Our friends, pets, and family links are like a beautiful rope bridge that supports us as we wobble across the chasm of life. When we are young, we often run along that bridge not looking over the edge, just heading for the opposite bank.
As we get older and that opposite bank looms into view, these links become increasingly important. They keep us away from the temptation to look down and get intimidated by the chasm below.
All the links in your bridge need to be regularly serviced. This year, instead of sending Christmas presents I am taking time to tell all the recipients of my Christmas cards what they mean to me and how they have impacted my life.
Too often it is only at funerals that these things are said. But if I can’t think of anything to say, I am crossing the person off my list. This strategy might seem harsh, but instead of a chore the Christmas list is turning into an absolute pleasure as I rediscover just what my friends and family mean to me.
How they take this change of direction is up to them, but it makes sense to me. Many of us feel that Christmas has become a materialistic nightmare, and this is my solution.
We also need to create new links in our bridge. One of the ways I have found helpful is by connecting with people who inspire us, not necessarily of our generation.
I am passionate about women fulfilling their potential, and I came across a new one this week. She is racing driver Caitlin Wood, an Australian girl whose passion is to be the first woman to win the world’s most important endurance race – 24 heures du Mans.
How thrilling is that? A breath of fresh air in my old lungs, I would say. I have made the link and will follow her with excited interest.
Our pets make for another link in the bridge. Some of us are passionate about animals, and adopting a rescued cat or dog is an awesome step. They bring such unconditional love into our lives it is breath taking. We can learn so much from animals and the way they deal with life.
With the help of the three-legged, one-eyed Romanian refugee dog that has just bounded into my life, I am making links with all kinds of people with various challenges with whom I had no way of connecting before.
It is worth checking the state of your links as your bridge is only as strong as its weakest link. So, anyone who is dragging you down needs to be dealt with.
If you can help bring someone up, that is commendable. However, some people are like black holes who will suck your lifeblood, drag you down, and continue undeterred on their depressing path. They will weaken your precious bridge of life.
Just how well are you linking in with your friends and family? Sometimes it means burying your pride and making the first move. Christmas is a great time to mend and build bridges.
Are there people who you could influence and help in some way? Do you have space for an animal in your life? I would love to hear about how your links work and how they enrich your life. Please share your thoughts below.