In recent weeks I have passed quite a few significant milestones in my life. The milestones are, of course, metaphorical. I haven’t passed any real milestones. Or possibly I have when I’ve been out and about, but if that is the case I haven’t really noticed. In real life, actual milestones are a somewhat dated concept. We mostly have Sat Navs for that now.
But metaphorically, as we travel along the journey of life, which we mainly do by getting older and not dying, then we use all kinds of milestones to help us gauge how well we are doing. And this is important; how we could we really understand how unremarkable most of us are without these various milestones to crush our spirits every now and again?
Although occasionally, hitting a milestone might actually be a sign that we are doing things quite well. For example, earlier this month I posted my 200th post in 200 consecutive days on this very blog. This is the second time I’ve achieved 200 consecutive days of posting without a break but last time it resulted in me immediately having my longest ever period of ‘not posting anything’ since I started this blog. This time around, I appear to have continued the streak, so I’m now enjoying what is officially my longest ever period of blogging daily. Admittedly this would only really be an achievement if everything I posted was actually good. But some of it probably isn’t that good. Although it is also possible that all of it is not good.
But I didn’t start writing this post to brag about my peerless blogging skills. I’m certainly not saying I’m the greatest blogger who ever lived. That’s really for other people to say.
In fact, I have also achieved a couple of pretty significant milestones outside of this blog, where, as it turns out, I am a real person.
The first significant milestone was brought to my attention a couple of weeks ago, when I was presented with a certificate that claimed, with some conviction, that I have been employed by my current employer for five years. No-one was more surprised than me to discover that I have been gainfully employed in the same place for five years. But I have. Which means that my current job is the job that I’ve had for the longest out of all the jobs I’ve ever had. And actually by quite some distance.
I suppose there is some honour in achieving the ‘five years long service’ certificate, but it’s not that much of an accolade. It doesn’t really say that I’ve been an especially valuable employee for the last five years. It is really only evidence of the fact that I haven’t been so bad at my job that anyone has felt compelled to fire me. And actually, given that I have actively been seeking a new job since early 2019, it’s mainly evidence of the fact that I haven’t been very good at finding a new job. To be fair, I haven’t been very actively seeking a new role, but I have been to four interviews since January 2019, the last of which was a week ago, and each time I have managed to not be offered the job. I haven’t especially deserved to be offered the job in any of the four cases (either due to there being more qualified candidates or my own rather spectacular self-sabotaging) but it’s hard not to take these things personally. Not that I’m at all bitter about the experiences but I didn’t want the stupid jobs anyway.
Nonetheless, it was with a tinge of regret that I received my five-years-long-service certificate. Although I was touched that they remembered. I’ll keep it. But I probably won’t frame it.
However, the main milestone I achieved recently was this weekend just gone. I opened my front door on Sunday evening to receive my weekly grocery delivery from Tesco (other supermarkets are available) and with my delivery I also received a card.
Now it is not unheard of for Tesco to give me a Christmas card with my delivery, but even though the supermarket shelves are already full of seasonal fare, Tesco would normally have the decency to not give me a Christmas card in October. So I was perplexed as to what the motivation for sending this card could be.
And then I opened it and I felt so stupid. How could I have forgotten that such an important and seminal moment was imminent in my life? Perhaps the worldwide pandemic had caused me to take my eye off the ball. After all, supermarket deliveries were quite hard to come by for a few months. Nonetheless I still feel like a fool for having forgotten about this forthcoming milestone.
I opened the card and read the following words:
“Congratualtions on reaching your 250 shop”
I can only imagine that it meant to say “Congratulations on reaching your 250th Tesco home delivery”.
Still, it was an emotional moment.
How many people can truly say they have had 250 Tesco home deliveries?
I’m part of an exclusive club now.
I even have a clubcard.
Although I had that anyway. I don’t think the Tesco Clubcard is actually representative of any kind of club membership.
Although the first rule of Tesco Club is that you do not talk about Tesco Club…
Anyway, some pretty impressive milestones passed there I’m sure you’ll agree.
And which gives me the most pleasure?
The Tesco one of course. It came with 250 extra Clubcard points. Those things have a transferrable cash value.
Every little helps.