When family members face big milestones, we often buy art. My husband and I have bought paintings from artists on big anniversaries.
A long time ago, I used to collect mugs when I faced challenges. It was my way of saying, "good job" to myself. Recently I faced some challenges and felt the need to encourage myself. And I turned 50 this year. And so I decided to reward myself for facing a challenge and mark turning 50. But instead of buying a mug (too many mugs!) I decided to commission an artwork by Maureen White. I loved a piece that she had made a year or so ago. I asked her to make a "tree of life" embossed metal piece similar to one she had made previously. Maureen agreed to make another "in the spirit of" the earlier work. I wanted to include the saying, "A longing fulfilled is a tree of life." I hung it in my messy office near the computer where I will see it often.