I began 2021 by reading a piece from my Claude Williamson book Great True Stories of the Islands (1961), and this year (2022) I begin in a similar fashion by reading about (the islet of) Rockall. I enjoyed reading (as part of my ‘Brian reads…’ series, various other things throughout 2021, including stories from Volume 9 of Arthur Mee’s Children’s Encyclopedia (I will begin Volume 10 soon), including abridged versions of Shakespeare’s Comedies (still a work in progress), The Unabomber Manifesto (uploaded in 8 parts), and prior to today’s offering, A Christmas Tree by Charles Dickens. For 2022 I want to finish the Claude Williamson’s book as I’m only halfway through it and I feel that as a project it’s dragging on somewhat.
Looking back over a year in this fashion it surprises me how much I actually ‘get done’ when it might seem (to me) that I’m not achieving a great deal (it’s easy to get oneself down with this way of thinking – or perhaps it’s a case of thinking this way because one is already down…). I (therefore prefer to) reassure myself with the fruits of my labours, and recognise that by chipping away each day/week/month at the various things I want to achieve and/or enjoy doing that by the end of the year I have ‘something to show for it’, even if that’s just a list of intangible stuff. In the midst of my efforts progress can seem to be non-existent, and dwelling on this perception threatens to actually grind things to a halt.
I can say the same about my efforts and progress elsewhere; I had my best year walking/running-wise, with numerous walks out in the countryside of Wales – it being my best year to date for miles covered on foot. Cycling efforts have been on-par with other years, although I’d had some somewhat slack months throughout the year and thus when it came to December I was too far behind to achieve a nice round sum (but I can remember with fondness a year that I rolled up in the darkness of New Years Eve having completed 6,000 miles).
I learned and repeated a few lessons throughout this year:
- Start as you mean to go on
- Don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do today
- And, something about that whole “chipping away” each day thing.
I don’t mean to sound like my 2021 was all a raving success with a vast list of achievements; far from it. Indeed some things did stall or see next-to-no progress, and perhaps even some experienced a step or two backwards. But I hope in this brief “look at what I did achieve” and how I got there, I (and perhaps a reader or two) will be spurred on. I believe 2022 will be a great year, if, as in the words of Jean-Luc Picard, you “Make it so.”