In this rat race we call Life, members of the new generation are slowly but surely stepping away from materialistic goals and towards more spiritual, life-affirming ones. They are rejecting the notions that their parents bequeathed to them: hard work is the only way to success; there is a pre-ordained progression to life events such as graduation, a job, marriage etc. And the worth of a person is in their material wealth and occupation. Millennials are leading the way in forging new paths, being creatively employed, and travelling without a fixed ‘home.’ For them, memories far outweigh money.This is why milestones in the traditional sense no longer hold much value to them. However, there are plenty of things you should celebrate in life, even one that is nomadic:
This could be your 20th or 30th year on earth or the anniversary of meeting your life partner. There is no call to do anything big but there is every call to celebrate and mark the day somehow in a way that is meaningful to you. If this means planting trees with your friends in a barren land, so be it. If it means throwing a huge rager, then don’t forget to send out those 40th birthday party invitations in time. The important thing is to look back and recall how far you have come and how much further you have to/you want to go. It is a time to remind yourself of all you have overcome, endured and triumphed so don’t forget those important dates.
If you like celebrating the latest promotion with a drink, go right ahead and invite the crew for a night out. However, it is more important to celebrate personal accomplishments that often go unnoticed, but which are more integral to our survival. Cooked a 3-course meal alone for the first time? Celebrate with a friend. Did your laundry alone? Go get a drink. Submitted a short story for publication while your inner demons terrorized you not to? Treat yourself to pizza. These small victories make up the sum of our life’s satisfaction and no big promotion can measure up to the victories we win within ourselves.
A Life Well Lived
While it may sound morbid, several cultures around the world celebrate death as much as birth. Meaning no disrespect to the dead, they simply do this to acknowledge a life well lived by the recently deceased individual. It also serves to remind people of the brevity and transience of life. Going through memorial card templates can be personalized the photo of your loved one and may not be your first instincts on experiencing loss, but it is worthwhile to remember that rather than grieving for our loss, it might be more uplifting and consoling to celebrate the life they lived. So if you are a millennial who is trying to go against the grain and celebrating milestones isn’t really your thing, stop a tic to wonder whether or not some events in your life do deserve to be celebrated and remembered.