100 Things that Delighted Me in 2021

  1. Austin Kleon’s list of 100 things that made his year in 2020
  2. And in 2021.
  3. New painting for the living room Bilongo I. Art is becoming a small obsession for me. 
  4. My very own book project. Here is the seed of the idea. I’m planning to play with the big ideas in blog posts throughout the year. The book isn’t finished yet, but I’ll continue plugging away.
  5. Working with Tara McMullin as a coach for the first six months of 2021.
  6. The Queen’s Gambit.
  7. The very same week I was writing a job description for a Writing Apprenticeship, the perfect candidate fell right into my lap.
  8. Labradorite palm stone from Almanac Supply Company.
  9. New baby Adeline: My friends Meg and Da-Me welcomed their sweet baby on February 26, 2021.
  10. Binging Season 2 of the In the Dark podcast while riding the stationary bike.
  11. My first drive-in theater experience. We saw “On the Rocks” with Bill Murray and Rashida Jones. The film was underwhelming, but I’ve always wanted to go to a drive-in.
  12. Getting my husband and myself vaccinated (and boosted).
  13. Trip to Ft. Myers Beach, FL in March where it felt like there was no pandemic happening. It was equal parts relaxing and terrifying.
  14. Seeing this street performer in Ft. Myers Beach (first live performance I’ve seen in more than a year). I really enjoyed his show! 
  15. Savant drummer Larnell Lewis: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zd_UcjMusUA.
  16. This blog article about conversational shortcuts. I also ordered this calendar with fun conversation starters for 2022.
  17. Having a coffee meet up/tailgate at Coco Cinnamon with Christina.
  18. Robbie turns 1: My friends Mary and Bryan had a birthday party for Robert James born on April 16, 2020.
  19. This article about someone wrongly convicted of murder using his settlement money to start a barber college with his former prison guard.
  20. My new sculpture from Mike Roig: https://youtu.be/7RwdHeVOqgk.
  21. We also discovered this foundation that sells the work of African artists and uses the money to pay for education and healthcare for the children of Africa: https://aminasgift.org/. Our sculpture should arrive from Zimbabwe in early 2022.
  22. Sister, Laura, and brother-in-law, Ryan, came to visit from Connecticut.
  23. Laura, Ryan, and I went to see Galactic at Shakori with a bunch of yogis. First live concert since the pandemic started!
  24. Celebrated my 42nd birthday at Airlie Gardens. Had a lovely time stomping around looking at old trees, old pergolas, butterflies, and stacking rocks.
  25. My love surprised me with an ice cream cake. My favorite!
  26. Our Dahon folding bikes that we’ve taken on a different trail nearly every weekend in the spring and early summer months.
  27. New baby Aurora: My business bestie, Christina Marie Noel and her husband Jason, welcomed their sweet baby on June 10, 2021.
  28. Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat.
  29. First (and only) pedicure since the pandemic shut down at the end of June. My friend Mary and I went to get pedicures right before everything shut down. I got an American flag design.
  30. Sitting around the fire pit with the neighbors on the 4th of July.
  31. This Jason Bateman film: Bad Words.
  32. Simone Biles’ bronze medal during the postponed summer Olympics.
  33. This blog article about being ignorant, but curious – good advice. 
  34. Paddle boarding on Jordan Lake while listening to podcasts most weekends this summer.
  35. Visiting my parents on their sailboat and sailing Lake Michigan at the beginning of August. It rained most of the time I was there, but we still had fun.
  36. Yoga retreat in the mountains near Asheville, NC. We returned to the retreat house where I had my first ever yoga retreat and realized I didn’t want to do anything besides yoga for the rest of my life.
  37. Finding joy in digging in the dirt and planting plants in pots.
  38. Riding the stationary bike (almost) every weekday morning. Building a wall around my “muse time.”
  39. Going to Connecticut for my sister Laura’s baby shower in September.
  40. Watching The Donut King on the flight to Connecticut.
  41. Grabbed my foot with both hands for the first time in Natarajasana
  42. Mike Birbiglia’s podcast Working It Out has been a welcome distraction during the pandemic.
  43. More drummers. This time drumming prodigies: Nandi Bushell and Lyonya Shilovsky
  44. This Mary Oliver poem. 
  45. Watching my childhood heroes, Mayim Bialik and LeVar Burton, host Jeopardy!
  46. Matt Amodio’s 38 game winning streak on Jeopardy!
  47. Adam Grant’s book Think Again.
  48. This great hype song: You Go Down Smooth by Lake Street Dive.
  49. Heading to Asheville for my husband’s birthday and our anniversary. So good to get away and breathe the medicinal mountain air.
  50. This amazing Cuban restaurant in Black Mountain, NC with the beautiful owner, Beatriz, who shared her story with us.
  51. The delicious pie “flight” (3 pieces of pie + ice cream) we enjoyed from Baked Pie Company. Our favorite slice: Cabernet pie. I’m going to recreate it for Thanksgiving.
  52. And of course, one of our old favorites: Sunny Point Cafe. We waited 90 minutes for a table and our food, but it was worth it.
  53. This episode of the Being Boss podcast with Amy Kuretsky.
  54. Only Murders in the Building.
  55. Rediscovering the joy of having engaging conversations on LinkedIn.
  56. Really exciting NFL game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Seattle Seahawks. The Steelers prevailed in OT.
  57. Also a really exciting MLB championship game happening at the same time between the LA Dodgers and the Atlanta Braves. The Braves won 5 to 4 with a second-straight walk off victory.
  58. Halloween party at my yoga teacher’s house with 9 10-year-old boys running around for hours like they have never played with Nerf guns before. I dressed up as “Where’s Wanda,” Waldo’s friend.
  59. This very excited Atlanta Braves fan after the Braves beat the Astros to win the World Series in Houston.
  60. This psychological thriller film that was equal parts dark and equal parts humor (my favorite combination).
  61. Emilio’s “flock of pigeons” request on pick-a-pose Friday.
  62. My sister Laura and her husband, Ryan, welcomed their first baby, a boy, Odin Crookston Ethier on his due date, November 8, 2021. Odin is my 3rd nephew joining Liam and Henry.
  63. This podcast episode asking this provocative question: What if there’s not a scarcity of attention so much as a scarcity of quality content worth paying attention to?
  64. Interesting blog post that got me thinking: Exploit vs. Explore.
  65. Watching Ken Jennings back hosting Jeopardy!
  66. The Orange County Artist’s Guild Open Studio Tour.
  67. The tree with flame-colored leaves outside my office window.
  68. The tree with ruby-colored leaves outside my bedroom window.
  69. This Kristen Bell film: Queenpins
  70. Happy clients during a week of ups and downs.
  71. New charcoal grill and dreaming about all of the delicious meals I’ll be able to cook on it.
  72. Dozens of prism rainbows floating across the oak floor at the yoga studio that is my second home.
  73. This conversation about awe Amanda Stern started on LinkedIn. 
  74. A gorgeous 70-degree Saturday in December, perfect for a bike ride and a break in a hammock.
  75. This quote from Thomas Merton: “The beginning of love is to let those we love be perfectly themselves, and not to twist them to fit our own image. Otherwise we love only the reflection of ourselves we find in them.”
  76. Waking up to the rain falling on the roof on a random Tuesday morning.
  77. The What Works Network virtual conference on Letting Go and Beginning Again. It was intense and delightful. Plus, I built this. 
  78. Considering time as cyclical instead of linear.
  79. Trying a different type of breathwork.
  80. This essay about bread baking and time.
  81. Lying on the couch, in the warm sun, watching the translucent steam rolling off of my tea.
  82. This episode of Mike Birbiglia’s Working It Out podcast with writer John Green.
  83. Happy shoppers singing along to “Santa Baby” at Crate and Barrel.
  84. This profile of Jeremy Strong, who plays Kendall Roy on Succession, in the New Yorker.
  85. Being gifted tickets to see Hamilton at DPAC in May.
  86. This website for calling out logical fallacies.
  87. This newsletter from Margo Aaron (well, I’m feeling less delight and more “right on”).
  88. Holding my new nephew, Odin, for the first time and smelling the top of his little head.
  89. Hearing my nephew, Henry, exclaim, “that’s awesome!” after unwrapping a box of Hot Wheel cars.
  90. Seeing the whole family for the first time in two years and singing along to our annual viewing of Mr. Magoo’s Christmas Carol.
  91. Laughing in the way I do only when I’m with the whole family.
  92. Winning at Uzzle (finally).
  93. Walking on the beach in Connecticut at Rocky Neck National Park.
  94. Seeing a huge flock of birds flying over the highway on the drive back home from Christmas in Connecticut.
  95. This song from Rhiannon Giddens and Francesco Turrisi.
  96. This song from Japanese Breakfast.
  97. Sleeping with the windows open in December.
  98. Amy Schneider’s amazing winning streak on Jeopardy – 23 games and counting. What a year for Jeopardy champions!
  99. All of my incredible clients. It’s such a privilege to work with each and every one.
  100. My love, my husband, my everything, making me laugh every day.

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