2020 is done, over and finally in the rearview mirror!
But not everything about 2020 was awful.
Here are the Top Ten Good Things That 2020 Brought us!
10 The Mandalorian: Season 2
This show was the Star Wars fans hoped they were getting with the incoherent mess that was the new trilogy. It was literally everything terrific about Star Wars.
A cute little creature (Baby Yoda), an evil villain in an ebony cape, the return of the galaxy’s most famous bounty hunter, a well written Storm Trooper-seeking-redemption-character-arc (unlike what the trilogy bobbled with Finn), lots of blaster action and characters from the animated series expertly woven into the live action universe.
Plus the return of the Luke Skywalker we all grew up with and loved (before Rain Johnson and Kathleen Kennedy chose to character assassinate him for no apparent reason)
9 Tiger King
HOLY CRAP! Where to start with this!
It was eye opening for me in that I had no idea there were so many private zoos across the country…or that there were so many gun-toting gay cowboys in Oklahoma.
I will tell you who made bank off this show: manufacturers of Halloween costume mullets! And that B-tch Carole Baskin!
8 80’s Nostalgia (Cobra Kai, TMNT, G.I. Joe…)
Initially I had this one as “Cobra Kai Moving To Netflix,” but that is really just part of the ’80’s Nostalgia Revival’ that 2020 saw as a whole.
G.I. Joe released a new series of action figures and vehicles (which is why if you see a bunch of overweight middle aged dudes hanging around the toy aisle at Target, they are probably harmless).
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles co-creators Kevin Eastman & Peter Laird returned to the comic book for a new mini-series called The Last Ronin (where the last surviving Turtle must avenge the deaths of his brothers).
Madonna is wearing silly stuff.
And of course we returned to the realm of the Karate Kid with Ralph Macchio and William Zabka (who is a really cool dude in real life) with a new season of Cobra Kai on Netflix where people will actually see it (as opposed to YouTube).
7 We All Discovered ‘Hot Chocolate Bombs’
I had never heard of these prior to a few months ago, but my wife became obsessed with these recently. And judging by my Facebook feed, she is not the only one.
While I am not the biggest ‘Hot Chocolate’ guy (unless there is booze in it), I gotta admit, there is something satisfying about watching the chocolate sphere melt and the marshmallows pop out.
6 Cheap Gas And Shorter Work Commutes
I debated about including this on the list because the two items kind of cancel each other out.
Yeah, gas became super cheap for a while there in the late Spring/Early Summer.
But that was because consumption was severely down because there was literally no place open to drive to. Darn ‘Supply & Demand’ basic Economics 101.
The average work commute in the United States (prior to COVID) was 26.1 minutes each way, per a report from CNBC. Commuting down the hallway from the bedroom to an office shouldn’t take anywhere near that long, so you’d think the average American working from home should have gained 5 hours of productivity per week, right? Well many have kids, so….NO.
5 Old people learning to video conference
Sometimes the best way to teach someone a new life skill is just to simply throw them in the deep end of the pool and let them learn to swim. And sometimes they just friggin’ drown.
While getting our parents on Zoom or Hangout meetings was definitely infuriating at times, lets give the ‘Baby Boomers’ credit for (eventually) figuring it out!
Next challenge for them to undertake: Actually Driving the speed limit in the left lane without forgetting their left turn signal on!
Also, I love those Progressive commercials about “becoming our parents”
4 Day Drinking Became More Socially Accepted
The stress of working from home with spotty internet connections along with the ambient sounds of screaming toddlers and ambient smells of diaper pails is nothing to joke about. Unless it is done tastefully like Tropicana did!
While I don’t anticipate the return of Mad Men styled 3 Martini lunches, seeing a cracked open beer or glass of wine on a co-worker’s desk during a VC has become more socially accepted.
Having said that, you may want to curb the drinking during your annual performance reviews with the boss.
3 The Proliferation Of Restaurant Delivery
Pivoting to market conditions is part of what successful companies do. Sometimes unfavorable contitions are forced upon you and you either adapt and innovate or you whither away and die.
Bars and restaurants were dealt a horrible blow this past year with COVID-19 and the restrictions forced upon them to help control the spread of the disease.
This has lead to most restaurants adjusting their business model to more focused on carry out and delivery through 3rd party companies, such as Grub Hub, Uber Eats, Postmates and DoorDash.
Even companies like Taco Bell have been forced to change their menu to better accommodate the new more drive thru focused economy.
Now, anything from a filet mignon from Capital Grill to a Frito burrito from Taco Bell can be shared at same meal on the kitchen table! (For good or bad)
2 “Essential Workers” Finally Getting A Little Recognition
The idea of “Stay Home, Stay Safe” sounds great…so long as when we order our purchases online or our meals from the apps mentioned above, they somehow magically appear at our door. But what about the people behind the logistics of how those items got to our door?
Staying home was never an option for the truck drivers, delivery people, cashiers or stock people at the grocery stores. Staying home was also not an option for all the cooks, restaurant operators or meal delivery drivers, many of whom were forced into the role because the normal career had been “put on pause.”
Are these people”Heroes?” Yeah. Did they choose to be? In most cases, nope. They are people who simply didn’t have the financial option to stay home and stay safe. They had rent, bills and families to provide for and needed income. They deserve respect and appreciation. Don’t forget to leave them tips!
And I haven’t even mentioned the incredible job the healthcare workers and first responders have done.
Side Note: I normally I don’t weigh in on politics, but in this case I really want to say that our government, and to stress I do mean BOTH PARTIES, completely failed their citizens in a time of need. They continued to collect their full paychecks (with their full benefits) while pointlessly bickering over superficial nonsense rather than doing their job and pushing forth meaningful help for their citizens.
The ‘Stimulus Packages’ were jokes. The amount of ‘help’ they provided the average citizen showed a complete disconnect with the reality that normal people live in (and don’t get me started on the amount the banks profited off these bills).
And lastly, to load a relief bill in a time of crisis with billions of dollars worth of self serving fat is the political equivalent of looting. Both parties should be ashamed of themselves.
1 Spending time with the little kids at home
Ok, I promise my political rant is over.
The #1 item on the List Of The Best Things of 2020 is the most challenging and rewarding. Spending ever waking moment with the kids.
The age old saying “The days are long but the months are short” has never been truer then during a quarantine.
When everything shut down back in March (I’m in Michigan), the member of our family that had the hardest time with the transition was our 3-year-old. He thought not being able to go to places and see his friends was a punishment for a perceived wrong he committed.
My heart broke for him every time he would ask “Can we go somewhere, Daddy? I’ve been a good boy!” Fortunately, the weather cooperated this Summer and we were able to spend as much time playing outside as possible.
My wife’s job included a heavy travel schedule prior to COVID, but she has been working from home since March as well. Having her around everyday and for bedtime every night has led to a much closer relationship between her and our now 4-year-old. For her to be able to around him and our 18-month-old daily and be able to participate as much as she has over the past impactful 9 months is an experience that cannot be replaced or have a price tag put on it.
They are only little for a little while and we are grateful everyday for being fortunate enough to not have experienced the financial hardship many of our neighbors had to deal with.
Honorable Mention: That Twisted Tea GIF
Just because I can watch a racist dude getting smacked in the face all day!
For a little further reference, HERE is a longer video but be warned: VERY STRONG LANGUAGE!
There is nothing more satisfying than seeing a racist smacked in the face!
What are some of the best things you have found to come out of 2020?