Although I’ve never been much for New Year’s, save for enjoying a day off, I do appreciate the occasion it offers to look back on progress, and to plan for the future. As I’ve done the latter, already, time for future planning!
Last year was overwhelmed by the Classics Club, as my quest to finish ahead of time meant putting aside most other themes and projects. This year, I’m keeping things mixed, and unusually I’ve already got all my science reading planned! I’m toying with the idea of doing a “big read” in which I take on a larger work and share periodic updates from it – something like The Shahnameh or The Jewish Annotated New Testament, but we will see. That would definitely wait until I finish Brothers Karamazov! I’d also considered making 2020 the “Year of Beauty”, incorporating books on music, architecture, dance, novels with moral themes, etc — as a counterbalance to the political ugliness we’ll all be saturated in as November creeps our way — but it feels a little too ambitious. I want to take a break from huge themes and just have a little fun.
My two IRL resolutions for 2020 are to cook more and to make further progress towards minimalism. I donated 25 boxes of books to Goodwill over the course of 2019 (with another being filled presently!), and during the Christmas Day Massacre one of those boxes included numerous works by Isaac Asimov. That’s a huge step for me, having previously been a deliberate Asimov collector, but I see no point in keeping so many of his science essay collections which I know I’ll never revisit. The Robots-Empire-Foundation books and his mysteries are safe, of course. I will continue to ‘shave close’, to quote Thoreau, until my collection brings me peace and joy, rather than anxiety. The big challenge in 2020 will be media, however, that oppressive pile of DVD and game discs filling two bookcase shelves and spilling out onto the floor. But I’m emboldened by Thoreau and feel prepared to truly put to rout all that is not life. I have moral support coming up the pike, with The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning on hold and soon to be in my possession.
So that’s me in 2020. Hope to see you all there!