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  • Writer's pictureJenna Wilson

5 Things That Worked for Me in 2021

Updated: Aug 22, 2022




Since 2021 was 100% completely normal for everyone and nothing bad happened, it's obvious that I would be super stoked to go into 2022. Clearly, we all just need to keep doing what we're doing, living the good life, enjoying friendships and fun and


and jokes that go on longer than they're funny? Sorry, couldn't help myself.


Actually, 2022 started for me and mine with a two-week-and-counting full lockdown COVID-19 experience. It's January 14, and in my head I'm still thinking, wait, is new years eve tomorrow? Am I gonna do resolutions? I have plenty of time before that big conference at work we have 1,800 projects for still right?


I considered writing an entire post tongue in cheek, and my #1 was going to be: Not Getting Covid! That said, we DID manage almost two years into the thing without it. The final straw? Utah. UTAH. What a jerk. Giving us a really lovely Christmas week with Isaac's family... and then sending us home with a hearty slap on the back, sore throats, and well wishes for a nice infectious new year.


So, anyways. A blogger I follow posts this topic every year: things that worked for her and her family in the past year, as well as things that didn't work. I'm not even sure what mine are. That's at least 90% why I'm writing this—to figure it out. I'd apologies for using you as a guinea pig, dear reader, but look—you can stop whenever you want. Just stop reading. Seriously click that X. If you've recently switched to a new personal PC while still using a mac for work, you might have trouble finding it, but I have faith that you'll manage to check both sides and get it eventually.

 

1. La Croix


(Ok, I just decided to change the premise to things that worked for me in 2021 INCLUDING things that I didn't start doing in 2021. It's not like I wrote one of these in 2019 or 2020, so that's probably not cheating.)


Somewhere in the last few years, I identified that at least half the season I reached for soda as much as I did had nothing to do with the soda: it was the ritual (read, ADHD fidget habit) of walking away from my desk / couch and getting a cold can from the fridge. And I realized... maybe the can doesn't have to be soda? The problem was, I kind of hated La Croix. The solution was, apparently I'm stubborn sometimes when I get an idea in my head.


Fast forward: Isaac sometimes just goes to Costco and brings home like 80 cans bought in bulk. When I visit my sisters, I bring a box (so she won't whine about theirs all disappearing). I love sparkling water, and I have very strong opinions on flavors.


I'd also like to note that what REALLY works here is being completely loose with the words La Croix. Aka, it's like the word tupperware here, and refers to everything from AHA, Polar, or Target Good & Gather, to any number of generic store brands.


Favorites: AHA Strawberry Cucumber, Polar Grapefruit (but NEVER Bubly Grapefruit), G&G Wild Berry, and Aldi OR La Croix Blackberry cucumber. I'm not kidding when I say strong opinions.

Why I'm Claiming This Is a Thing That Works for Me: It's water. It's literally just water. And before you get concerned about my carbonation consumption, remember the ADHD. Half my cans sit around half full for half a day before I finish them, so at least half of my consumption is flat.


2. Having Cats


Do you know how boring it is to stay home all the time? Yes, you do. And if you don't, you're probably irritated at me for complaining about being able to work from home, so... sorry. Yes, it obviously has its perks. But it can also get extremely monotonous during higher levels of lockdown. Enter: tiny hyperactive and rude dummies who run around the house all day but also somehow sleep all day and do weird things about as often as I get distracted, which is often.


They're also often really sweet, do cute things, and the new kitten actually lets me snuggle her. (Vala, on the other hand, would rather be caught dead than snuggle with me most of the time.) They give us something new to both talk about and complain about, and generally brighten our day to day. If you've got cats, you get it.


If you've got dogs, you get it too, even if you'd claim your solution was a better one.


If you hate cats, please vacate the premises. (I'm half kidding: I have met the kind of cats that make people hate cats. But I've also met the kind of people that could make you hate humans so...)


I'm committed to posting more cat pics of Valkyrie and Phoebe to social in 2022, so follow me, or don't.


3. Not Getting Covid


Ok, yes, my symptoms started on December 28, so this isn't totally true. But at the same time, there was that lovely few months of 2021 where being fully vaccinated meant we got to stop worrying so much and just spend normal time with friends and family. It meant going to Seattle for my sister-in-law's wedding. It meant relaxing for a hot second during the hot weather. One of the anti-vax statements you see a lot is the whole, we won't live in fear! schtick. But... yes. Exactly. That's why we did the things and took care of the risks and took precautions: to not worry.


And when we finally caught it, we'd done a lot of what we were supposed to. We knew what we could have done different, (we were both going to do boosters AFTER the holidays), but also know that with Omicron, it might not have mattered. And if the real solution was not traveling... well, oops. We can only move forwards. Right now moving forward is avoiding all humans for a bit, but I'm grateful for the season of relative normalcy earlier in the year, even if we now have to refigure out how to have that again in a new way.


4. Realistic expectations


Getting even a little better at this has helped with the ADHD tendency to get stuck because you could theoretically do all of the things right now, so you don't end of doing anything because prioritizing is extremely overwhelming. Oh, and meds also sometimes helped with... all of the annoying ADHD tendencies.


(This bit is unrelated to the post here, but oh well.) PSA: Next time you hear someone claim that this kind of medication is addicting and therefore bad, remember that I, and a lot of others per the ADHD groups I'm in, constantly forget to actually take it. Oh, so realistic expectations. AKA, things aren't going to be perfect. The rest of my thoughts on this one are still a jumble, and if wait to post this till I figure them out, you'd never see it. So I'm calling this a work still in progress, and maybe I can talk about it again on January 14, 2023.


Oh, but it's also why I'm not beating myself up even a little for, say, only reading about 10 books last year. I love being a reader as part of my identity, and it used to be easy to make that mean I had to keep up with it or else. But guess what? I'm still a reader, just a very very slow one these days.


This entire concept might also be called "I'm in my thirties now." If so, I'm grateful.


5. Being in my 30s


Yes, I did just come up with that one because of that last sentence.


One of the more noticeable changes I've seen is that the above thoughts about being a reader? Those extend to other things. 30s means I finally lived long enough to start seeing my long term patterns. I might not be a big reader now, but I probably will be again. It's ok that I love new hobbies and sometimes abandon them--I've proven to myself now that I usually go back to them again later with the same enthusiasm (so it's maybe ok to have gotten a bunch of supplies for each!)


And I may never get to a point where I cook regularly and consistently and meal plan forever and always amen. But that's ok. I will still enjoy getting more into it sometimes.


Whether hobbies, or being good at /tired of a specific responsibility, or being more or less social-- I may possibly be learning to let seasons of those things happen, accepting when they end, and looking forward to different ones.


 

So, yeah. There's probably pther things that worked. There's definitely better things for a post like this, but hey. Whenever I try to be a good blogger and not just a haphazard one, I never end up writing. So cheers to realistic expectations.


That said, procrastinating renewing my drivers license is not cute and I should probably do it so I can stop using my passport as ID.


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