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2021 in Retrospective

Although it's hard to believe, the calendar doesn't lie. This year is almost history. Already. And that realization forces me to ask myself, Where has the time gone? And what have I accomplished during the past year?

That last question led me to revisit and review the goals lists I made at the beginning of the year. Although I didn't accomplish everything on those lists, I achieved more than I might have done had I not dared to make the list and attempt doing those things.

Aim for the moon. It's a given that you won't reach it, but you'll go far higher than if you'd never launched into the air at all.

So how close to the moon did I come? Not too close, I'm afraid. I'm still in the stratosphere. In fact, maybe even only the troposphere. But I did accomplish something. Let me summarize.

Books read--39 (Four of these--yes, four!--were fiction. Has to be a record for me. There's still a couple of weeks left in the year, so maybe I can add another one or two to these 39!)

Books published--1 (Christ in Camp and Combat: Religious Work in the Confederate Armies). Another book (Evangelism and Expulsion: Missionary Work among the Cherokees until Removal) was supposed to have been released in 2021, but it was delayed as a result of Covid's negative effects on the publisher's schedule. It has now been scheduled for release in February 2022. (Stay tuned!)

Manuscripts written/completed and submitted--2 (Southern Voices, Universal Truths: Fugitives, Agrarians, and the Battle for Southern Values and Dillon's War: Tracing the Steps of a Spearhead Driver for an Artillery Forward Observer through Europe in World War II)

Blog posts written and published--61 (62 if you count this one)

Stories recorded and aired for the Our American Stories radio program--6 (and 1 other recorded but most likely to be aired sometime in 2022)

People interviewed for writing projects--3 (two authors for the blog and an aspiring historian for the historical society newsletter)

Involvements in the Travelers Rest Historical Society--Wrote 4 issues of Preservation, the 4--page newsletter of the Society; monthly docent duty at the museum; monthly board meetings; manned the Society's information table twice during city events; kept abreast of progress made in restoration efforts at Spring Park Inn

Articles written and published--2

Chapel messages delivered--8

So what about all those unfinished or unaccomplished goals from the 2021 lists? I'll simply roll them over into 2022. My to-do list is already started! And I'll soon add a lot more items to that list, I'm sure.

How about your own year in retrospect? How did you do with your goals? (You did set some, didn't you?!) Now it's time to begin thinking about setting the goals for next year.

By the way, one of my final goals for 2021 is yet unfinished, but I intend to accomplish it before the year fades into the mists of the past. I want to enjoy the Christmas holidays with my wife, daughters, sons-in-law, and grandchildren. After all, it is our year for all of us to be together (in even-numbered years, the daughters spend the holiday with their husbands' families). To achieve that goal, I'm putting the blog on hiatus until after the holidays.

Meanwhile, I hope that you, too, will take a little time to put your own family at the top of your list of priorities during this time when we commemorate the Savior's birth while anticipating His coming again.

Merry Christmas to all. We'll see you next year with new goals, new hopes, new dreams.

Aim for the moon!

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