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Tuesday, March 20, 2012


A mile marker on the U.S. National Road
giving distances from many places
According to Wikipedia, "milestone is one of a series of numbered markers placed along a road or boundary at intervals of one mile or occasionally, parts of a mile. " 
Milestone use has been traced back to about 400 AD.  When traveling on any of the Interstate highways in our nation these objects are very helpful when trying to figure out where am I.  Or how far to the next Starbuck's.  A few years back near the Oklahoma Missouri border we noticed the markers have been added for 1/10 of a mile.

Our culture continues to have the need for more accuracy in everything.  Having worked in an industry where decimals needed to be carried to the fourth place, I can be pretty anal about a lot of things.  I am finding that the longer I live away from that environment the happier I am with close is good enough.  Nothing I do now requires that amount of accuracy.

Jack's lost tooth,
We as humans set milestones in our lives.  Birthdays, first day at school, loss of first tooth, first kiss, first dance, graduation from preschool through turning your thesis for your masters or doctorate degrees.  The list at times will include marriage, first home, arrival of children into the family.  Your first bike and later car represent movement along the road of life.

A goal to visit Lady Bird Johnson's
Wildflower Center accomplished
The list is influenced by our career choice.  For a person who aspires to write considers a first publication to be a huge milestone.  An actor surely considers the first paying role to be a milestone.  An architect having their design become a finished product whether a home, building or bridge would seem to be a milestone in their career.  Wonder what a teacher has as milestones?  Would it be tenure or reaching a certain student?
My life milestones mostly centered around relationships and not career.  Grow up, get married and have babies.  Travel after retirement.  I was well into my forties before it occurred to me to set a goal professionally.  So the bar had to be pretty minimal to be achievable.  I made it to one of the goals.  Tried on a different career and that was not a good fit.  So I hung up on work goals and just retired at a ripe old 59 1/2 years old.  Do not miss working outside the home not even one little bit.

Four weeks ago today I had my right knee totally replaced.  The hospital physical therapist asked me the next day what kind of goal I had for myself after the surgery.  Say what?  I was a little dumbfounded.  In my limited mind I had only thought, "Get rid of the pain, get rid of the pain, walking without pain."  So I basically said to walk pain free.  Not what she wanted to hear because she asked for another goal.  Fine, I want to be able to walk a mile and still be able to walk the next day, pain free.   
The home bound physical therapist came here to my home 3 weeks ago today.  She told me the goal for flex is 100 degrees with extension of -5 degrees.  Flex was at 98 degrees last Thursday and extension -4 degrees.  Today I walked over 5280 feet here in my house.  I walked a mile.  Not all at once and I did use a cane.  Pain level is negligible.  Well, guess you could say I reached my milestone.  

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