The brevity of celebrations

We celebrated my daughter’s high school graduation this week. After weeks of preparation for the party we hosted, attending a few others parties, and the graduation ceremony, I reached a point of exhaustion. I proclaimed that I officially had ‘graduation fatigue’.

As I Reflected on the entire set of events, I was drawn to the abruptness of the closure of a life moment and the movement towards a new life chapter. Graduation celebrations are the culmination of years of study and experiences. We celebrate the achievements in a few hours and then it’s over. Reflection on the past and any self introspection we do is quickly replaced with planning for new life events.

Then I realized that business and software projects are the same way. We celebrate milestones and project completions and then return to work quickly to think about and plan the next big goal. Projects can be both long in duration and/or complex in solutioning and delivery. In contrast, the celebrations, while important, are usually quick and to the point.

There’s no time to stop and the journey of life and business don’t stop when the final class or most recent project ends. Life and business move on to the next chapter, the next step, the next phase. Ralph Waldo Emerson said “To finish the moment, to find the journey’s end in every step of the road, to live the greatest number of good hours, is wisdom.” It’s a reflective thought talking about successive steps in a journey. Life, after all, is a journey. We don’t truly stop moving. But we can pause to celebrate. Let’s do celebrate. It makes the journey worthy of the steps.