SubscribeStar Saturday: Happy New Year: Looking Back at 2021 and Plans for 2022

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Happy New Year!  Hard to believe we’re in 2022.  I still look back nostalgically 2012, which I consider a pretty banner year for yours portly.  That was ten years ago, and a lot has changed in that time.

2021 was fairly eventful, too, with a number of firsts for yours portly.  I was elected to Town Council (twice), wrote a book, hit 1000 days on the blog, got a dog, and made some great friends.

So, what does 2022 hold?  How will I build upon the groundwork of 2021?  And will I keep blogging every single day?

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TBT: Dawn of a Decade

It’s the first Thursday of 2021, so here we are with the first TBT of the year!  Fittingly, I’m looking back to the first post of 2020, “Dawn of Decade.”  As I noted at the time, the decade really began on 1 January 2021, so I suppose this throwback post works even better now.

In looking back at this post, it’s sobering to consider how much difference a year can make.  At the end of this post, I wrote, “Predictions being what they are—extremely unreliable—I’ll make a bold one:  2020 is going to be a great year.”

Yikes!  Talk about missing the mark big time.  Of course, on 1 January 2020, everything was going pretty well, at least for yours portly.  Sure, Trump was facing a sham impeachment, but the economy was swingin’.  I’d just come off my best year financially in terms of musical proceeds—enough to pay cash for my plucky 2017 Nissan Versa Note (a fitting model for a music teacher), and was booking some gigs at fun new venues.

Then, of course, The Virus changed everything, possibly forever.  Despite that, I still had a great year—reconnecting with friends and family; traveling far more extensively than normal; and diving more into my love of music.  It was just a very different year than I anticipated.

At the end of least year’s post, I included a word total for the year 2019 (which now WordPress tells me is slightly higher than I reported originally:  232,348 words total for 2019), so I’ll do the same for 2020.  In 2020, I wrote 253,377 words.  Assuming a page of double-text, size-12, Times New Roman font typing is roughly 300 words per page, that comes out to a whopping 844.59 pages of writing.

Granted, some of that is from TBT posts like this one, but the takeaway for me is that it’s time to compile some essays into ebooks.  Cha-ching!

With that, here is 1 January 2020’s “Dawn of a Decade“:

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Happy New Year 2021!

Well, here it is—the real dawn of a new decade.  As I noted in last year’s New Year’s Day post,

Wags will quip that “[2020]’s not really a new decade—that doesn’t start until next year, in 2021.”  It’s a case where the wags are correct on the facts, but don’t appreciate how appealing that nice, round “0” at the end looks.  Everyone was excited for 2000 AD; 2001 was greeted with shrugs.

I have a feeling 2021 will earn the same shrugs as 2001, with one crucial difference:  everyone was so desperate for 2020 to end, they’re going to treat 2021 as the dawn of a new age.

I wish I could share their optimism.  I am positive about the new year—an opportunity to reset and reflect, and to try to best goals set and/or achieved in 2020.

But the macro view looks bleak:  a questionable, if not outright stolen, presidential election; an enduring Chinese Virus; the draconian lockdowns and fiat edicts flimsily justified as measures against The Virus; the further decline of morality; and on and on.  The future doesn’t seem bright for the West at the moment.

History, however, suggests that it’s always darkest just before the dawn.  The cultural turmoil of the 1960s lead into the long, filthy 70s.  In 1979, America and the West were on the ropes:  the Soviets were invading Afghanistan; Americans were held hostage in Iran; the coal miner’s unions ruled Britain.

Ten years later, the Berlin Wall came down, the hostages were home, and Britain became a financial powerhouse.  It was cool to be conservative, at least for a time.  For a time, things were improving.

Maybe that was a temporary reprieve—as I believe President Trump’s presidency was, in many ways, was a reprieve from Leftist insanity—but it shows how even the darkest situations don’t inevitably lead to decline.  I’m a declinist by inclination, but I have to remember that God is in control, and He will see us through anything if we have faith.

So, here’s hoping that 2021 improves on 2020—which, in retrospect, wasn’t such a bad year after all.

Happy New Year!

—TPP

agriculture barley field beautiful close up

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Lazy Sunday LI: Just for Fun

I got back from my trip to Universal Studios just a few hours ago, so I’m slamming out this week’s Lazy Sunday before midnight so as to appease the WordPress Counter.  In the spirit of the fun-filled trip, here are some fun blog posts:

  • Happy Halloween” – Boy, I sure do love Halloween.  It’s even more exciting that it will fall on a Saturday this year.  What’s more fun than carving pumpkins, dressing up in weird outfits, and eating lots of candy?
  • The Joy of Autumn” – Speaking of Halloween, the whole autumnal feel—sweaters, crisp cool nights, college football, staying indoors—is inspiring and reassuring.  I find the coolness intellectually enlivening, and it’s a welcome break from South Carolina’s oppressive summers.  It’s still hot on Halloween here most years (and, I have found, oppressively muggy), but it’s not too far from the crisp cool nights.
  • Joy to the World” – One of several posts I wrote about Christmas carols, “Joy to the World” is one of my favorite Christmas tunes.  One plan for this summer is to expand my Christmas carol posts into a short eBook, hopefully to be available this fall.
  • Dawn of a Decade” – On the subject of long-term plans, this post kicked off 2020, spelling out my plans for the blog.  Talk about a rapidly-advancing year!  It’s already March 1st, and the year continues to zip along.

Well, that’s it for a hasty installment of Lazy Sunday.  Here’s hoping you have a fun week!

Happy Sunday!

—TPP

Other Lazy Sunday Installments:

Lazy Sunday XLIII: Music, Part II – More Music

Well, it had to come at some point—the end to my glorious Christmas Break.  Sure, sure, summer break is great, but two weeks off at Christmas is just the right amount of time to recharge the batteries.  Plus, it’s not 100 degrees outside, and we get to celebrate the Birth of Jesus!

I wrote a great deal about music in the last quarter of 2019, and I’m kicking off 2020 focused intensely on the performing arts:  I’m going to be in a play this weekend.  That personal detail is somewhat important for the blog, as after today my focus (other than work during the day) will be almost entirely on that production.  As such, posts may be shorter than usual, or a bit delayed in getting up.

Regardless, in keeping with the fine arts, I thought I’d feature three recent pieces I wrote about music.  Enjoy!

  • Milo on Romantic Music” – Readers are probably exhausted of reading about this post, but Milo’s analysis of Romantic music, while certainly contentious, is fascinating.  He might play the role of a melodramatic, catty queen online, but he possesses deep erudition on a variety of topics.  This post was one of “2019’s Top Five Posts” thanks to Milo’s sharing of it.
  • A Little Derb’ll Do Ya: Haydn’s ‘Derbyshire Marches’” – Saturday mornings just aren’t the same with Radio Derb‘s opening music, Haydn’s “Derbyshire March No. 2.”  Nothing makes you feel more sophisticated about pouring coffee in your underwear than the strains of Haydn’s jaunty little march.
  • O Little Town of Bethlehem and the Pressures of Songwriting” – This morning I’ll finally be back to my little Free Will Baptist Church to play piano.  I’m also struggling to remember a huge amount of naturalistic dialogue for the aforementioned play.  The juxtaposition of returning to church piano playing and the pressure of conjuring up untold mental energies in a short span of time made this post a logical choice.  The music for “O Little Town of Bethlehem” was composed in great haste, and completed mere hours before it was performed.  My instincts (and experience) tell me that the play will, much to the director’s chagrin, unfold the same way—incompetence giving way to brilliance the night of the show.

Well, there you have it!  Happy New Year to one and all.  Back to work!

—TPP

Other Lazy Sunday Installments:

SubscribeStar Saturday: The Twenties

Today’s post is a SubscribeStar Saturday exclusive.  To read the full post, subscribe to my SubscribeStar page for $1 a month or more.  For a full rundown of everything your subscription gets, click here.

It’s (sort of) the start of a new decade, and every blogger and tin-pot commentator (like yours portly) has been putting out prediction posts for the decade.  My good friend and fellow blogger Bette Cox has written not one, but two posts about the coming decade, based on her prayer-conversation with God.

I’ve taken more of the approach of photog at Orion’s Cold Fire:  rather than offering lock-of-the-century predictions, I’ve just commented on things as they stand currently.  I am notoriously bad at making predictions and calling elections.

That said, I thought I’d play to my strengths and instead write about The Twenties—the 1920s.  Yes, it’s a bit hackneyed, but looking back at the past can be instructive of where we are now, if not what our futures hold.

Note to subscribers:  due to a heavy rehearsal schedule today, this post may not be completed until later this evening.  Thank you for your patience.

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Dawn of a Decade

Happy New Year!  It’s 2020!  Wags will quip that “it’s not really a new decade—that doesn’t start until next year, in 2021.”  It’s a case where the wags are correct on the facts, but don’t appreciate how appealing that nice, round “0” at the end looks.  Everyone was excited for 2000 AD; 2001 was greeted with shrugs.

Regardless, it’s an exciting time to be alive, in every sense of the word “exciting.”  2020 is a presidential election year, with a contentious, cartoonish Democratic primary season to endure.  The impeachment trial is (allegedly) coming up soon, if Speaker Nancy Pelosi decides to rummage through her purse and take them to the Senate.

America is enjoying an economic boom, with a long bull market and the lowest unemployment rate since 1969.  President Trump’s administration is restoring some sense of sanity and reason to the absurdity of 21st-century governance.  He at least expects the government to work for the American people, not actively against them.

New Years’ Day is when bloggers both look back to the year recently passed, and look ahead to the coming year.  Prediction posts are popular and fun, so long as you don’t take them too seriously.

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