My “Happy Chimney-Corner Days” List: 2021 Edition

Every year while my husband slumps into depression over taking down the Christmas tree and turning off the holiday tunes, I blaze forth in clutter-purging, to-do-list-compiling, New-Year’s-resolution-composing glory.

But not this year.

“Wither is fled the visionary gleam?” I can’t say for sure, but when I started pondering resolutions, two questions nudged me. What do I want to look forward to this year? And where will I find meaning? No goals captured my vision, just snapshots of the dear people I love most. This year if I can truly learn to spend time with my close people unmarred by hurry, distraction, or to-do lists – that will be enough.

And for my own soul, I thought of a few…hmmm, “consolations” shall we call them? Certainly not “tasks” or even “activities”! I’d like to finally turn that long-neglected bright pile of scraps into a quilt (or at least get a start!); garden; write; maybe, maybe take a trip to the beach; and read, read, read.

Ahem. I couldn’t quite repudiate my list-making propensity. When I looked back on my 2020 reading list, I saw some worthy, soul-warming books. But the list lacked intention, a clear path to the wisdom, knowledge and character-growth I’m seeking. I delightedly stumbled upon The Literary Life Podcast and their 19 Books in 2021 Challenge. The challenge possesses enough of the categories I love reading to keep me motivated plus a few areas of staunch challenge.

The only category I didn’t fill out is “A Book from Your To-Be-Read” stack, because that particular stack is so tall I can’t choose just one but shall wait to see what allures me most in the moment. I’m giving myself permission for last-minute changes in other categories, too. No one loves a list more than I, but I also crave the heady freedom of choosing my literary land whenever the serendipitous yen hits.

What stacks are you gathering for “happy chimney-corner days” to come in 2021? Want to take the reading challenge with me? I would love to see your list in the comments!

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