21 things that brought me joy during the pandemic in 2021

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:

  1. The Peloton App and buying a Schwinn IC4 Stationary Bike brought me immense joy because of cycle classes from Jenn Sherman and other instructors.
  2. 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.
  3. Writing for opensource.com helped keep me busy during some times when fingers at the keyboard were what I needed.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. I binge-watched Picard finally, and I enjoyed it more than I thought I would.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. The Maid on Netflix was like watching a traffic accident, but I enjoyed it.
  11. Eating Thai food from Yindee Thai on Thursday nights.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. Binge-watching Rescue Me for the umpteenth time because I used to enjoy the writing on the show when it ran on FX.
  16. The taste of a crab cake from the Crabcake Factory in Ocean City, MD. Lump crab meat = joy!
  17. 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.
  18. Upgrading to a stand-up desk and getting past the irrational fear I had that I couldn’t get work done while standing up.
  19. 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.
  20. 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.
  21. 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?