by Annette Bridges. © 2006. All rights reserved.

Do you have dreams that have never been realized? Do you feel like it’s too late to act on them? Well, maybe it’s not!

Since my childhood, I have aspired to be a published author. I’ve always loved to write. Keeping a journal was a passion that began when I was 9 years old. But many years passed without my youthful dreams coming true.

The pursuit of ideals, for women and men alike, has long been a powerful force in restoring hope in the face of impossible odds. Its power often comes when we consider that impossible odds might sometimes be self-imposed odds that make us sigh with dismay: “too old” or “too late.” But to impossible odds, the dreamer and visionary will always say, “Not so!”

March being National Women’s History Month compels me to write about a woman whose life example tells me it’s never too late to pursue aspirations, achieve goals and fulfill one’s life purpose. I first learned of Mary Baker Eddy as an American author of a book that explained groundbreaking ideas about spirituality and health — ideas that are more at home in the 21st century than in her own 19th-century world, in fact.

David Hufford of the Pennsylvania State College of Medicine wrote in his book “Eddy: Current Running against the Mainstream”: “In the late 1800s, there were very few women in medical schools, in seminaries, or in universities. Mrs. Eddy and a handful of other women upset centuries of tradition when they began to speak and write about religious and medical issues … and to talk openly about the equality of men and women.”

Mary Baker Eddy openly challenged the conventional thinking in the theology, medicine and science of her times, and for this, she was often the target of criticism and slander. Consequently, I’ve found that some historical records still don’t tell all the facts of her life correctly. The lives of others have much to teach us, so how important it is for his-stories and her-stories to be accurately told!

What inspires me now as I approach the half-century mark is that she was 54 years old when her renowned book “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures” was first published. And top that with the fact that she was 87 years old when she launched The Christian Science Monitor as a balanced and ethical alternative to the sensational journalism of her day. A paper that remains a leading international newspaper, I might add.

Such accomplishments (and there were many others) by a woman during her middle age and senior years give me inspiration to imagine the possibilities for my dreams today.

Eddy’s own words provide some insight into how ambitions can be accomplished. “The devotion of thought to an honest achievement makes the achievement possible.” Her life and accomplishments proved this for us all.

History is filled with accounts of many great men and women who have reached their aims and attained their high hopes. Mary Baker Eddy describes their lives as “miracles of patience and perseverance.” And like them and like her, we’ve all got it in us.

Still feel like it’s too late to pursue your dreams? Well, maybe it’s not!

For more information about Mary Baker Eddy and her many accomplishments, visit the website of the Mary Baker Eddy Library.