The emotional Fruitcake — one bite at a time!

Jon Acton
9 min readDec 16, 2023

This is a very specialized message. Although extremely personal, I suspect it just might resonate with others for a variety of reasons. I’m not sure if this writing will be motivational, reflective, remorseful or purposeful? Maybe a little bit of everything all dumped into one big holiday fruitcake of emotions.

I have previously shared about difficult health situations, losses of family and friends and even losses of confidence and courage. This one seems to be even more difficult. There is trepidation rising with each word I type on whether to share these thoughts or just swallow the emotions like I have for a long, long time. Another restless and basically sleepless night prods me that I share in hopes this may help someone else struggling with a similar situation. Please excuse me if this message is wobbly, wavy and wandery (is that a word?) The only way to begin is to simply begin.

Life can sure get messy in a hurry. Sometimes there is no discernable reason why, and sometimes a look in the mirror can quickly identify the culprit for the chaos. I wish my mirror wasn’t so clear to see pretty who is responsible for my current mix of maladies. Although I know better, I can make a mess of my mental and physical well-being, finances and relationships. Sometimes that person in the mirror can hit the holiday parlay of what not to do and impact everything at the same time. That takes talent, but not in a good way. I embarrassingly even angrily admit that is me. During this most Joyous time of the year, I feel a lot like a mix between George Bailey from the movie “It’s a Wonderful Life” and Billy Bob Thornton from the movie “Bad Santa. “

I will not share with the world, because it’s a lot. Imagine a bad tasting fruit cake with so many ingredients mixed together it’s hard to know what all the ingredients are? Maybe you are in a similar situation and feeling some paralysis due to everything arriving all at once. Looking back at the mirror it becomes clear that this Fruitcake of “stuff (the word is never stuff) did not just arrive all at once. The architect of this chaos (me) has been baking this detestable non-dessert for many years. But now, like right now, it seems to be a good a time to start eating the “stuffy” Fruitcake one bite at a time. I am learning with each bite that more ingredients “stuff” ( the word is never stuff) are revealed and must be addressed.

One of the beautiful things about humanity is how people can rally around those…

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Jon Acton

Husband, Father, Former School Superintendent, National Blue Ribbon School Principal, Teacher, Coach, Author in progress