I’m a nerd. Not in the way most people might define the word — I’m not technologically gifted nor am I at all interested in math, science, Star Wars, Star Trek, playing video games, or anything along those lines.

I’m a nerd in the sense that I love challenges and checklists and setting goals and subgoals. And when any 2 of those things somehow dovetail, I am almost giddy.

What happened last night is a good example of those small moments that bring me great, nerdy joy.

I decided a few weeks ago to participate in “52 Books in 52 Weeks 2016”. I love to read and regularly read at least 2 books a week (except finals week each semester). Now, you might be thinking that it’s a bit silly for a person that already more than exceeds a challenge to participate in that challenge, but I just can’t resist! I’m nerdy that way.

I’m also participating in “16 in 2016”, a challenge/treat group I created*. My January challenge is to sort through every closet, drawer, bin, box, and cabinet, donating or selling or throwing away anything I don’t love and/or use on a regular basis.

The continuous rain and stormy weather has kept me inside, and I was feeling a bit antsy, so I decided yesterday evening to get a jump start on my January challenge by decluttering the family room. I packed away Christmas decorations (more on that in a future post, I think) first and then moved around the room, quickly going through the 2 drawers in the end table before moving on to the entertainment center/book shelf I made from a dresser.

I sorted through my videos quickly and made quick work of the board games. Then I moved on to my books (which I’d already downsized before I moved last February), and that’s when 2 pieces fell into place.

As I began going through my books, I made 2 stacks. A short pile of reference-type books that I use fairly regularly went back on the shelf. I was left with a stack of about 38 books that I have either not read in a long time or have not yet had time to read. I don’t know if I *love* them, so I don’t know if I should keep them.

I decided I need to read each one, but when would I have the time? Then I remembered the “52 Books” challenge, and it dawned on me that the first 38 books I would read were those in that second stack. I’d be meeting the “52 Books” challenge while at the same time determining whether or not each book was a keeper.

Did I say earlier that when a goal and a challenge dovetail I become “almost” giddy?

Well, in this case, I felt absolutely giddy. So much so that after I moved the 38 books to the open bottom section of my nightstand, I treated myself to a piece of Christmas-dinner chocolate cream pie with a hefty dollop of whipped cream.

I may be a nerd, but I’m a happy one!

*If you are interested in learning more about the “16 in 2016” challenge & Facebook group, you can read more about it here:  facebook.com/groups/121017364936892   or you can request to join the group on Facebook. There are already around 25 participants, and we’d love for you to join us!