By Catherine Stuart
As we hit the reset button with the New Year my notebook filled up with goals. Goals that were very different from each other, and I realized prioritizing was the key to success.
This year for me is different, as I find myself on a bridge of change. I wish to get to the other side, yet realize there is a process in the timing of it, so sorting through that is a top priority. While looking over my list I found at first glance that my goals appeared unrelated. The main ones are as follows:
Connection is something that joins two or more things. Bridges connect past and present experience, which leads to the future. Each goal had this aspect to it, which breathed new hope into 2017. Learning about family history is about connection, which includes research, writing down my mom’s stories, while reconnecting to my own memories.
Recently, my mom and I were sitting at a restaurant as the only customers, so when my mother started telling stories I grabbed my phone and began recording. My mother is a bridge of sorts to the past. I thought about the connection we were sharing at that moment. I laughed at certain stories, whereas other stories were thought provoking. One story had to do with rationing and how when sugar was rationed my grandmother always made sure they had birthday cakes. As a mother and now grandmother I felt closer to my grandmother and her sacrifices. I listened intently to details previously taken for granted and felt a sense of deeper connection.
Recently as well, I received a text from my daughter who asked me if I’d ever read “The Secret Garden.” Her question prompted me to pull my childhood book off the shelf. I opened it and was whisked away as if by a time machine through the valleys over the bridges and mountain tops to Christmas past in 19**. Okay, it was in the 1970’s! I was ten when my grandparents gave it to me. Holding that book linked me to memories. Memories long forgotten, yet now cherished. Family history is made up of stories, which can make our lives richer as they are learned and passed down. I look forward to passing these down to my children and grandchildren.
My other daughter reminded me that my fear of social media is leaving me behind, as I’m missing out on sweet posts about my grandchildren. Ouch! What it means to be connected today is so different from the past in some ways. Standing on this bridge of change connects me to the past, present and future if I allow it to. It is a choice. Change is not always welcomed, yet the fear of it disconnects one from faith and moving forward.
So, this bridge of change brings new perspective. Life is comprised of stories that are being written on those bridges. If it weren’t for transitions I wouldn’t be where I am today. I know this is bringing me closer to Christ. He is lighting my path with comfort, joy and hope. Deepening my relationship with him is always on my list and connects me with hope and a future. I pray this year God will use me to encourage others through my writing. Who knows, I may get down the list of goals to the one on social media and learn how to connect there too.
Happy New Year to all and God bless us everyone!
Catherine Stuart, author of Potluck: A Sleepy Haven Mystery is a practicing counselor for the past fourteen years, enjoys reading, writing, travel, and spending time with her family, friends, two shelties, and-most of all-six beautiful grandchildren.