Sunday, January 3, 2021

Sam's Weekly Quarantine Digest #39: January 3, 2021

 Hi all,

I am so grateful that I can finally say that 2020 is hindsight!  I'll be honest: I won't miss it.  Even the animals 2020 has been compared to comprise a fairly snarky list, and this commercial felt like a spot-on masterpiece when I first saw it.  Although it's not a year any of us will soon forget, it wasn't all terrible, and either way, it's worth reflecting on what last year meant for us.  We learned a lot, some of our tech excelled and some failed, and, perhaps most importantly, we played with our dogs.

Regardless of how you felt about last year, today truly is a new day.  Specifically, today is the third day of what we can look at as a 365-page book waiting to be written.  So let's all make sure that one of the most oft-used descriptions of 2020 turns out to be true - that it is, in fact, a year like no other.  Below are some views of 2020 from the finish line, along with a bunch of things to look forward to in the coming year.  In the words of my spirit animal, Elle Woods: We did it!

As always, previous digests can be found on my blog at  If you have suggestions or would like to stop receiving these emails, just let me know.


2020 Wrap-Up
  • Here is the NY Times' Best of 2020 List - a collection of Best of lists and top articles across a number of topics.
  • The Dogs of 2020, courtesy of WeRateDogs.  I can pretty much guarantee that these will be the happiest 6 minutes of your day. 
  • Here are some of our collective key takeaways from 2020 - well worth the read.
  • These were some of the biggest trends of 2020.  My personal favorite: DOGS!
  • More of a visual learner?  Check out this incredible collection of images and graphs that helped us chart our way through last year (see what I did there?).
  • Want to think about anything other than politics and pandemics?  Here is a collection of trivia reported on by the New York Times last year to distract you.
  • Here is a list of the top memes of 2020.
  • This year, among grocery shortages, a massive shift to delivery food and essential items, and a common yearning for comfort food, these are the 20 most-read food articles from the NYT.  If I'm honest, I'll be turning to these recipes and shopping recommendations for years to come.
  • Here is a list of the recipients of the NY Times' "Good Tech Awards" - companies that worked on technology advances to help get us all through the quarantine and the many other challengest that 2020 threw our way (Zoom is not on the list).
  • Listen to Brian Greene of the World Science Festival discussing the top scientific discoveries of 2020.
  • Think you've been paying attention to current events over the past year?  Try your hand at this quiz.

2021 Preview
New Year's Resolutions: Sticking to New Year's Resolutions is hard, as all of us have probably had reason to find out at some point in our lives.  Below are some resources for sticking to your goals, but don't forget to set reasonable, realistic goals for yourself, too - too big, and you're just setting yourself up to fail.  Break your bigger goals into smaller steps you can take each day in order to give yourself a better chance of sticking to them for longer.  I also like setting calendar reminders to check in every week or two, and setting goals that will either become a sustainable habit or will have become obsolete within a few months, since motivating and tracking your progress on resolutions isn't likely to last any longer than that.  To select my goals for each year, I like to take some time to reflect on the bigger goals I want to accomplish in the coming years, and on those little everyday things that make me unhappy, and then choose tiny, bite-sized steps toward those goals that I can train myself to become accustomed to.  Whatever you choose to focus on for 2021, good luck, and may all your dreams come true!
  • Need some help getting started?  Try this guide.  Or just skip the resolutions altogether and spend your energy acknowledging and reinforcing the best habits you've gained since the quarantine began.
  • If you don't have time to create your own habit-tracker, you can download one for free here.
  • If one of your resolutions is to start working out (or to work out more), check out this guide to getting started from PopSugar.
  • If you're hoping for more sleep, try these tips from the NYT.

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