Recently, my mother-in-law celebrated her 90th birthday. Friends and family gathered around to commemorate this milestone, acknowledge all she has been to each of them, and to wish her many, many more. Next month, my sister celebrates a milestone birthday and I’m just wondering how to best pay her tribute for all she’s meant to me.
Milestones--birthdays, anniversaries, graduations, promotions, marriages, baby namings—such amazing occasions to mark and to celebrate. But, what about the days in between? Those days that we wake up and go to work, fight traffic on the way to the office, face hundreds of emails, send crying children to school, throw in one more load of laundry, pay too much for groceries? Are these not milestones, too?
Milestones, according to the Oxford Dictionary, are actions or events marking significant changes or stages in development. The term originated to describe stones set up beside a road to mark the distance in miles to a particular place. They are certainly important in our lives to advise us of how far we’ve traveled and to offer direction as to where we might be headed. And, they offer us myriad opportunities to gather with those we love. But, what about those days in between our birthdays, anniversaries and promotions? Are they not, also, worthy of celebration—and gratitude?
After surgery, upon awakening, many of us thank G-d we came through the procedure successfully. And, after the many devastating fires of late and the storms around the country and the floods, we celebrate the lives saved and give thanks. But, what about the days in between joyous and calamitous? The days we label as ordinary?
There are no ordinary days, are there? Every 24-hour period is a gift and the chance for each of us to change the world. How will you use yours? And how will you give thanks?