Friday, January 8, 2021

Cataclysmic Catalyst: Secret Subject Swap


Secret Subject Swap, a multi-blogger writing challenge | developed and run by | #MyGraphics



Welcome a Secret Subject Swap. This month 5 brave bloggers picked a secret subject for someone else and were assigned a secret subject to interpret in their own style. Today we are all simultaneously divulging our topics and submitting our posts. Read through mine and at the bottom you’ll find links to all of today’s other Secret Subject participants.



My subject is: 2020 was challenging. What are your hopes for 2021?
It was submitted by: Tamara of Part-time Working Hockey Mom.

In years gone by I would have had a light, easy, frivolous, almost thoughtless answer to your question. Self centered in part, for sure, but also including hopes both nationally and globally. Winning the lottery, peace on earth, goodwill towards (wo)men, all of those trite responses just don't cut it any more.
As the issues we face have become more complex, our situation more dire, our eyes jarred open, and what had been our normal lives obliterated, the answer to a question like that becomes so much more consequential. 

On New Year's eve we sing "make new friends, but keep the old, one is silver and the other gold."  Over the past four years, but this last one in particular, it seems most of us have found our stash of those precious metals depleted. In this country we talk abut how divided we've become. Divided is an understatement, it diminishes the true depth of the chasm. It's not really a divide, in many ways it's a severance. We have not just taken sides, but declared war. On each other. Or those of us who are left, our population has decreased by almost half a million. 

I sit in my nice warm house, texting my sons, grateful to still have a mother, cooking dinner, knowing how fortunate I am, and realizing how deeply depressing fortunate can be at a time like this.
People are homeless. And not just a few of them. People are dead. And not just a few of them. People are hungry. And not just a few of them. People are jobless. And not just a few of them. People are uncertain about the future. All of us.

Spicy Chicken with Peanuts cooks in one pan in about half an hour and dinner is served! | Recipe developed by | #recipe #dinner

Spicy Chicken with Peanuts
Spicy Chicken with Peanuts cooks in one pan in about half an hour and dinner is served! | Recipe developed by | #recipe #dinner

There will be an inauguration in this country, in less than 2 weeks. It gives many of us hope, and it should. Not enough of us (by a long shot), but at least most of us, are shouting "enough." But there is nothing, nothing, that a new administration can do to counteract a great deal of the damage already done. We can hope to stop the relentless assault to our morals, values, decorum, integrity, global relationships, and environment, but there is immeasurable damage that cannot be undone. The most powerful example of that are the people who are gone who will not be coming back.
So, my one overarching hope for 2021, both personal and global, is that we are all able to take what we collectively experienced in 2020 and use it to make deep, systemic, humanitarian change. That we honor all that and who we have lost, through our determination that the chaos and unspeakable suffering we endured in order to see more clearly ourselves, our community, our states, our country, our government, and our world, serves as a catalyst for change.
Never Again | Graphic created by and property of
Never again, 2020. Never again. 

Here are links to all the sites now featuring Secret Subject Swap posts. Sit back, grab a cup, and check them all out. See you there:

Part-time Working Hockey Mom 


The Crazy Mama Llama 

Wandering Web Designer 

Baking In A Tornado signature | | #MyGraphics

Spicy Chicken with Peanuts        

Printable Recipe

1# boneless skinless chicken breasts
3 TBSP oil
3/4 tsp garlic powder
1/3 cup finely chopped onion 
1 tsp minced ginger
1 tsp minced garlic
1/4 cup oyster sauce
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup Thai sweet chili sauce
1 TBSP brown sugar
1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 cup roasted peanuts (no salt), shelled and chopped

*Chop the chicken into bite sized pieces.
*Heat the oil in a large skillet on medium heat. Add the chicken and sprinkle with the garlic powder. Cook, stirring now and then until the chicken is no longer pink. Drain, then return the pan to the stove.
*Add the chopped onion, minced ginger and minced garlic to the pan with the chicken. Cook and stir for 1 minute.
*Whisk together the oyster sauce, soy sauce, sweet chili sauce, brown sugar, and red pepper flakes. Add to the pan with the chicken. Bring to a boil.
*Reduce the heat to medium low and allow to simmer, stirring now and then, for 5 minutes. 
*Serve sprinkled with the chopped peanuts.


  1. My hope for 2021, Inauguration happens.

  2. I think there will be change but if it will be true, everlasting, good change is the question. I fear we are going to be shocked by how far some of the evil on display Wednesday has seeped into our most cherished institutions, once we are able to investigate. And, our memories tend to be somewhat short. My hope for 2021 is that it isn't the terrible sequel to 2020. Alana

    1. The evil, I'm convinced, has been there, just shoved into the closet by decency. I'm not naive enough to hope it will go away, just that we can get it locked back in the closet.

  3. The underbelly has been exposed, and it isn't pretty. My wish for 2021 is in line with yours, learning from what we have experienced!!
    "...deep, systemic, humanitarian change..."
    Beautifully said, as always, Karen!

    1. Thank you so much, Diane. Appreciate the support from our friends to the north.

  4. I hope 2021 is a year of answers, qhat answers do I want ? Damn I don't know so I will just go with the flow as per usual.

    1. I think we all need answers, and many of them we won't get, but if we can just move forward, that would be great.

  5. Exactly! My hope for 2021 is just that...hope.

  6. Along with other decoration, the office advent window we created this year shows a table, layed with a cheese fondue pot, plates, forks, wine glasses, you get the picture. However, the two stools were empty (in all honesty I couldn’t bring the teddy bears I had intended to sit there, toactually *sit* upright, but don’t tell anyone) so I made it into a contest for the visitors: “in your opinion, which two people, alive, fictional or dead, should sit here, enjoying a fondue together?”
    There were answers like “Bill Gates and Steve Jobs”, “Mr and Mrs Gerber” (that’s hubby and I) or “Santa and Schmutzli” (his (Swiss) helper), but one lady said “love and hope”, and she doesn’t know it yet, but she will win the competition!
    So here’s to hoping love and hope will win in 2021 ❤️

  7. We have come to a point where i simply hope to survive another year. Sad.

  8. Divided for sure, and i think we feel it more when were down. When were happy, it seems like were caught up in ourselves.

    1. It's hard to be caught up in ourselves with all the chaos exploding all around us.

  9. For the first time in 5 years I don't have this deep pressure in my chest. It feels good to finally feel that glimmer of hope.

    1. Yes it does. Four years is a long time to hold your breath.

  10. This was deep! And I can totally relate to your sentiments. The year 2020 gave me a new and different perspective on life. I chose to see the good and I allowed myself to filter out the bad experiences and memories. My anticipations for 2021 is just to live in the present moment….and not to worry about what and how I’m expecting the 2021 to be!

    Please check my latest posts on this! @thepositivewindow and @fashionpotluck []
    And I hope 2021 brings the best for everyone in the world. And we see good changes in motion....


    1. Yes, living in the present moment sounds like a good strategy.

  11. It's kind of sad that hope is all we have for 2021 when there are so many more possibilities. But hope sums up everything all at once, so perfectly explained.

  12. I don't know what I expect for 2021. I changed so much over 2020. I took so much more time to learn things I didn't know, to be more aware of how we got here, and there's no unlearning it. and unfortunately as you said, there is so much damage that can't be undone that's been building for decades. i just want to make it through it in one piece. i started it with covid in the first couple weeks, so I'm not hoping for much. haha

    1. I hear you, I started 2020 with the Shingles and the flu and it went downhill from there. I do still have hope for 2021. At least we got rid of the orange buffoon, that's a good sign.


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