Sometimes I ponder what the meaning of life-cycle landmarks are. We are somehow trained to value particular landmarks, and sometimes we make up our own (couple's month-saries, etc.).
Do we really need to look forward to something that helps us calculate how far we have left to go? What about those of us who look back and shudder thinking they haven't gotten to all they meant to in the time that's elapsed?
Landmarks are definitely a social phenomenon, more than a creation that will help us internally in our intellectual growth. Though many individuals are able to internalize social creations and values. I definitely don't count myself among these last types of individuals. I am always finding myself looking on as if I weren't a part of things. It's better when the company surrounding us is supportive, intergrative, as some of these landmarks are quite terrifying (hitting 50, being over the hill, having your first kid, graduating college and looking for your first job, etc.).
There's almost as many landmarks as there are phobias and anxieties... ;) wonder why that is...
So what does a landmark or life-cycle event mean to you, to your close family and friends? How do you celebrate, or how do you pick and chose which landmarks are made into events to remember?
What does six years of marriage and 9 years of having (really) lived with someone mean for that union and the growth and prosperity of those two individuals? How many landmarks do couples go through together, and how does the celebration of these landmarks speak of and about them, and help them grow individually and as a couple?
I think landmarks set us another notch in the mountain that is life, it's another notch to balance from as we precariously reach forward into the unknown, or for some lucky few, a pre-scheduled and pre-planned future. How much control can someone really have on their future? How do you know in the present, that the decision you're making will impact and reverberate into a number of tomorrows? It's better to live and let live. Plan when you can, and just go with the flow when you just don't know.
May all your landmarks and life-cycle events propel you into a future of brightness and success!