Links I love: Question More

As 2016 winds down and my birthday inches nearer, it’s time for me to take an honest assessment of where I am in this journey called life.  I used to think it was a curse to have a birthday in the gap between Christmas and New Year’s. As I’ve grown I’ve come to see the timing of my birthday, instead, as a special gift.

As winter settles in, the days are shorter, nights colder and I find myself with more alone time to contemplate these big questions that are often lost in the noise of activity during the warmer months.

I want to share with you some of those big questions that are floating around in my head seeking answers that will work best for me in 2017.

link love



Straw bale gardening was all the rage and seemed like the perfect answer to a truly green and organic garden. I considered this method myself and followed the experiments of others with straw bales.  After reading this story on the hidden dangers of straw bale gardening I’ve decided to pass on this experiment.

Considering a new challenge or goal for the New Year, what about becoming a non-consumer?   In Effects of Consumerism the contrast between how much land we need to live as we do compared with the amount of land actually available on our planet questions just where we find the extra land to support our lifestyle.  The answer might spur you to set that new goal for 2017.

I’m a perfectionist, it was breed into me with the lesson of “if you can’t do it perfectly there’s no point doing it at all” pounded into my brain as a child.  So with everything I do, including moving toward a sustainable lifestyle, there’s this argument in my head between the perfectionist and the realist who just wants a bit of fun along the way.  I found perspective and common sense returned to me with this article on sustainable living which tells us it’s okay to make the changes that work for us and frees us from the assumption that to live sustainably the right way we all need to live in an off-grid cabin in the woods. Although, I still wouldn’t mind that little cabin in the woods.

Do you still have Christmas gifts to finish or purchase? Are you overloaded with suggestions on how to spend less this season? Take a break and check out this list of suggestions on how to enjoy the holidays more through making the days more fun.

Let me end with a quote for the New Year

Christmas-day is the pleasantest day in the whole year. On that day we think tenderly of distant friends; we strive to forgive injuries—to close accounts with ourselves and the world—to begin the new year with a white leaf, and a trust that the chapter of life about to be written will contain more notable entries, a fairer sprinkling of good actions, fewer erasures made in blushes, and fewer ugly blots than some of the earlier ones.

                                                      ~Alexander Smith (1829–1867), “Winter,” 1863

With our Family Christmas dinner two days away, I’ll leave you now to head back to the kitchen to finish the baking and to put the final touches on the house.

Do you have a time each year you set aside for reflection?

What would you like to see improved in your life in 2017?



  1. I don’t have a specific time of year that I reflect on things, but I do do a lot of reflections on my life after I visit my mother. That takes me back to where I grew up and reminds me of where I started, where I’ve been, and where I want to go. My husband and I have had many important discussions on the long drive home from one of these visits.


    • You know anytime I visit my birthplace I too spend time reflecting. Don’t go there often and maybe it’s because I don’t enjoy those memories. I hope your memories are better than mine.

      How is your mother doing? Will she be able to spend Christmas with you?


  2. Christmas is not my time for reflecting. It’s my time for sharing and showing as much love to the world around me as I can. I get the time for deep reflection when the holidays are over and the world stops for a few weeks. i reflect a bit every night while I journal and add my gratitude’s for the day. I just want to feel caught up next year. Have time to read some of those books and finish more of my own projects. Maybe make a little extra cash and lose a lot of weight. The weight is symbolic as well as physical. I have spent almost no money this year on gifts, just lots of time.


    • You must be exhausted tonight. I’m glad to hear you finally gave up trying to get the last few gifts made. I know your family will enjoy spending time with you more than receiving a gift but you being too exhausted to join in the Christmas dinner fun.

      Enjoy your dinner.
      Merry Christmas, Marlene.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yesterday we started unloading the storage unit of my things. It’s all in my house now. 😦 My sister is buying my lamps so they don’t have to go on Craig’s list again. The rest is already on it. No calls yet.:( Back at you, Lois.


        • Really? all those things you had in storage you don’t want to hold on to now? I wish you all the best selling them. Craigslist doesn’t work well for me in my new location. I’m too far from the city for people to want to drive out here.

          Liked by 1 person

          • My house is filled with crap everywhere! I can hardly wait to start getting rid of stuff. Took another load to Salvation Army today. It will be easier to go through once his stuff is out of here and I can start sorting through it. One more week.


          • I wouldn’t want to trade places with you right now, I can’t stand clutter so not being able to sort all that out and finally claim that extra bedroom would be driving me nuts. I’ve already hit the need to declutter here, I’m getting antsy being inside.

            Liked by 1 person

  3. I would say that after Christmas, especially New Years Eve and New Years Day have always been the most intense days of introspection and planning for the year ahead for me. And in general, winter, when the days are short and the nights long, I tend to be more introspective than other times of the year.
    The transition from living alone for quite a few years to having a partner again has been my journey for the last 18 months. I have lost a lot of my in-my-head time and I am realizing how much my creativity was dependent on that. It is something I plan to give a lot of thought to soon, right after the busy-ness and giving of Christmas is over.
    I hope you enjoy your celebration this weekend, Lois!


    • A few years back I shared my space with someone and found rather too quickly that I’d been alone too long to be able to share a home any more. I’m glad your transition has been better than mine and know you and the writer will figure the rest out in time.

      I hope you get to spend some time with your family over the holiday, best wishes and Merry Christmas to you, Cynthia.


  4. All the best for your approaching birthday and I hope you had a lovely family celebration this weekend!
    I have just discovered we are (unexpectedly and last-minute – I don’t usually host!) 14 for Christmas dinner on Sunday – yay!! LOL
    It’s been a crazy year and the next is not likely to be all that much different, possibly worse, so catching my breath is about all I am aiming for right now, being able to keep on top of things and a certain sense of balance. That will be fine for me if I can do it! At least I am in beautiful surroundings most of the time.
    Just taking deep breaths for now…!


    • Thank you for the birthday wishes. It will be a quiet day for me which is my favorite way to spend my birthday.

      That’s a houseful you will be having on Christmas but I know it will be a wonderful day as the more family that can be together the more love we feel. Enjoy your dinner and squeeze that new baby for me.

      We all need to take a deep breath, 2016 was one heck of a year. Here’s hoping 2017 will be better or at least we will have time for a few breaths between the news stories.
      Merry Christmas.


  5. I think Lois I often reflect too much.. And I have needed time to refocus and balance these last few weeks hence my absence from WP… I have been within my own inner healing journey and trying to stay focused upon the Now of my moments as I reflected too much upon the past..
    The future I have to have faith in .. And knowing we are each of us contributing to our future by the actions of our now moments I am choosing to hold peace within my heart..
    I send you lots of Love Lois for your forthcoming Birthday, I hope you have a magical day..
    I also send you much love to you for a wonderful Christmas with your beautiful family.. I wish you all a Happy and Peaceful New Year ..
    Sending Love and Blessings and a big thank you for your friendship..
    Love Sue ❤ ❤ ❤ xxx


    • Hi Sue, I saw you were taking a break and hope the time away has helped you to ground your thoughts. I did the opposite, since I was trying to avoid news on our election I turned to books on the environment that might give me a new point of view or at least a new way of challenging myself to do better and set an example. It was my diversion in other words.

      Thank you, and I wish you and your family a lovely Christmas and New Year’s. I know love will be with you and am sending you love from across the pond.

      Liked by 1 person

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