If you’re reading this, you survived 2021!

And so did I, although it’s been a bit scary lately. There’s the omicron variant; there are tornadoes demolishing entire towns; there are people being shooed out of a Costco into blowing smoke and ashes. And I won’t even get into politics.

For me the last two months have also offered the banal middle-class horror of Lots of Stuff Breaking at Once. I unexpectedly require a new boiler, a more reliable car, minor (but expensive) dental work, and minor (but expensive) surgery for Penny the cat.

Penny irritated at the attention I’m giving a book.

It could be a lot worse. I have savings. I still have a house to put a new boiler into, unlike a lot of other folks. I still have my teeth AND my cat. And I haven’t lost anyone dear to Covid or anything else, knock wood.

It’s good that the new variant seems a little less brutal, at least to the vaccinated, since we’re all getting rather “whatever” about it. Last week I finally managed to get my hands on four home tests, but my stepdaughter agreed that using them was kind of pointless since they’d already had a bunch of exposures that week. We still went, because it was Christmas, and I hadn’t seen them in ages, and those kids were due for some pumpkin muffins. (The tests will come in handy before I fly to visit my folks this winter, assuming the plane actually takes off.)

If the pandemic taught me anything, it’s that I have too long taken for granted the ability to get together with people I enjoy. Like many of us, I want to do more of that in 2022.

Which brings us to RESOLUTIONS…

Yeah, no, let’s just call them GOALS

(Maybe they’re a little less likely to be quickly abandoned that way.)

Besides the getting together: 1) Take care of all the broken-down issues without much more agonizing, 2) Get back in the product management groove with the books, 3) Lift weights at least twice a week instead of maybe once every two or three weeks when I finally stop saying I’ll do it tomorrow, and 4) Work towards giving a full 10% of my income to charity on a monthly basis instead of trying to figure it out at the end of the year when (cough) I might suddenly be facing a whole host of unexpected expenses.

Yes, part of me is thinking but isn’t it a good thing you didn’t spend all that money already? Because you sure as heck need it now! But I don’t think it really works like that. Have two coats, give one away, that’s the ideal Jesus preached. And I still literally have at least three coats. (Four, if you count a really ratty one I ought to throw out.) If I’ve already spent that money, I’ll adjust as I go along. If life as an adjunct and a writer has taught me anything, it’s how to cut back on expenses.

Oh, and while the ten percent goal comes from the Biblical concept of tithing, it’s not all going to my church. I’ve been involved enough with that organization’s budget to know that while it requires my regular support, too, if I want to actually feed the poor, help heal the sick, build affordable housing, etc., I’d better support various charities that actually focus on that and do it well: Feeding America, Doctors Without Borders, Habitat for Humanity, and more, including good local charities. And most of them would benefit from steady monthly donations instead of the usual end-of-year clumps.

So I commend them to your planning for 2022, too.

So that’s it. Maybe I’ll publish the next book, or maybe I’ll hold it until I have a sequel written. I’m planning to read FEWER books in 2022, because I got to 122 I liked enough to recommend on Goodreads this year and that’s ridiculous. (That’s either #123 up there in the photo with Penny or #1 for 2022.)

And tell me your goals for 2022 if you’d like. I’ve changed the moderation on posts so that those of you who’ve had comments approved before will get published without having to wait for me to notice your comment waiting.

P.S. If you’d like more of a catch-up on my writing, I was recently the subject of a lovely interview by Suanne Schafer. Folks are telling me it’s a good read, and I certainly enjoyed doing it.

COMMENTS / QUESTIONS / CONCERNS?