21 Things I’ve Learned So Far in 2021
On the lighter side:
1. One unexpectedly nice side effect of quarantine, mask-wearing, and public spaces being extra clean and sanitized is that not only does it slow the spread of COVID, you don’t get regular colds and flu so much, either. I’m a fan.
2. Then again, it is a little unsettling how much all the businesses, restaurants, airports, etc. are bragging about how they’re cleaning their spaces. I’m like, Were you not doing this before…?
3. Music and podcasts can make a bad day bearable and a great day even better.
4. As does eating vegetables at every meal, but noticing the effects may take a little longer.
5. Don’t ignore the fork that got stuck in the bottom of the dishwasher before you turn it on. Just don’t. Trust me…
6. Gluten free Oreos are just as good as the normal ones.
7. If you’re wondering “Could the dog get into the trash?” then yes. The answer is always yes.
8. Never say no to a child who wants you to read them a story, or show you their favorite book (even if it’s the 99th time you’ve seen it).
9. Single-ply toilet paper does not save you money since you have to use more to accomplish the same results as two-ply. Then again, this year we are grateful to have any kind of toilet paper at all…
10. You thought that that tea was decaffeinated, but guess what, it wasn’t. You may not know why, but you’ll have plenty of time for pondering – all night long, in fact.
11. You’re never too old to go sledding.
12. The time has come to part with that shirt that looks like Swiss cheese from all the holes it has (you know the one I mean).
13. Get outside for a walk, even on cold days, windy days, rainy days, all the days. It’s good for body and soul.
14. Cheap tequila may mean more margaritas, but it will also mean more time spent feeling like you lost a boxing match with a steamroller. Go for the good stuff, and easy does it.
15. “A watched pot never boils”, but anything you’re cooking that isn’t watched will burn to a crisp every time. Try it out and see.
On the not-so-lighter side…
16. Someone may lack empathy, yet still have a huge heart for helping people. But their solutions to your problems are going to tend to originate from their own preconceptions about what will help, rather than from actively listening to what you’re saying and adjusting accordingly. Something to keep in mind when seeking help or advice.
17. On a related note: Don’t overshare with people who haven’t earned the right to hear your story. I know, sometimes it feels good to have someone, anyone, to talk to. It’s not unlike eating the entire box of cookies or carton of ice cream in one sitting: It seems like a good idea in the moment, but afterwards you’re like, Oh yuck, why did I do that, I feel even worse now. If you get that feeling, that’s just feedback for you that this was not the right person to share with. Find what make you feel lighter, not heavier, afterward. (This goes for food and for friends.)
18. Be very clear about who is paying for lunch or dinner out, or if you’re splitting the bill. Nobody wants any surprises here (unless, of course, you’re surprising someone by picking up the tab for them).
19. If someone is pushing you to do something you’re uncomfortable with, trust your instincts. Set a hard boundary, if need be.
20. If you’re the one pushing someone to do something they’re clearly not comfortable with, that’s not the time to keep plowing ahead. Back off.
21. You will know when you’ve found your people. If you’re not sure, you probably haven’t — yet. But keep looking. They’re out there. And once you find them, hang on to them. They’re worth a lot.