As a culture, we like to celebrate.
We celebrate beginnings at every birthday and New Year. We celebrate endings with retirements and going away parties.
We celebrate traditions, we celebrate milestones, and (sometimes) we just celebrate another day come and gone. (Anyone else ever said “TGIF”)?
Because who doesn’t love a little celebration? It comes with a sigh of relief, a sense of accomplishment, and a healthy amount of fun.
After all, in this day and age we seem to have more reason than ever to not celebrate. Indeed, the 21st century is very much a pessimist’s playground.
We could live in fear and doubt, lock ourselves away, and quietly wait for the next catastrophe.
But we don’t. Instead, we set off fireworks, make birthday cakes, and crack open pinatas.
Why? Personally, I think the title character of the BBC’s “Doctor Who” summed it up best in one of my favorite episodes: “Because what’s the point in them being happy now if they’re going to be sad later? The answer is, of course, because they are going to be sad later.”
Fear and danger, fury and sadness – those things are always barreling toward us. They are much a part of our existence as the sun rising and setting.
But, in such moments we find comfort in our happy memories. We are swaddled in the positivity of our days, protected by the “what could be’s” rather than marred by the “what if’s.”
So, yes, we celebrate. We embrace milestones. We relish the times that will one day be what bring us together when everything else is falling apart.
And today, I would like to ask if you would celebrate something with me – a little milestone of my own.
You see (if my calculations are correct), this is my 100th column. (Of course, there’s a good chance I might be off – there’s a reason I work with words and not numbers.)
I’ve loved writing these columns, and I plan on 100 more (and hopefully 100 more beyond that). I can’t express the gratitude I feel getting to write a little something each week and letting readers have a little peek into my life. It’s a privilege and an honor to do that. So, before I write anything else, I’d like to say a very deeply felt thank you.
Because a lot has changed in 100 columns.
I can’t begin to explain how much I’ve changed, both personally and professionally. Overall, I think I’ve grown a bit stronger and a little braver (at least, that’s what I hope.)
But so much more has changed, too. For example, when I first began writing in 2013, these were some of the hottest topics: government shut-down, a new Pope, and Edward Snowden.
To quote an overused adage: Time flies.
It’s amazing how much can change, whether you’re looking at 100 years or 100 hours.
I can’t count how many times I’ve looked at something and wondered, “Did that really happen that long ago?” A quick search of Google nets these examples:
• One hundred hours ago (June 14): Flooding in Tbilisi, the capital of the nation Georgia, made international headlines when it destroyed animal enclosures at a zoo.
• One hundred days ago (March 10): Hillary Clinton addressed her personal email use while she was Secretary of State.
• For sports fans, 100 months ago (February 2008): The New York Giants defeated the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl XLII.
• Finally, for history buffs, 100 years ago (1915): The Rocky Mountain National Park was first established, Woodrow Wilson was president, and World War I was in its second year (it began in 1914 and ended in 1918).
Like I said: It’s amazing how we change, as a culture and as individuals.
Because 100 months ago, I was a junior in high school. One hundred days ago, I was bemoaning winter and anticipating warm weather. And one hundred hours ago, I was playing board games with friends.
And now, I’m writing this column, thinking about that first one I wrote almost two years ago.
In that column, I shared tips for a Disney World vacation. I ended with a simple suggestion: “Just make sure you say hi to Mickey (I sure know I’m going to).”
I think I’ll end this column with a suggestion, too (one that I hope to follow myself): Enjoy every moment and celebrate each milestone, because 100 always comes faster than you think.
Reach Sarah Allen at 937-393-3456, ext. 1680, or on Twitter @SarahAllenHTG.