Stories that Matter

What's It Worth To You?


Since both our kids have left the nest, the hubby and I have a lot more time on our hands. He’s taken up gardening. And I have my writing. But we’re always in search of things to do together, apart from eating out, which we do very well. 🙂

I love antiques. Last year I started collecting old English bone china tea cups and saucers. I’m also interested in old books and have picked up a few of those over the past year as well. Bermuda is a wonderful place to find ancient artifacts. Keeping in mind that an antique is  anything over one hundred years old, Bermuda was colonized in 1609, by a shipwreck – and the colonists, originally on their way to Jamestown, Virginia, finding the land lush and the climate suitable, stayed. In 1612, Britain made it official, and Bermuda was made a Colony of the British Empire. So you can imagine what delights might be found at estate sales, auctions and even yard sales!

We’d never been to an auction before, but this past weekend we decided to give it a try. I thought I’d be intimidated, not know how to bid or what price to bid…but it was all quite simple. And fascinating. I couldn’t believe some of the pieces being auctioned off, and the prices they went for were quite a steal. We came away with a few lovely things ourselves, and I think we’ve been bitten by the bug. I didn’t attend the second day, but hubby came home and told me he witnessed a sterling silver spoon go for the price of ten thousand dollars. Say what?! I can’t fathom dropping that kind of cash on a spoon! Maybe I don’t know enough about silver or rare spoons, but honestly? Ten grand?  My first thought was that you could feed a whole lot of kids with that money. But obviously whoever ended up with that spoon really wanted it. For whatever reason, it was worth something to them. Worth ten thousand dollars to be precise.

Have you ever wanted anything so badly you’d do just about anything to get it? Wanted it so badly you could taste it? Reach out your hand and touch it?

I felt that way about getting published. That was my dream, and I was desperate for it. And for a lot of years it remained out of reach. Sometimes I’d get close, get all excited and think, finally, finally, this is going to happen! And then it didn’t. Disappointment crashed in violent waves over my spirit. Discouragement followed and despondency almost made me give up. A lot of times. But I didn’t. I persevered because that dream of becoming a published author was worth something to me. It was a goal I’d set for myself, and I was going to meet it come hell or high water. I was willing to hang in there for the long haul, however long it took.

I’m not sure where that determination came from. Perhaps it stems from the fact that I’ve never been a high achiever. I wasn’t the popular kid, the smart kid or the pretty kid. I only did a couple things well, and was pretty much average or below average in everything else. But I knew I could write. And write I did. Perhaps in a way, my desire to succeed, which I equaled with becoming a published author, was to prove to myself that I could do it. To confirm that those who believed in me were actually not crazy.

Funny thing is, once my dream became reality, I found out that reality sometimes bites. Because now I have greater goals to go after. Bigger dreams. And the road gets harder, not easier. I’m swimming upstream with a whole lot of other fish and most of them are stronger swimmers, faster and probably more talented than I can ever hope to be.

Do I have what it takes to keep going? To keep writing stories that people will want to read? Do I have what it takes to land a contract with my dream publisher? I don’t know. Some days I think I do. Some days doubt creeps in and convinces me otherwise. What I do know is this – I believe that right now, today, I’m exactly where God wants me to be, doubts and all.

My dreams are worth a lot to me, but knowing I’m on the right path is worth a whole lot more. Because I’ve learned that my self-worth is not measured by how many books have my name on them or where my publishing career goes from here. I am valuable to God whether I succeed or not. And He paid a lot more than ten thousand dollars for me.

What are your dreams and what are they worth to you? 

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  1. elainestock on December 5, 2012 at 10:54 am

    Cathy, thank you for these words.

  2. Beth K. Vogt on December 5, 2012 at 11:12 am

    You are a gifted writer, Cathy. One of my favorite.
    And yes, dreams coming true? They lead to moments of deep satisfaction … and more work.
    Funny, isn’t it?

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