Moments & Milestones

This month, I am set to reach one of life’s major milestones. On February 23, I will turn 40 years old.

I find this fact astonishing only because I can recall with crystal clarity the day I turned ten, when I thought an eternity would have to pass before I reached the great sum of 15.

Still, I reached that milestone and many others, and 30 years later, here I sit thinking of past accomplishments and future feats yet to be achieved.

Forty seems like an appropriate age to take stock of your existence by counting the milestones along your life’s path. From learning to walk to learning to fly, so many occasions have had a profound impact on me. Giving birth to my favorite person, graduating from college and graduate school, publishing my first novel, and marrying my soulmate a few years back have all been events that shaped me in dramatic ways.

Having said that, what I remember most vividly about the last 20 years or so has not been so much the milestones but rather the moments I’ve shared with friends and loved ones. This is hardly an original concept and I must credit the source, the late Rose Kennedy, who raised a U.S. President and two senators along with six other children. She was also a leading philanthropist who lived to the ripe old age of 104.

“Life isn’t a matter of milestones, but of moments,” she wrote in her autobiography, Times to Remember.

The moments I cherish best have been the most unexpected, and at times have not fit neatly into the narrative I once believed my life would follow.

For everyone official milestone I’ve met, there are hundreds of moments that have eclipsed their standing. This is not to diminish their importance, rather it is emphasize how incredibly rich my life has been to date.

Like anyone, there are instances I’d rather not repeat, difficult lessons learned the hard way. Still, I can’t discount any of them for – without them – my life might have taken an alternate course than the current one.

Speaking of alternate courses, this issue is dedicated to those who go out of their way to help those whose lives have been touched by hardship and/
or tragedy.

In this edition, we honor the first responders on the scene, as well as those who raise their voices on behalf of the silenced. We pay tribute to those who support the downtrodden and the disadvantaged.

In an effort to be a positive force for change, we also are spotlighting organizations and causes to which you can contribute your resources. Even if you don’t have a lot of money, you can still make a difference by volunteering your time to help others in need. Have a spare hour or day? Want to help – among others – hungry children, people with life limiting illnesses or victims of domestic violence? Details about several worthy causes are listed within this month’s pages. Remember, volunteering can be a rewarding solo activity or a great way for families to bond and instill good values in their children’s hearts and minds. No memory is as precious as one that’s made while lifting others up.

Finally, this issue contains over 50 notices of places to go and things to do in the month of February, from celebrating Valentine’s Day at a local restaurant with your special someone to discovering the diversity of artists and performers in your own backyard.

Whether you elect to mark your life by milestones or moments, take time to appreciate the unique beauty of each.

Until next month,

Carla E. Anderton