I'm heading into 2021 with extra path

When I made my theoretical to-do list for 2021, I set out where I would be in the Covid-19 vaccination priority list, where I would like to travel if the CDC recommendations allow, and all the things I want to do on my list First day of freedom that I can throw aside my mask and dance down 42nd Street in New York City without worrying about the world.

My Day in the Life PowerPoint slide would look something like this:

As I dreamed about my ideal day in the New Year, I thought about all the things that I missed due to the new Do's and Don's that are part of our new reality. It's almost a feeling of sadness over the lack of connection, agency, and normalcy that we have all endured for much of this year. On the other hand, all is not lost because the best gifts are packaged in surprising packages.

When I sit down on December 31st to ponder what was and what is to come, I will choose to make both the lemons and lemonade more thoughtful and grateful. Now is the time to think about the new behaviors that you have happily adopted so that you can continue them for years. Here are some ideas for you to reconsider and reformulate your goals for 2021:

Connection: Distance makes the heart grow faster

I'm still looking forward to a good walk through the neighborhood to accompany my catch-up talks with the team. To make zoom a little less annoying and more interesting, my friends and I tried everything from virtual twerk lessons to digital game nights. When it comes to family, food is the focus of every visit. That's why my mother and I started a recipe swap that is made even more special by trading in care packages with local ingredients that are hard to find.

Contemplate all of the things that will help you feel closer to your loved ones and have fun imagining how this could be brought to life in new ways.

Agency: creativity and innovation

Not only have my husband and I started cooking at home anymore, but the increasing frequency and desire for variety have inspired us to prepare everything from Moroccan tagines to Korean noodles. Our 700 m² apartment has been transformed into a super gym with simple equipment and a range of training apps. Another advantage? I was able to re-prioritize what I once considered a substantial expense and use those savings to invest in retirement.

Who wouldn't want to move a few pounds lighter emotionally and financially into the new year?

Normality: back to basics

What's great about new routines is that they enable new traditions. Wednesday evenings are now reserved for next year's date, where we both don a nice outfit and order delivery – which gives Netflix and chill a new definition. Defining and resetting boundaries was also helpful. This includes both physical limits, such as work and rest, and emotional limits, such as the decision to stop checking email after a certain time of night.

In preparation for the midnight ball drop, I want to toast you and your friends for a healthy and happy New Year in which you will find real freedom to leave behind the things that are no longer important and are blessed with a renewed understanding of everything, what that is brings you joy.

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