A man and woman smiling on the deck of a cruise ship at sunset

Don’t Wait for Milestones to Celebrate!

Last updated: February 2023

I have written previously about how I believe it is important to celebrate milestones, both large and small, in life. Since being diagnosed with lung cancer, I have been a huge proponent of recognizing birthdays, anniversaries, graduations, and other events in the lives of my family and close friends. However, there are so many difficult things going on in today’s world. In the past several years, I have consciously tried to adjust my thought process so that I recognize something every day that brings me some form of joy. It could be small, like reading a good book or having an interesting conversation with a friend, or it could be larger, like visiting somewhere I haven’t been before. Basically, I’m trying to celebrate being alive every day and not wait for major milestones to recognize how amazing it is to be breathing.

Planning a getaway with my husband

Last weekend, my husband and I decided that we wanted to go away somewhere, but it was too difficult to board the dog, find a hotel, and coordinate taking more than a few hours off from our regular responsibilities. Instead, we looked at the map to find a small town less than two hours from where we live. I love lighthouses, so we found a lighthouse located right off the coast of Lake Michigan in a town called Wind Point, just a little over an hour north of our home.

I then looked for a place to have lunch or a coffee shop near Wind Point Lighthouse and found a place with a fantastic name, the Mocha Lisa Coffee House in nearby Racine, Wisconsin. When looking at the Mocha Lisa website to see if they had outside seating, I found that not only did they have this option, but they also had a monthly outdoor craft fair that was taking place on the day we were planning our outing! Perfect for a day trip!

It's important to celebrate milestones

We ended up having a lovely time. The lighthouse wasn’t open to tour inside, but the grounds right around it on the shores of Lake Michigan were beautiful. We had excellent lattes and pastries at Mocha Lisa and even bought an original watercolor painting from the artist at the craft fair depicting the Wind Point Lighthouse! Even though we were gone from home for only about five or six hours, it was so nice to have a change of scenery. When returning home, I felt refreshed as I had just returned from a mini-vacation!

This little trip is a perfect example of a small thing that had a huge impact on my mood. It’s very easy to get stuck in a rut of doing the same things day in and day out, and as a result, feeling down or depressed. While I still plan to celebrate major milestones, I also now understand the importance of incorporating and recognizing smaller things that I can do to improve the joy in my daily life.

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