2021 in some ways, was a repeat of 2020 when it came to work-life balance and joy. While two years of pandemic put me right in the middle on the work from home love/hate scale, I did find some bright spots during the year.
Here are 21 things that brought me joy during the pandemic in 2021:
- The Peloton App and buying a Schwinn IC4 Stationary Bike brought me immense joy because of cycle classes from Jenn Sherman and other instructors.
- In August, I purchased a propane smoker and learned how to smoke meat. It’s the hobby I have been looking for these past years.
- Writing for opensource.com helped keep me busy during some times when fingers at the keyboard were what I needed.
- Also, in August, I was interviewed on the Adventures in DevOps podcast, which was a highlight of my 2021. I’m used to being the interviewer and not the interviewee.
- The Cult of We: WeWork, Adam Neumann, and the Great Startup Delusion was a fascinating read because I was working on some projects in NYC around the time some of the events in the book took place.
- Thanks to the Peloton App, I began a nightly meditation practice that was a game-changer for me because it improved my sleep and lowered my daily stress. Kristin McGee, Anna Greenberg, and Kirra Michel are my favorite instructors.
- I binge-watched Picard finally, and I enjoyed it more than I thought I would.
- The second season of Ted Lasso – while a little bit off from the first season’s quality – brought me joy, especially the character arc of Roy Kent.
- Getting to vacation twice in Ocean City, MD, brought me a lot of joy because the beach is about the only place I can turn off the world.
- The Maid on Netflix was like watching a traffic accident, but I enjoyed it.
- Eating Thai food from Yindee Thai on Thursday nights.
- Reading The Wall Street Journal is a new habit I picked up this year because I want to learn so much about business and the market.
- Writing just to write again hit some potholes in 2021, but I did manage to write some Medium posts for nothing more than the sake of writing.
- The work of Made by Dyslexia continues to bring me joy because I grew up dealing with Dyslexia. Now that I’m in the working world, I’m still trying to find the best way to explain it as my superpower to prospective employers.
- Binge-watching Rescue Me for the umpteenth time because I used to enjoy the writing on the show when it ran on FX.
- The taste of a crab cake from the Crabcake Factory in Ocean City, MD. Lump crab meat = joy!
- Participating in IDG TECHtalk chats helped me keep my professional edge by challenging some of my own ideas and opening me to diverse perspectives from the IT industry.
- Upgrading to a stand-up desk and getting past the irrational fear I had that I couldn’t get work done while standing up.
- I finally finished The Office: The Untold Story of the Greatest Sitcom of the 2000s: An Oral History, and while the book is a bit long, I did appreciate the behind-the-scenes stories.
- Getting out of the house and sitting at Caboose Commons in Merrifield, VA. It’s big, industrial, wide-open, and a great place for a change of scenery when I’m writing.
- LinkedIn Learning gave me the opportunity to take training courses about SEO, content marketing, and some other topics I would’ve never read a book about on my own accord. The site also changed my attitude about online learning.
What brought you joy in 2022?