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My Favorite Things of 2021
Everything here is good and worth a try!
Now that we are all putting 2021 behind us I wanted to share with you some of the things I picked up playing, watching, learning, and more! With the added benefit I have of working from home and having my own office in my very own home I have been able to do so much that I probably wouldn’t have done under more “normal” circumstances. And barring the obvious issues surrounding the time, 2021 wasn’t half bad. I saw my family who I hadn’t seen since my mother passed away in 2017. Chickens were introduced into our family. First time home-owner appliances and furniture purchased (and mostly paid off!). Vacation! Then there’s the things I want to share that you might be on the fence about trying out yourself. Now, most of these things are not “new” in that they have been around for many years (even decades) but they were new to me when I first experienced them in 2021.
Let’s start with hardware. But don’t worry, that’s not as boring a topic as you might think:
Nintendo Switch - I will admit I owned the Switch in 2019 (I think) but I mention it here because 2021 was the year I really played it. I never truly realized or appreciated just how nostalgic it would be to play the games I loved back when I had my GameBoy, like Zelda and Pokemon! They were amazing to me then and are even more amazing now. If you’re not a “hardcore” gamer (like me) but you are looking for a family friendly kind of console that you can play with your family or on your own, Nintendo has been and always will be that console. The price is very reasonable and the games are great. Here are just a few I would recommend for solo play and family/friends play:
Mario Kart 8
Mario Party Superstars
SOLO GAMES (I’m listing these in order from “easiest” to get through to much more in-depth, time consuming, and games I own)
Super Mario Bros U Deluxe
Pokemon Let’s Go Eevee/Pikachu
Zelda Link’s Awakening
Animal Crossing New Horizon
Pokemon Brilliant Diamond/Shining Pearl
Zelda Breath of the Wild
Desk Set-Up - My very first office that isn’t just stuck in the corner of my bedroom was completed in 2021 and I’m loving it. The paint job and flooring were done mostly by my wife (I helped). The 6 ikea billy bookcases and one show-piece display shelving unit, not to mention the Autonomous desk I put together all by myself! All of these things plus the techy stuff I acquired through Christmas and birthday presents from family all culminate in a pretty sweet set-up. I’ve always wanted my own “office set-up” where I might one day do one of those YT videos that so many YouTubers will do, showing off their workspace. And now, I could maybe be someone who does that? We’ll see if that happens in 2022. I mention my desk set-up because if you are like me, working from home, it’s important to have a space where the magic of work happens. When this pandemic first hit my wife and I shared one desk so a lot of the time my “workspace” was sitting on the couch or on our bed if I had to conduct a meeting as it was the only room in our tiny apartment where I wouldn’t be interrupted. Moving into a house that afforded us the ability to have separate offices (on separate floors?!) has truly been amazing. When I’m “at work” I’m sitting at my desk and when I’m not I’m anywhere else in the house. I know everyone can’t do that, but designating a space where you can’t/shouldn’t be interrupted because you’re working can make all the difference in the world.
Next I wanted to talk about software like Scrivener (I taught myself how to tame the beast and learned the compile feature for the first time in nearly a decade of using this program), Discord (finding an amazing community where I find myself participating at least once a day in conversation!), and Substack (a place that has taken the best parts of MailChimp, Patreon, and Wordpress and combined them into something better), but I realized they could all be explained and shared in a tiny paragraph…
The last thing I want to mention is ENTERTAINMENT. I can think of no better time than the last two years for why making time for entertainment is so important. My wife and I watched so many movies. We tried to watch an even combination of new movies while still catering to my love of old movies (as in pre-60’s). There were plenty of hits and misses in that department and I think this year I’m going to make a point to keep a list of the movies we watch as well as give a star rating to share throughout the year.
I also started watching or continued watching many tv shows. So, if you like mystery, British shows, comedy, or a bit of nostalgia (again) here are some shows you should watch and where you can easily find them:
The Equalizer (CBS)
Ghost - American Version (CBS)
Bob Hearts Abishola (CBS)
Midsomer Murders (BritBox)
All in the Family (Amazon Prime / IMDb)
Golden Girls (Hulu)
Lastly, I want to leave you with a bit more entertainment that is less about acting and laughing but more about reality: Podcasts and Documentaries
There are 3 podcasts I listen to on a weekly basis whenever they have something new:
Scientology: Fair Game
The Plot Thickens (TCM)
LeVar Burton Reads
I could go on and on about the truly terrifying documentaries I’ve watched about serial killers and murderers but that isn’t the note I want to end on. Instead, if you have Hulu, Netflix, or any other streaming service, I’m sure you’ll find they each have their own special section filled with the kind of documentaries that will keep you up all night or just make you think. Either way, I recommend them because I’ve always had a soft spot in my heart for the psycho and serial killer.
ONE MORE THING…
Before I go, I would be lying if I excluded YouTube in here for my list of favorite things. If I were to look at my “Screen Time” that my devices conveniently log for me I would easily see that YouTube is the one place I spent the most time in last year (and probably the year before that). I discovered a YouTube personality and I watched them whenever they released something new. Lately, my interests are divided three ways:
I want to dedicate a separate post just to the YouTubers I watch because I think they deserve it. A lot of what I learned came from watching countless hours of YouTube channels.
What about you? What were some of your favorite things you discovered for the first time, watched, or did? Share in the comments below! Maybe I’ll pick up something new for 2022…