Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Joining with Wednesday's Hodgepodge!

Linking up with Joyce over at

Thank you Joyce for building this
Wednesday Hodgepodge
for all of us to share!

Here we go...

1. Are you doing anything special to mark this season of Advent? If so please share.

Not really. This has been a year of change for us, traditions have been broken, life is less complicated and more unpredictable. This change was necessary for many reasons.

2. Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner, Blitzen... and of course you recall, the most famous reindeer of all... so, which reindeer name beast describes your week?

It would have to be Blitzen because he would have to be a bit stubborn and a lot of fun to have been given this name. 

3. What's worse - too quiet or too loud? Which have you had more of lately?

In years past, too quiet would have been worse. I have chosen this year to be one of reflection and choice. So I have had more quiet lately, to the dismay of a few of my friends who loved the loud side of me. These friends will have to take over the large parties this year, as I am enjoying the quiet and closeness of my relationships, which was my gift to myself this season.

4. This question comes to you from Zoanna over at A Penchant for Pens – thanks Zo!

When you are administratively gifted, how often do you find yourself not trusting less gifted people to do what they've committed to do? If you are not so gifted that way, but are reliable, how do you feel when the stronger person (in that area) goes ahead and covers it before giving you a chance to come through?

I would say that depends on the purpose of the task. If the purpose is to bring people together as a team building exercise then I must trust others and allow them to rise or fall to the task. For the purpose is to get to know each other.

If the purpose is to accomplish a necessary task within a specific time frame, then just do it, and let the chips fall where they may. If I am the less gifted person (which we all are at times) I would welcome strong leadership to guide me though my commitments and if I am slow to respond, please go ahead and do it, then brief me honestly afterwards. I just hate it when people feel they must be coddled, it throws the project off balance, and the coddling can turn into gossip, changing the direction and end result and making it more difficult to get leaders to volunteer.

5. What is your most dreaded task relating to the holidays? Your most looked forward to holiday task?

I can't believe I am saying this but I hate gift buying. I am one of those persons who needs a list. I would much prefer to buy gift cards, and allow the gifted to choose what they want. When our children were little, they always had a list, the catalogs and sales fliers had pencil and ink markings all over them. Now that they are older, they buy what they want, when they want, so no list.

My most looked forward to task would be decorating while listening to Christmas music. It is a low stress, do what I can, when I can, kind of project and it continues all they way up to Christmas Day. I love changing things around, re-using items in a different way, it is soothing to hold an ornament letting the memories from over the years flow. It warms my heart.

6. Facebook has released its list of the “most talked about topics of 2013”, Pope Francis took the number one spot. Does that surprise you? He was followed by election, royal baby, typhoon, and Harlem Shake. Your thoughts? What was your most talked about subject in 2013? (Facebook around the kitchen table, or wherever it is you talk)

I would have to say Pope Francis. For me this is a year of deep thought and life changes and Pope Francis was a breath of fresh air for me. Seeing for myself (on tv) that he hugged and prayed for a man covered in tumors, that he laughed as a child came up on stage and played with his robe, and that he chose to drive in a less expensive car was uplifting to me. In this day of public judgment and immediate gratification, he is leading by way of simple and human choices.

7. What's something you consider a necessity that others might view as a luxury?

Indoor plumbing, even when camping, I want a flush toilet and hot water close by. For those in my family who don't mind roughing it in the woods – I do, and I want to be within four wheeling distance to a REAL bathroom.

8. Insert your random thought here.

Hmmmm... Oh I must think long and hard, for my attitude was shaken up by cancer and death not too long ago.

But this is on my mind this year...

I have always prepared the holiday meals for our family and friends every holiday, every year for 30+ years. This year, I stepped back, mostly because the joy had been depleted from my heart. I wanted to take time... to make room and rebuild my joy, to not work so hard and delve into exhaustion and overload.

A few people are not happy with me, it seems the holidays are ceasing to exist because I chose to take this year off. A friend, even went as far as to blame me for her holidays being bad this year. This year was necessary for me and I have enjoyed getting to know ME again. I have enjoyed intentionally quiet times, slow times, and easy times with myself, my husband and my children. I have truly enjoyed one on one conversations with the people I love dearly.

I feel blessed to have been given this time.


  1. What a great, fun way to get to know you a little better!!

    I am not hosting either holiday this year either. First time in 35 years!! We had a blast in NYC and I can't wait to spend Christmas at my sons home!! New traditions for me for sure....I have really enjoyed the feeling of no stress, no pressure!!

  2. Jackie- What a great post and I feel like I know you even better now. It is hard for us to step back sometimes-really hard for me- so I applaud you for doing that. Cancer is a big life-changer. Losing my brother to Cancer this year was a real eye opener, too. Life has changed for me in many ways- things that used to be important have fallen by the wayside in several areas. God bless you- I am so glad to have met you here-- xo Diana ps. I think you know that you come through as a No Reply when you leave a comment on my blog-otherwise I would respond to you every time-

  3. No worries about the link I left for you!! I shared it because we talked about the griswolds!! I knew you would enjoy it!!

  4. This is an amazing post and I loved reading it.
    Thanks so so much for sharing such a large part of you.
    xo bj

  5. Welcome to the Hodgepodge! I'm so glad you joined in today. I think there are seasons where we do need time to step back and be still. We have walked through some heavy grief in our family in the past year and a half, and everything looks a little different. I think when you suffer a big loss, it filters everything in your life into the important and the not so important, and you find yourself wanting to concentrate on the important. I hope you find joy in this season of Advent. Merry Christmas!

  6. I always enjoy your every post and getting to know you better. Usually I'm reading it on my phone which for some reason won't allow me to comment!
    I applaud you in taking care of YOU this year! It is impossible to care for others in a healthy manner if you haven't taken care of yourself first.
    Remember what they say in the safety procedures when you fly on an airline? If the oxygen masks are needed - place one on you FIRST - then assist those around you!! Good job, Jackie!!!


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