Through out our lives we are reaching and passing milestones, real or self imposed.
Some of these milestones are set by our families or society, but non-the-less we are expected to reach them and pass them.
Some, like graduations, birthdays and awards we celebrate.
Others quietly go by unannounced.
Some we can't wait to reach; most of our birthdays when we are young, winning competitions in school or sports, first prom, your first jock strap (well, except for the part where your mom is there when you get it and pays for it.)
Others, like birthdays over 40, or all the years we work at one place till the year we retire, we hope slip by unnoticed.
Some we wear as badges of honor; passing our drivers test, conformation, reaching the age old enough to vote or drink, our first kiss, our first time to . . .well you know. . . .
Others we just grit our teeth and carry on; your first colonoscopy, the first time your doctor tells you to exercise and eat more bran.
You never think you are going to make some of them; reaching forty when you are in your twenties, reaching any age when you get past fifty, your first kiss, your first time to. . well you know. . . .
Some of them you hope you never reach; making it to forty when you are in your twenties, having to get your first job, having to make your first speech.
But none-the-less, milestone are out there and they come and go, whether real or self imposed.
I reached another this past Sunday. I hadn't been expecting it, there was no warning. It wasn't even one I had though about having to pass or even reach. And I didn't realize I had even reached the point of being able to consider it.
But it happened anyway, no fanfare, no balloons and if I hadn't commented on it myself, it would have passed unnoticed.
We usually go out to eat Sundays after church. Having a light breakfast before church usually means we are ready for a good late breakfast or lunch right after, It has become something we look forward to. We don't always go to the same place, but we do go to some more than others.
This past Sunday we returned to Bob Evans. At the time we usually arrive you are caught in that never land between breakfast and lunch, so the menu is wide open to suit most tastes.
Wife ordered an omelet, daughter ordered a kids cheeseburger and green beans and I, seeing something I liked, in a portion I found appealing, ordered Chicken Pot pie.
It was only while reading the surrounding text that I realized I was ordering from the SENIOR MENU and that it sounded good, the price was right, the portion suitable, and most importantly, I was old enough to have that privilege.
Now don't get me wrong, other than when my knees really hurt or I am trying to keep up with our six year old, I don't feel or act like a senior. Well, I do have to get up and pee a lot, but I thought that was only cause I drink a lot of tea. But other than that, I still listen to music from the 80's and we don't subscribe to public television and we don't have any chairs around the house that help me up.
The thing that really surprised me about the experience was the fact that I was proud to be able to now chose from that once forbidden category. I had made it. I could now look forward to the day when I can spend my mornings drinking coffee with other retired people at the Hardee's down the street (well, after getting the six year old off to soccer or dance or gymnastics or school or girl scouts or parties).
I didn't find myself looking around to make sure that no one saw me order from "there".
I didn't whisper it to the waitress.
She didn't laugh or ask to see some ID (maybe I should wonder about that one a little).
I just did it and didn't even flinch.
No alarms went off, no balloons came down. Time did not slow down, and it did not grow quiet.
I even enjoyed it, wasn't overly full, and took part of it home.
Another milestone passed.
I can now look forward to that chair that helps me up, and watching public tv.