Lessons We Learned in 2021

Lessons we learned in 2021 are good ones.  Like many women-owned businesses, we “pivoted” with the best of them, and learned to “Live with the Pandemic”.  Awkwardly, begrudgingly, (and, we admit, a bit angrily); never quite fully on board with the concept, we went about our business, or started new ones, we made more time for family and loved ones, and that was a good thing.

Out of concern for our elders, and those more vulnerable, some of us got vaxxed, boosted, and learned to socially distance from our friends at Johns Hopkins.

Live from Manhattan, NY as we write this, (which is, btw, one of the worst places in the country for COVID related challenges) we are afraid to say out loud, what everybody’s thinking. That is is far from over, and we are clearly, not out of it…How much longer (?), we collectively moan

Bill Gates thinks we’ll be done by the end of the year, despite the “Rona” covering all of the news, some stubborn folks, still have their head in the sand, and the worst of them, are crying conspiracy theories. Here’s why you should not believe them.

So, let’s put aside the doom and gloom, for a few moments, and focus on the positive. The best way to be resilient is to learn how to take challenges and make them opportunities. Let’s focus on the good The Pandemic brought us for a moment, shall we? 

  1. With no other choice, the Pandemic forced us to curate what was important to us, and for that, we are kind of grateful. It’s just very sad that so many people had to be sick, or worse, die in the process.

Globally, as of 4:14pm CET, 29 December 2021, there have been 281,808,270 confirmed cases of COVID-19, including 5,411,759 deaths, reported to WHO. As of 28 December 2021, a total of 8,687,201,202 vaccine doses have been administered. To view today’s statistics according to the WHO (World Health Organization) click here.

2. The Pandemic taught us how to learn to work remotely, whether we liked it or not. For some, who embraced it, that meant a new opportunity to find clients, work, and collaboration opportunities beyond their physical area, which is wonderful. For others, who are technically challenged, or reticent to change, it was a major drag, and hassle. The only constant is change, how you deal with it determines if you’ll thrive or survive, it’s a choice, like anything in life, always.

3.  The Pandemic taught us who are real friends are. Often we give people more consideration, help, credit and business, out of habit, fear of change, or the desire to not upset the apple cart. Speaking personally, the pandemic taught me who my closest family members, real friends, best supporters, loyal clients, and keen cheerleaders & collaborators are. They were the ones that stayed the course, checked in, and asked how I was. They shared their own trials and tribulations, we figured it out together, kind of stumbling along, and in the process, the experience kind of bonded us. The end of the year found me reevaluating all my Trusted Advisors, and favorite brands in:

Health, Law, Finance, Banking, Insurance, as well as professional service providers including Web development, Branding, Commercial and Residential Real Estate, Estate Planning, Car Maintenance, Car Insurance, Credit, Household goods, Food Shopping, Fashion, Beauty & Skin Care. And the list goes on.


One of the reasons I’m in NYC, as I write this, is because I feel staying local with all my advisors and service professionals out of a desire to be kind, and work with my community, has not always provided the best results. In fact, it’s screwed me over a few times.

So, while my family and I play, rest, and recharge, there will be a few meetings, and proposals, sprinkled throughout, making this a business trip, and that’s a good thing. For multiple reasons.

Yes, the Big City is scary, but if you want to “play better tennis, you gotta play with better tennis players”. My paternal grandmother (a really good businesswoman), and my father have taught me, it’s imperative to research, reevaluate, and always have at the ready options pro-actively, in trusted advisors, and all aspects of life. Doing so makes it much easier to make a switch in the event you need to. History has taught my ancestors the need to “always have a plan B, C, and D, and more importantly, nothing is certain.”

For those of us who are a bit hard of learning, The Pandemic is teaching us that very same thing, by force.

Have you learned the lesson? I’m getting it slowly…and am very grateful for it. Always better to make your mistakes when it costs you 100’s not Millions. Enough said.

4. The Pandemic taught me to be wiser with my money going forward, and to make concerted efforts to save more. I am the first to admit, that when it comes to money, I can be a little naive at times. That’s why I read a lot, and listen to my trusted advisors, wealthy friends and mentors, (and conservative family members who have more in the bank than I do). 

In my business, my life, and my philanthropy, my relationship with money seems a constant work in progress. And I’m ok with that, because to me, money is “energy”, it’s not meant to just stay stagnant, therefore neither should my knowledge, or approach to it, either.

When it came to saving money, in 2020, and 2021, I:

  1. Re-evaluated all my expenses and trimmed where I could, pledging to be more careful with my spending, and saving more in the process.
  2. I decided I could get by with less, and so eliminated unnecessary spending on discretionary items such as clothes, shoes, makeup, outings, restaurants, and junk. Some of which I’d come to believe (like many of us) I needed to be better, smarter, prettier, and ahead of others.
  3. I escaped and recharged by moving away from tv and electronic time, and looking more to books, walks outside, focused time with good friends and family (by Zoom mostly, and Facebook, WhatsApp Video, and Google Meets.
  4. I ate out less, and cooked more. A trained culinary professional, I had fallen away from cooking, and the pandemic forced us to eat out less, and stay in more. My 19 year old son, who is 6’6, and over 200lbs, moved back in with us, so between him and the hubby, there needed to be food ready to eat, on a semi-constant basis.

Also, having had Covid not once, but two times, my digestive system was a mess, and I gained the Covid 20lbs+. The last quarter of 2021, after a serious health complication due to wisdom teeth removal (of all things at 51), I had to make some significant changes to the way I eat.

So, I got familiar with some new recipes that were more plant-forward, less processed, and read some new books, cookbooks, to learn how to create a tasty, technically bland, but better for me diet. Best part, I lost 10+ lbs, and have more energy, and feel better than ever. Actually, I am pretty impressed with the results, and so were my family, neighbors, colleagues, and friends.

I cooked so much, I had constant leftovers, so I made a point to give it away to nearby shut-ins, feed friends who were sick, and gift the rest to my neighbors who were hungry. One of my biggest finds was shopping at Lidl, but more about that another time.

What has the pandemic taught you? I’d love to hear about it. The best comment wins lunch, in person, socially-distanced, with me in Annapolis, MD at a mutually convenient day and time.

I invite you to comment below, you never know what your experience can teach others. Let’s learn from one another together more in 2022, shall we?

And, thank you for reading this post, I appreciate you. If you’re inspired to, feel free to look me up on LinkedIn, and get connected.  Meanwhile, if you enjoyed this article, check out our “New and Notable” section. It’s full of “How to and Learn How” information from some of the best sources, women business owners, and female experts around. Thank you for reading, I appreciate you. 


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *