Mask signs
(Noozhawk file photo)

For the past week, my email and social media inboxes have been flooded with “best of 2021” messages.

Bah humbug, I say!

Whether books, movies, photos, articles or shoe trends, I think it’s all a stretch.

Although I, too, usually compile a list of my most-read stories for my first-of-the-year Noozhawk columns, this time my heart wasn’t in a look back at another year filled with COVID-19 anxiety.

While waiting for inspiration, I’ve struggled to put my words into thoughts that would resonate with, inform or inspire my readers.

I’ve been known to take complaining to a humorous art form, but I have so much company now that I’ve thought about forming a support club. On Zoom, of course.

I’m not one of those writers who happily sits at home in pajamas or sweat gear all day, drinking whiskey, wine or coffee, and eating dark chocolate. My drink of choice is people.

While being social has always been effortless, 2021 had me on the emotional ropes. I thought 2020 packed a wallop but this past year hit differently and somehow more deeply.

Waking up to bad news has been unavoidable and repetitive. COVID-19, Delta and Omicron variants, tornadoes, wildfires, politics — oy vey.

I am not alone in this emotional dilemma, and I give everyone permission to kvetch. Pretty much everyone I know has been anxious about how to avoid getting sick or getting into arguments with family or friends about current events or choices.

The optimists among us — which I am so grateful for — remind me that I am blessed to have my home, health, family and friends. I appreciate their advice and perspective, but I still feel like I need to get a few things off my chest.

So, if you’ll indulge me, I’ve decided to go with dark humor and write my “worst of” instead of best of list for 2021. Something tells me you’ll be able to relate.

» Missing getting together with my family and friends without surgical strike apparel

» Sitting in a cozy booth inside a restaurant

» Exercising indoors without a mask

» No more Little Alex’s chicken soup

» Traveling on a cruise ship or airplane

» Nasal swabs or at-home testing before seeing my grandchildren

» Going to the movies or theater or concerts

» Long lines for testing or vaccines

» Hair, nails, doctors’ appointments or other female maintenance done through plexiglass

» Traffic on Highway 101 and Coast Village Road

» Too tight jeans

» Cancellations of most every event

» Separation anxiety in pets

» Aging friends

» Abusing online shopping

Happy New Year, 2022! If you’re laughing, you still have hope!

— Judy Foreman is a Noozhawk columnist and longtime local writer and lifestyles observer. She can be contacted at Click here for previous columns. The opinions expressed are her own.

Judy Foreman

Judy Foreman, Noozhawk Columnist

Judy Foreman is a Noozhawk columnist and longtime local writer and lifestyles observer. She can be contacted at The opinions expressed are her own.