There are far more milestones worth celebrating than many of us realize, and when they’re special, they also deserve recognition and celebration! Whether it’s a wedding anniversary, retirement anniversary, recovery anniversary (soberversary), a graduation or engagement, it’s important to be thoughtful when acknowledging such milestones.
Doing so can often feel tricky, as depending on the milestone, there can be sensitive topics involved - like someone’s sobriety or sadness surrounding someone’s passing. The important thing is that we support our loved ones as they celebrate or recognize their own milestones, and regardless of the emotions surrounding the anniversary, we have an opportunity as friends to share kind, thoughtful words. Here’s how you can thoughtfully recognize the milestones and anniversaries of your loved ones with a card:
Show your support.
Whether it’s been 10 years at a job or 10 years of sobriety (or something else entirely), it’s important to recognize the work that’s gone into getting this far. When applicable, let them know that you’re glad to be celebrating such an important milestone alongside them and touch on what an honor it’s been to watch them grow over the years.
Recognize relationship milestones.
Marriage or partnership anniversaries are common examples of milestones worth celebrating! Whether you’ve been a witness to the relationship since the start or have only been along for part of the ride, it’s a special opportunity to be able to cheer on your favorite people and recognize their relationship milestones. In your anniversary card, be sure to include some of your favorite memories of their partnership and look ahead to all of the fun they have in store. Consider adding a personal touch of thoughtfulness by identifying something they do that inspires you.
Acknowledge their loss.
When recognizing a loved ones’ loss, it’s okay if you can’t relate to what they’re going through. But as their friend, it’s thoughtful of you to recognize that the anniversary of hardship or someone’s passing can be an especially difficult time. By stepping up to the plate and letting them know that you’re there for them, you’re acknowledging what they’re going through and being a supportive friend. Whether they need distraction, company, or simply some kind words, you’ve done your part as a friend to support them during a difficult milestone. When recognizing an anniversary of someone’s loss, acknowledge that living life without someone important never gets “better,” and let them know you’re there to support them whenever they need.
Include well wishes for the year to come.
Nobody knows what the future holds, so this is your chance to let them know you’ll be there to support them and cheer them on no matter what life throws their way. By showing up to stand by their side when things get tough, being ready and willing to celebrate when things are good, and everything in between, you’re defining what it means to be a support system in their life.