Best of 2021

I’m way behind on this, but I wanted to try this Past Year Review thing I heard about on the Tim Ferriss show. His step-by-step says to review a calendar of your journals from the past year and go week by week, put two columns on a piece of paper, and put the good on one side, and the bad on the other.

Well, if I looked at my Google Calendar, it would be dentist and doctor appointments and payments due on the “bad side” and I guess a buncha holidays and birthdays on the “good side.” Lesson learned …put more things on my calendar.

However, I can think back and think about the best things that happened in 2021, and that’ll be good enough. Here we go…

AirPods:  Like a grumpy-old-man, I’ve been very against AirPods since Apple introduced them soley because they cost …so …damn …much. I’m anti-Apple. I mean, except for my iPhone, which I love. And I think the iPad is amazing …like perfect for surfing the web, reading, some games, and of course in our world of streaming TV …wow. Love the iPad. So, I love the iPad and iPhone, but I still hated Apple and refused to buy into the hype that the AirPods were any better than any other wireless earbuds. I bought some cheapie off-brands. Got some nice JBLs. Got some Bluetooth over-the-year JBLs. People complained they couldn’t hear me. They didn’t always connect. So then my youngest daughter saved her money and bought herself a Macbook (total waste of money if you ask me) and I laughed and scoffed. “You could buy 3 regular laptops with what you paid for that Macbook,” I said.  With her Macbook, she got new AirPods. She already had AirPods. So she gave me her old AirPods and I thought, “ah, heck, OK, let’s see what the hype is about.”  Wouldn’t you know …they’re amazing. Most amazing is how they connect …immediately …and they understand when you put them in your ear and take them out. Nobody has ever complained about not hearing me when I use them as my phone. Music and Podcasts sound pretty OK. Tap the right side and it answers a call, hangs up a call, or starts and pauses music. Not sometimes. All. The. Time. Every time. They stay charged FOREVER and even show you on the screen, simply by flipping open the AirPod case …it shows you how much power is left on each AirPod and in the charging case. I still hate Apple and would never, ever buy a Macbook or a Mac, and never the noise cancelling AirPod Pros … but …if I did …I bet I would love them.  I feel like the Grinch and that my heart grew. Dang. Falling in love with the AirPods was a highlight of 2021.

Camp Chef Flat Top Grill:  Hey, open-flamers (can I say that in 2022?) …you can keep your burnt meat and carcinogens …I’ll use my giant cooking steel, thank you very much. I’m 48 (sorry to brag). I’ve had 5 grills in my adult life. Big. Small. Big again. A tiny charcoal grill. Then another GIANT six burner grill and because I didn’t spend $1,000+ on it, they break down, need repair, and I’ve just never really enjoyed grilling. Last year I said to myself, “self …I think you need to drop some coin on a top-of-the-line Weber …or better … and then care for your grill like it’s your fourth child and started researching Green Eggs and pellet grills. I started thinking about building a grill-shelter because maybe the weather was shortening the life of my grills and then my Grillin’ Guardian Angel in heaven (who is the Patron Saint of BBQ grilling?) got my attention with the flat-top-grill phenomenon and, whoa ….life …changing. I researched the Blackstone v. the Camp Chef and went with the Camp Chef’s “cooking steel” instead of the Blackstone’s “cast iron” and my life is forever changed. I’ve spending quality time with Griddle with Johnny and The Flat Top King on YouTube and when I say my life is better …oh, I mean it. Can’t say enough amazing things about flat top cooking. Here’s what I thought when I bought it and all these months later …I’m more in love than ever.

BLUblox Blue Light Blocking Glasses:  I freely admit …I have trouble sleeping and I believe the hype about looking at my phone, my computer, and then my flat screen TV all day. That ain’t healthy. Biologically we’re supposed to have a rhythm of sun-up to sun-down and think about it …until about the year 2000, we didn’t have phones and laptops glowing into our retinas. Maybe it doesn’t impact you (tho I argue it does and science proves it), but it sure as heck was messing with my sleep. So I got these red lens blue-light blocking glasses and I noticed an immediate difference. It’s dramatic. I wear them from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m. when I climb into bed and, other than the pointing and laughing from my family members, I notice I’m sleeping through the night. Plus, in 2022, I’m adding mindful meditation while laying in bed and I’m going to be thankful for snoring and that it reminds me the woman I love is lying next to me (I was wearing headphones and playing music). Oh, and I bought a high-end sleep mask. Yes. I wear read lens glasses for 2 hours before bed and a sleep mask in bed. Sorry ladies. I’m spoken for.

That’s it. The best things that happened to me in 2021 and I needed to share it with the world. If you’re reading this and thinking, hmmmm, my 2021 wasn’t all that great and you don’t have (a) AirPods, (b) a flat top grill, or (c) blue light blocking evening glasses …well, give them a try. Could make your whole year.

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