage and honored 25 years of being single. Next? honoring my 65th birthday with a trip to the nation’s capital and a St. Lawrence River cruise.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Beautiful post, Donna. But, I shouldn’t have looked at your food photos as I haven’t had lunch yet and it’s getting late. Now, my stomach is rumbling even louder!

    I should follow your lead and celebrate milestones more often. We rarely do, or make an excuse to “postpone” the celebration or treat. And then it never happens. Part of the reason for our non-celebrating moods is that going out to a special dinner (let alone a vacation) is expensive. Instead, we try and make the little moments and the positives of our lifestyle count.

    That being said – I love a good celebration and I have looked forward to events like our wedding party many years ago, or a birthday dinner. Not many occasions, though, come to think about it. We should be more adamant about celebrating our anniversaries and such!

    Liked by 1 person

  21. You two are just adorable together and I’m always so happy to see married couples enjoy life with each other. You two get around and understand the perfect leisure lifestyle! Happy Anniversary, dear Donna! I hope Hans and I get to 20…still working on 10 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Donna, those are memorable photos of you both over the years. It’s our 15th anniversary this year though 20 years together. This year we went all out and had a few trips away for our birthdays. We made an effort to make them memorable. So, perhaps forgetting a few anniversaries has made your current one even more special. A heartwarming post and I wish you many more years together x

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  23. Congratulations on your anniversary and I love the little stories in people’s lives.

    I have tended over the years to be more interested in celebrating the anniversaries and zero birthdays of others. I changed my tune last year when I was turning 70 as I wanted to celebrate my life, cancer recovery and all who were special in my life. It was the best.

    Next January will be our 50th Wedding Anniversary and my husband & I who have very simple tastes and cannot travel will just want as I had for my 70th a lovely family lunch.

    Denyse #mlstl

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Congratulations on 20 years. Good call on the Mexican Riveria. So much more fun to be in a warm place for an anniversary! My husband and I have only been married since 2011, but we treat each anniversary as a special one and go on vacation each year to celebrate. We eloped for our wedding, so I guess we’re making up for it each anniversary!

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    1. Hi, Jennifer – Richard and I kinda eloped as well. In January 2000, we each took 2 days off of work and fly to Las Vegas for the weekend. We only told our parents, sons, and the couple who had introduced us about our plans. Before we left, we sent out invitations to friends and family to watch our wedding live on the internet. That way, everyone was invited without having to go to any fuss or bother. The night of our wedding, we went to a small concert starring Natatlie Cole. Since then, my story has been that Natalie sang at our wedding. It’s sorta true! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That’s great. We didn’t tell anyone. Chris and I were together for three years before I decided I was ready to try marriage again. After our wedding we called my mother to tell her and after telling us we made her so happy she hung up on us. What we didn’t know was that she called her neighbor and they spent the afternoon drinking wine and toasting us. Quite hilarious.

        Liked by 1 person

  25. Wonderful words about the importance of anniversaries, Donna. As a young person, I tended to downplay the importance of significant dates and formal celebrations. But with age has come wisdom, I hope! As you know, we had a rockin’ party for Rob’s 70th. You both look so happy in your photos.

    Jude

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  26. Congratulations Donna and Richard on your milestone. I love milestones and feel they warrant special acknowledgement in any fashion one is inclined towards. It can be through a spoken or written word, a special dessert, a glass of bubbly, a trip, a celebratory meal or outing.

    I simply love reasons to celebrate. This year my husband and I will celebrate 40 years of marriage; and I’ll try to commemorate it in a special way. It might be a toast, a special restaurant, just something that takes us out of day to day monotony. I have no idea what it will be until we get closer and see what strikes our fancy. Hubby is not much of a traveler so anything we can do that is out of our normal routine will be the way to go!

    Loved your photos!

    Susan Grace

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    1. Hi, Susan – Lovely to hear from you. I’ve been thinking about you and hope that you are doing well. Congratulations on your upcoming 40th! I completely agree — whatever type of celebration suits you best, is the celebration to have. The heartfelt part is the most important piece!

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      1. Dear Donna,

        All is well and I hope to be able to sit down soon and pour my content soul out on “paper”. My stint as Nanny is taking a new turn (all good) and right now I’m in Sun City for a brief visit with two sisters joining me. We are celebrating a milestone! Ha ha. Which one you might ask? My 66th birthday! Yikes! But just to be alive and celebrate that ‘aliveness’ is a gift to be sure.

        I always love your writing and wisdom

        Susan Grace

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Donna:

        Wish you were here too! We are celebrating tonight with a girls get together: my two sisters, me, and 3 lovely ladies from Sun City over at a place called La Brasserie. Just something simple. It’s all about the heartfelt piece, as you so wisely point out.
        😘

        Liked by 1 person

  27. This is such an interesting subject to write about, Donna.

    As somebody who never celebrates or thinks much about milestones, for me, they are just another day. However that’ just another day’ is always a special day to me. Your sentences “The practical gal in me reminds that every single moment is important. So why is one day deemed to be more special than others?” is how I feel. When asked why I never celebrate my birthday, I reply that every day is special to me and I’m thankful and celebrate every day that I am here. I always up for celebrating with those who want to mark milestones, but I don’t see milestones as an essential part of life. For me, every day is important, not just when a day is a milestone of something.

    Does that make me sound grumpy? Maybe, but I’m always grateful for every new day I witness and am thankful I can experience it. When I think back of the achievements I’ve made, none of them happened at a milestone point in my life. However, some may see those days just as much a milestone as say a 21st birthday or golden wedding anniversary.

    I suppose what I’m really saying is that I don’t need a day to be a milestone if I want to open a bottle of fizz, eat all the cake, or go out for a meal.

    Needless to say that how and what I think about milestones won’t stop me congratulating you and Richard on your recent anniversary. I hope you enjoyed it and continue enjoying every day that life brings.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi, Hugh – Thank you for your thoughtful reply. It doesn’t make you sound grumpy at all. Actually, quite the opposite. It reveals that you are one who is intensely grateful for every single moment. To me, that is an absolutely brilliant way to be! Thank you for sharing this.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Oh, good. I’m glad it didn’t come over as me sounding grumpy. I love looking and talking about subjects from another point of view. They make for a great discussion.
        Thanks again, Donna, for writing about an interesting subject. It certainly got me talking.

        Liked by 1 person

  28. Donna, congratulations to you and Richard on your 20th Wedding Anniversary and what a beautiful place to celebrate the occasion. You both look so relaxed and happy. I love your reflections here upon milestones and how “They build a springboard to our future.” The photos are wonderful, I’m smitten with the turquoise sea of the Mayan Riveria. Last July my husband and I celebrated our 20th and had a heavenly break in Jersey for a few days … an even more special treat as we have not had many holidays with just the two of us!

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  29. Donna, congrats on your 20th wedding anniversary. Honestly, your photo from then and from now, look almost identical, you have not changed much.

    You do make an excellent point about the role of milestones as a counter in ones life. What is so interesting to us is that milestones are both individual and culturally laden. Society or maybe consumer society has devised a number of milestones to be celebrated ~~ the ten year anniversary, twenty year anniversary… that runs on individual clocks. Then there are milestone life events such as births, barmitzvahs, weddings, graduations etc. Then there are calendar milestone events that many of us fall prey too… Valentines day, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year…… There are also religious ones like the full moon for Buddhists, the sabbath day, etc.

    The value of the milestone of course is in ones own experience. There are also non calendar milestones such as the 100 mark blog post, or months in a new house, finally getting a dog milestone…. Where I am going with this is that there are both externally created milestones and personal ones. In all cases, milestones do serve to stop the clock. They have a way of marking time and associated reflection. Milestones can be micro and can be very personal… reaching a $ amount in savings, or a certain weight on the scale. So here’s where I am going with this… We tend to consider milestones as “big events” but perhaps one way of learning to appreciate life’s gifts is to scope down the grand milestones into tiny ones that allow us to celebrate tactical small steps and or progress in daily life.

    And your meal looks delicious!! Yum.

    Peta & Ben

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    1. Hi, Peta and Ben – I love your reflections here and completely agree with you. I had originally titled this post “Why Celebrate?” As you wisely state, scoping down to the tiny steps that helped bring us to where we are now, is a perfect way to help us appreciate life’s gifts.Thank you for your kind words.

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