It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas, everywhere we go…. The John Lewis and M&S adverts have been on our TVs for a few weeks telling us exactly how much better Christmas will be if we either eat their products or meet an alien!
Already the pressure is mounting for Christmas to be ‘perfect’ but something I read recently explained that Christmas can be a magnifier – if things are good in your life, Christmas tends to magnify all that goodness: what’s good seems better, good family seems great, good parties seem fantastic, good memories become even better. But sadly, Christmas can also magnify what’s difficult: if you are struggling, Christmas can make that struggle seem overwhelming, financial stress can become unbearable, challenged relationships within a family can seem more intense especially if they are sharing Christmas with you and if you are feeling lonely, then images of the ‘perfect’ Christmas can intensify that sense of loneliness.
The solution? Well Hope Trust can help, but so can Felixstowe Christians Against Poverty & Debt, Basic Life Charity, Compass, Walton Parish Nursing, The Hub run by St Mary’s church on a Thursday morning - to name but a few. The solution is to seek out those organisations that serve this local community day in and day out and see which one offers the support and help you need. In other words - you are not alone, there are many people who can offer practical and social help, but we all recognise that the first step is the hardest, but for those brave enough to take that step, well, things can only get better.
As we pen these words, we have been reflecting on just how many such articles we have had included in this publication by the team at The Flyer. By our reckoning we’ve contributed 126 articles over 11 years. We also know how many people have read our words, responded to what’s been offered and have found their way from where they are, closer to where they want to be. We know that this won’t stop as 2022 dawns, but what will change is that we (Paul & Sheila) will be spectators to the ongoing work of Hope Trust. As the New Year dawns, so the time has come for new leadership, new opportunities, and new energy in the life of the charity. So, as we bid you all ‘adieu’ we want with all our hearts to reassure you that Hope Trust will continue to serve older people in the town of Felixstowe, and surrounding villages, helping every person that reaches out to find new connections, new activities, next steps that will lead them to a brighter and better tomorrow.
So, here’s wishing you all a Happy Christmas and for the last time, we are - Paul & Sheila Taylor, Pastoral Workers for Hope Trust – you can reach Hope Trust on T: 01394 272592, M: 07845 202 112,
All Change Becomes Routine With Time
Do you like change? Two of us work in the office at Hope Trust and one person likes change - embraces it even - the other hates it and wants to resist it at all costs! What we both know to be true is that change happens, always has, always will. It’s a topic we’ve covered several times over the years we’ve written about the work of Hope Trust and yet, this whole topic is not easy, because if it was, we’d all know exactly how to get through changes that sometimes we know must take place as well as changes we really wish could be avoided at all costs.
Take driving for instance – we are both in our early 60’s and so we are starting to ask ourselves whether, or not, we will move to driving an electric car. Sure, we could park our car on a driveway and hook it into a charging point without trailing cables over the pavement or, as we heard from one person, out over their flat balcony and down 2 floors to their car, but will we? Where will our confidence come from, on a long journey to see family, that we will get to a charging point just when we need it and not be stuck in a queue on the M25 as the battery slowly discharges?
Take technology as another example – just how long will we be willing to create yet another account, come up with yet another password (that some young hacker could probably break in seconds) or even attempt to read the extremely long terms & conditions we must agree to before we can move on? And that’s before we get to the question of accepting or otherwise ‘Cookies’ on each website - repeatedly!
Before this descends into a Grumpy tirade, it’s good to remind ourselves of a few known realities:
- Be resilient, when we have no power over change, ask yourself ‘What can I do about this?’ Having a modicum of self-control always makes you feel better!
- When things change, be kind to yourself, seek support if you need help.
- Watch what you think – life is rarely black and white, remember change you’ve navigated in the past and be encouraged that if you got through those changes, you will probably manage what’s on the horizon as well, with or without support.
- Remember what’s important to you – life is too short to waste time and energy on things that perhaps don’t matter or will change anyway - whatever you say or do.
At a recent Wednesday morning Tea & Chat the conversation centred for a short time on stories that Parents and Grandparents hadn’t been willing to talk about openly, but once shared, were inspiring, amazing, and worthy of being recorded somewhere, somehow. Stories of their struggles during the war, either as fighters or those left at home to manage, acts of great courage in a time when certain topics and subjects weren’t openly discussed, acknowledged or even legal. Is there a family story you wish had been shared, recorded even, so that others could hear and learn from it? What about you, do you have a story that needs to be told?
Anyone over the age of 60 has lived through tumultuous times of change, you only need to visit a local museum to see items that were part of our childhood now form the ‘History’ section! We have lived through the time of Moon landings, England winning the World Cup, miniskirts, the first mobile phone, personal computers, ready meals (not just fish & chips!), creation of Health & Safety, debit cards, the internet and even cars that park themselves! When we share that, in the mid 1970’s, you changed a computer programme with a long length of tape and then had to load another tape to take it back to the first programme – and yes, there were only 2 programmes – it seems impossible to believe, unless you were there, of course! It’s good that museums are keeping some of these memories alive through exhibits, as behind each object lies a story, just as within each person lies a tale - a tale of how we got from where we started, to where we’ve ended up. Tales that are full of lessons, learnt and unlearnt; those good and not so good choices that have been made; once in a lifetime experience’s when every minute has been enjoyed, or slightly sadder tales of roads not taken, relationship issues not resolved. Is there anyone in your life right now, parent, grandparent, aunt, uncle, cousin, or friend who has a story that’s worth holding onto, then perhaps today would be a good day to begin to make notes, start a recording, because if you think it intriguing, inspiring, then you can bet your bottom dollar others will too.