End of the Year: Looking Forward and Backward

Bloggy year-end round-up

We only covered 10 books and/or stories this year:

This is a very short list of literature, and it doesn’t include the books that I read -or at least mostly read- but didn’t make time to review them.

There were 15 Word Nerd Wednesday posts. I always enjoy dissecting words, their meanings and origins, as well as the evolution of language so those posts are always fun to write.

The remaining posts of 2021 were a random conglomeration of posts on numerous subjects. The majority were related to education, but a few covered politics and culture, and an even smaller percentage were personal bits of moments in daily life.

If I had to sum up 2021 with a word or expression, it would easily be learning curve.

This year was marked new balls tossed into the daily juggling act, and they were things I’d either not done in almost 30 years, or had never done before. The things got done, but they weren’t all done well enough for me to be satisfied with them.

Because of the aforementioned, my expression/goal for 2022 is to move from learning the curve to riding the wave through becoming more skilled and a better manager of things. The corollary to riding the wave is purging the unnecessary, which is not one of my strong suits. We’ll see how that goes.

I’m not a fan of resolutions, but I feel like I need to make a plan so that I don’t start 2022 with the feeling I had as this year ended. Namely, I felt as if I was always chasing my life, trying to keep up. Too stressful; especially for a planner like me.

On a more serious note, one thing I want to improve is to handle all these things with grace and skill, and yet without forgetting to trust God with the results and having peace with whatever comes.

After all, 2022 is looking like it may be a doozy of a year, politically and economically. I’d like to believe none of those tremors are going to affect our day to day living, but seeing as I have not done a good job of prepping so that I can laugh at the days ahead, I’ll need to keep my wits about me.

Have a Blessed and Merry Christmas and Lord Willing, I’ll meet you back here sometime next year!

Short Story: The Heavenly Christmas Tree

I’ve wondered on more than one occasion what to make of the fact that I find the late Russian novelist Fyodor Dostoyevsky so comforting. Plenty of people love Dostoyevsky, I don’t believe that makes me in any way special. It’s that I find his rather dark expressions of the world comforting. What many think of as dark, I view as realistic, and accepting the world as it is can be comforting as much as alarming.

That was actually a warm up to the very sad short story I am linking to as this year’s Christmas post. It’s called The Heavenly Christmas Tree, is a very short read (15 minutes at most), and is readily available for free on the web.

It’s a sad story with a joyful ending because it ends in Heaven, but its journey is a mournful one. Although this is Advent and not Easter, reading it reminds me of Christ’s journey to Calvary. It too was a mournful one that culimnated with the joy; the joy of His resurrection and ascension.

Here’s a snippet of Dostoyevsky’s compelling and beautifully written short story:

Touching his mother’s face, he was surprised that she did not move at all and that she was as cold as the wall. “It is very cold here,” he thought. He stood a little, unconsciously letting his hands rest on the dead woman’s shoulders, then he breathed on his fingers to warm them, and then quietly fumbling for his cap on the bed, he went out of the cellar. He would have gone earlier, but was afraid of the big dog which had been howling all day at the neighbor’s door at the top of the stairs. But the dog was not there now, and he went out into the street.

Mercy on us, what a town! He had never seen anything like it before. In the town from which he had come, it was always such black darkness at night. There was one lamp for the whole street, the little, low-pitched, wooden houses were closed up with shutters, there was no one to be seen in the street after dusk, all the people shut themselves up in their houses, and there was nothing but the howling of packs of dogs, hundreds and thousands of them barking and howling all night. But there it was so warm and he was given food, while here—oh dear if he only had something to eat! And what a noise and rattle here, what light and what people, horses and carriages, and what a frost! The frozen steam hung in clouds over the horses, over their warmly breathing mouths; their hoofs clanged against the stones through the powdery snow, and everyone pushed so, and—oh, dear, how he longed for some morsel to eat, and how wretched he suddenly felt. A policeman walked by and turned away to avoid seeing the boy.

You should read the rest. At the very least, it should inspire gratitude for the bounty most of us are enjoying this Christmas season. At most, it will inspire longing for the feast that awaits us at the end of all temporal things.

Merry Christmas!

Friday Fave: Matt Walsh Story Hour

Conservative podcast host Matt Walsh is now a best-selling children’s author. His new book, released by the Daily Wire’s publishing arm, is titled Johnny the Walrus.

It’s a board book for kids with a whimsical, common sense, and explicitly non-political take on the trangender craze. He never uses the terms “trans” or “gender” or “sex” in the book, but the message is clear.

Walsh, as anyone who has watched his show is well aware, is not an exemplar of charisma, gregariousness, or charm. His shtick is more like an angry old man in a young man’s body most of the time. That’s what makes this video so very funny to me!

Watch as Walsh reads his new book to a room full of young kids. I loved every second. Our family laughed out loud.

Happy Friday and enjoy!