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The Importance of Anniversaries

According to Wikipedia, an anniversary is a day that commemorates and/or celebrates a past event. (It goes on to explain that the first time the event occurred was the inaugural event and that one year later would be the first anniversary, but I’m going to just assume that you, my brilliant reader, understand all of that.) It seems to me, that there should be more to an anniversary.

One of the more exciting things that have happened to me in the last couple months was winning an iPad2. It was fabulous. I am notorious for never winning things. One gentleman, Michael Kumer (formerly the Executive Director at the Nonprofit Leadership Institute at Duquesne Universityand now the Principal at BoardsMTO), who was witness to my win and who I have come to really respect, told me that the look on my face was one of the most genuine looks of surprise he had ever seen. Trust me – it was not rigged. And it was a great event! Anniversary worthy, I’m not so sure.

 There has to be something more that makes anniversaries important. If you search the importance of anniversaries on the Internet, truly amusing things come up. I came across one site, “And They Lived Happily Ever After,” that addressed the girlfriend who, after a few months, greets you with a special surprise (dinner, flowers, velvet gift box, etc.) to celebrate your special day. What special day? Apparently it’s the four month anniversary of when you visited your parents and told your mother that you might be getting serious. Admittedly, I have been described as cynical by some, but I think my iPad2 just became a little more anniversary celebration worthy.

Askmen.com takes the time to explain that not all anniversaries are created equal and breaks down the meaning of the Three-Month Anniversary, the One-Year Anniversary, the Two-Year Anniversary, the Five-Year and Beyond Anniversary, and how you should celebrate each. At the risk of summarizing – remember the date and do something special.

Still, it misses it for me. After sifting through piles and piles of quotes about love and married life and soulmatehood, I came across one that made me stop and think.

Our anniversary is a time to look back at the good times and a time to look ahead to live our dreams together.

Sadly, I do not know who to give the credit to for that one… but I like it. Anniversaries are a time to reflect, and if an event is worthy of the commemoration, why not pause and reflect on where you have come from? And if you are taking the time to celebrate, it was probably a good event, so invest due time in looking forward to what dreams may come.

Also key to that quote for me was “together.” Together suggests the joining of people. (There were a lot of people in the room when I won the iPad2 – just sayin’.) The coming together of people is where greatness has the opportunity to occur. It was a post on Blue Horse Marketing that really called the question – are anniversaries important? They could be yet another opportunity for self-promotion, which is ultimately less about engagement and more about making a self-centered proclamation. But again, Blue Horse Marketing brought it back to relationship.

An anniversary is an opportunity to reflect back on the community of people that made the event possible; the greatness that resulted from that coming together; the lows and highs of the journey; the challenges and victories that were faced head on and overcome. An anniversary is an opportunity to celebrate not only the event, but the people and community in relationship that generously contributed of themselves and made the event possible.

A Woman’s Place is celebrating its 35thanniversary. It is much more than a number. It is the four women – proudly known as our Founding Mothers – who saw a need and came together to meet it. It is the first mother, abused and victimized, who bravely came to the storefront walk-in center with her two children on Christmas Eve and asked for help. It is the countless volunteers who generously give of their time to answer hotlines, go to court, respond at the scene of an incident, tutor a child, sort clothing, sort food, raise dollars, and advocate for change. It is the men who have come forward and claimed ending domestic violence as their issue. It is the community that comes together to say, “No more! This must change!”

Why is an anniversary important? It is a day that commemorates and/or celebrates a past event and all of the incredible individuals – children, women, men – who gave of themselves to make it possible and continue to do so.

 Happy Anniversary A Woman’s Place!

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