1. I Don’t Know What’s Best for You from Courtney Carver on Be More With Less. This is so good, and something I really needed to hear.
2. Our Favorite Healthy Habits of 2021 on The New York Times. When I clicked on this link I fully expected it to be a mashup of the typical “new year, new you” nonsense that starts up this time of year, but they were actually sane, workable ideas.
3. 10 Stories That Gave Readers Hope in 2021. “Here at YES!, we’re fortunate to have windows into moments of hope, progress, and positive change.” In related news, What went right in 2021: the top 26 good news stories of the year.
4. Good mental health isn’t about being happy all the time. “It’s okay to feel your feelings.” All of them.
6. When My Wife Developed Alzheimer’s, the Story of Our Marriage Kept Us Connected. “To prepare for a future of losing her, bit by bit, I began reciting a love letter.”
8. Desmond Tutu, Whose Voice Helped Slay Apartheid, Dies at 90 on The New York Times. In related news, Desmond Tutu, an icon who helped end apartheid in South Africa, dies at 90, and Desmond Tutu’s laugh was contagious. His fight for freedom was deadly serious. I saw him speak once at CSU and that thing about his laugh is 100% true.
9. Intimate portraits of a hospital COVID unit from a photojournalist-turned-nurse. In related news, A nurse practitioner talks about Omicron, nursing shortages, and what to do about seeing loved ones during the holidays.
10. ‘Magic’ Weight-Loss Pills and Covid Cures: Dr. Oz Under the Microscope on The New York Times. “The celebrity physician, a candidate in Pennsylvania’s Republican primary for Senate, has a long history of dispensing dubious medical advice on his daytime show and on Fox News.”
11. Peter Dinklage on recasting the hero of “Cyrano.” This movie looks SO good.
12. An Alternative Economy of Care in Portland. “Crisis Kitchen is one of a network of mutual aid groups in Portland working to build a more supportive and just community.”
13. Building Bridges Without a Foundation for Peace Won’t Work. “At worst, our bridge-building efforts champion superficial civility, celebrate false unity, and uphold an unjust status quo. But at our best, we can expand movements to advance peace, justice, and democracy. Indeed, the future of America depends on it.”
15. Pandemic Self-Assessment, a cartoon from Connie Sun.
16. Doughnuts: The fried treat that conquered the modern world. My people were peasant colonizers, but they did bring doughnuts…
18. Opt Out of the Frenzy and Say Yes to a Simple Christmas. Also from A Life in Progress, Overwhelmed by Life? Gift Yourself an Abundance of Rest.
19. Ritual of Escape. “For Toronto-based writer Tendisai Cromwell, walking in nature is an act of care and a quiet resistance to the effects of racial trauma.”
20. My Buddha Body: How I Learned to Practice Yoga in a Plus-Size Body. “Michael Hayes had to find his own way in yoga and in the world. Now he helps others do the same.”
21. But What If A Pinecone Hits Her In The Head? by Ijeoma Olou. “It’s been such a delight to watch all of this go down. To watch a man who absolutely refused to pet any dog, no matter how cute, and quite visibly wish that the encounter with said animal would end as quickly as possible, now look longingly at every dog we see out in the world.”
23. Relax, Relate and Read: The Best Books to Give (and Get) This Holiday Season. In related news, The Award-Winning Novels of 2021, and The 10 Best Feminist and Female-Centered Books of 2021, and The Ultimate Best Books of 2021 List.
24. How we built new traditions during the pandemic. “We asked our viewers and readers what new traditions, for the holidays or otherwise, they started during the pandemic…read what brought them solace, in their own words.”
29. I Moved to a Remote Cabin to Write, and I Hate It. “What to do if you followed your dream, only to realize it wasn’t what you wanted after all.” The headline and tagline don’t really make it clear: this is some really good writing advice.
30. Dormancy on Rita’s Notebook. “There is so much clamor in the world, and so often lately all I can hear is a grating din. I want to see if I can create a pocket of quiet within it…I don’t know if this experiment is as much about becoming some other kind of writer as it is about becoming a different kind of reader. All I know is that somehow, I’ve lost my way, and I want to find it again.”
31. Good stuff from Lion’s Roar: Making Offerings to Our Ancestors, and How to Work with the Winter Blues, and The Best of bell hooks: Life, Writings, Quotes, and Books.
33. To find a form that accommodates the mess from Austin Kleon.
35. 2021: The Year That Almost Was from Chuck Wendig on Terrible Minds.
36. The Year in Pictures on The New York Times.
37. Time Capsule 2021: Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer. “If you could make a time capsule of 2021 in images and words, what would it look like? The Alipore Post, a fabulous international online journal of art, poetry, interviews and collaborations, invited me to make such a time capsule–what a year it’s been.”