Yesterday, I had the privilege of attending my best friend’s graduation from graduate school at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Taylor earned her Masters in Rehabilitation Counseling and I am SO VERY PROUD of her. She is such a hard working, determined, woman and I’m proud to be her friend.
Sitting through my fourth graduation in three years (my own, Leah’s, and two for Taylor!) got me thinking about milestones and how our society celebrates them. And then at the same time, when we stop celebrating them. As children, we are literally celebrated for everything we do. I have heard the story of me lifting my head for the first time in the hospital nursery at least ten million times (strongest infant neck ever, over here!), my entire family still talks about it. And even after we become school age, we celebrate birthdays with HUGE parties, we count down the days until graduation first kindergarden, then elementary school, middle school, finally high school, and then we start the clock all over again to count down until the big kahuna, college graduation. And then, all we’ve got left are marriage and children.
Don’t get me wrong, I am looking forward to one day being married and starting my own family more than most know, but I just couldn’t help but think yesterday that it is a shame we don’t celebrate more of our lives as adults. Other than the occasional dinner out for a promotion or achievement at work, and milestone anniversaries, as adults we hear a lot less praise from one another. Why is this? Why don’t we celebrate each other more as we grow older, acknowledging that these accomplishments in our lives are even harder won than our first sneeze or our first giggle?
All I know, is that I want to celebrate life all the time, I want to pass out balloons left and right and pat my friends on the back for all the little things, just like we did when we were kids.
So today, I encourage you to celebrate someone, let them know how proud of them you are, because words matter, friends, they do.