Do Life Milestones Matter?
That moment when you hit an important life milestone brings on many feelings. For me, one of those is fast approaching as I stare down turning 50. Similar to other men that have reached this point, I am full of reflection on the great and everything else that wasn’t. I laugh at just how stupid I was as a teen, I shudder at my rebellion in my twenties, I smile at the hope I found in my thirties, and I rejoice in the life that has occurred until now. It’s all a precious gift. I don’t even mind the increasing gray hair.
For our kids, it’s the same thing. We celebrate all the huge moments. That first step. The first time they say, “Dada.” First day of school. Learning to ride a bike. The driver’s license and graduation. These things are important to the family. They are important to our kids.
Do life milestones matter? Yes, they are a place to stop for rest and collect our thoughts before we take the next step. [Tweet This]. Here are some ideas on how to acknowledge them.
Celebrations bring joy into our families. Goodness knows we need all we can get. They provide anticipation and excitement. For my 50th, I hope to not cheat the moment in the least. My personal style of celebrating doesn’t revolve as much around parties as it does symbolism and connection. God willing, I plan to visit my ancestral roots on an entirely different continent for the first time. For me, that’s huge. I believe it’s helpful for us to understand the tree from which we are a branch. What’s your family style of celebrating?
When we reach that moment when a big milestone is coming up, it’s the perfect time to take stock of where we currently stand in our life goals. Milestones are like trail markers providing a great place to pitch the tent for a bit and take a breather. Where did we hope to be by this point? Where do our marriages or personal relationships stand? Are the kids progressing as we had hoped? So many questions. How did I put on this extra weight and how soon can it be gone? Ask it all.
Remove the Weeds
In the process of reflection, isolate and contain the bad choices and decisions since the last milestone. We all have them. There’s no need to beat yourself up. Just change course and learn from the mistake. Doing this is critical to future success. Be a strong leader and avoid the danger moving forward.
Chart the Next Course
After celebrating, taking inventory, and removing the weeds, it’s time to plot the strategy for the next segment. In my case, I’m developing future plans of an empty nest. We still have a 14 year old at home, so that’s not imminent. But after 16, I’ve learned that the nest starts emptying fast. How will my wife and I remain connected? Where will our time together be spent? What do we need to do financially to remain stable and secure? Proper strategy prevents many future hardships. Plot your goals for what is next. The worst that can happen is you regroup at the next marker and try again where you didn’t succeed.
How does your family celebrate the big moments in life?