Holding On to the Good Parts of a Rough Year

The beginning of the year is always a time to let go of the last year and welcome in opportunity and hope for the future, and that approach was heightened to the nth degree at the start of 2021! We were all so ready to say an enthusiastic “BYE!” to 2020. But now that we’re a little more than month into the new year, we want to look at the “2020 glass” as half full, and remember some of the things that actually worked for us last year. Things that worked so well – they’re worth continuing this year! We asked our guests and staff all over the country to share some things they started in 2020 that they’re bringing into the new year and beyond. Responses mainly fell into four categories: loved ones, health, food, and hobbies. Here are some of our favorites! 

Loved Ones

I restarted weekly coffee/cocoa dates with my kids. At least once a week each kid would get to go pick up coffee with me and we talk about whatever they want.” – Janine J.

“Happy hour around the fire pit with friends.” – Michele P.R.

“Since March 2020 my family gets together every Sunday for Family Game night via Zoom. We have family in Indiana, New York, Illinois, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Tennessee and California. It has been so nice to be able to connect with family every week.” – Sherina J.


“I replaced my morning commute (it was an hour!) with walking the dog. Starting my day outside has been a great way to spend a little time focusing on me before I have to juggle working from home and distance learning with 3 young kids” – Julia J.M.

“Started hikes to see the sunrise weekly. I love getting out before everyone and seeing the sunrise from above the city. It’s a great way to start my day that I would of never been able to do pre covid with my work schedule and commute. Doing them weekly still in 2021 and planning how I can make them continue in the fall when I go back to work and commute to school again.” – Dawn C.P.

“10,000 steps EVERY DAY!” – Janine R.N.


“Including all 3 of my children once a week in dinner preparation. It really was something they all enjoyed in different ways and actually limited the sibling fights! My kitchen was messier but everyone had fun and learned something.” – Amanda L.

“We are cooking together two times a week. My girls cook a meal once a week as well. Dream Dinners helps with that because they pick which ones they want to cook and all the instructions are there for them.” – Kerrie A.L.

I started participating in an international snack swap because I missed traveling. This helped bring the flavors of the world into my home. Something I now look forward to each month.” – Nova M.

Baking bread! Never did it before 2020 and still baking it now!” – Erika S.H.

“Started Dream Dinners! In June my husband and I started doing a diet that included one-meal-a-day days. We looked at some options and picked Dream Dinners to be our one meal on those ‘fasting days’. Of course one thing led to another and now we also love the breakfast and side options. We are both still on the diet and doing well!” – Lauren H.

“Dinner and a movie in the car! It’s like going to the drive in!” – Jennifer A.M.


I sewed Renaissance Faire inspired clothing for my family (during many sleepless nights) for an extremely fun photo session. And I did a quilt-along (virtually) and hope to finish it up before the end of the month and then move on to making quilts for my 4 and 1 year old children.” – Debra B.L.

“I joined a virtual book club started by a fellow teacher at my school. I have really enjoyed reading books I likely wouldn’t have picked out on my own!” – Jennifer K.K.

“I started doing my own floral arrangements! I took a class in the spring and my obsession grew from there! Having fresh flowers in the house has brought me so much joy and I’m not planning on stopping anytime soon!” – Colleen M.

We absolutely loved reading all of your responses, and there are so many more that we wish we could share – to read them all, join our Dream Dinners Community Group, where we posed this question for a giveaway earlier this month.

 In summary, it’s safe to say that a common thread among everyone’s responses was taking some extra time to care for ourselves and our loved ones. And if that’s something that 2020 gifted us, we’ll gladly accept.