In reviewing the amazing array of articles that appear in our six editions from 2018, I had a most curious experience.
Winding my way through almost one thousand pages of material, I was transported back to the time and place I first read them. Mindful during those moments, time stood still; I was completely engaged and entertained, in an almost Zen-like state. I can only hope that our wonderful and devout readers have a similar experience with each edition.
I am proud of what we accomplished in 2018, and that we have continued to “connect the Celtic dots” around the world.
As such, our team has much to feel good about; our esteemed publishers and their family, our dedicated in-house staff writers and copy editors, our talented correspondents, our brilliant creative designer, our hard-working sales staff – all have put in countless hours to help us further our mandate over the last 12 months; to be both successful as a company and significant as a community.
Perhaps what I am most proud of this year, however, is the work with did with various cancer organizations across the seven Celtic nations. Our “Celts for Cancer” initiative raised awareness and tens of thousands of dollars for cancer research, prevention, treatment and services.
As it is for so many folks, it is a disease that hits close to home – perhaps, in my case, a little too close. My father, Kenneth – a proud Irish-Canadian (with Welsh and Scottish ties) – passed away from cancer in the summer of 2015. Shortly after, I underwent 7 weeks of chemotherapy and radiation to remove cancerous cells in my neck and throat.
Interestingly, like my father, my core concern during the malaise was not of myself, but rather the well-being of those around me; as many cancer survivors will tell you, we can deal with both the process and the end-result (good or bad) in our own time and on our own terms – however, it is not uncommon for us to struggle with the uncertainties of family, friends, co-workers and associates. Often, all we need is a little reassurance that the people we know and love are going to be alright, no matter the outcome.
Thankfully, my story has a happy ending, and as I approach the three-year anniversary of my final treatments, I am feeling and doing better than ever. In hindsight, and while I would not wish the experience upon anyone, my battle with cancer gave me many gifts, not the least of which has been a shift in perspective and paradigm; very quickly, and though it is an obvious cliché, the things that mattered to me just a short time ago now seem somewhat…insignificant.
Divesting myself of distractions has afforded me greater opportunities to focus upon the things that do matter to me; health, family, friends, travel, art, good food, and meaningful work. I smile and laugh a lot more these days as well. Most importantly, perhaps, I am mindful of my moments, where time stands still.
Enjoy our Best of Celtic Life International 2018 HERE.
-Stephen Patrick Clare, CEO & Editor-in-Chief