The Small Things That Improved the Year

A few purchases that made us happy.

Anna Burgess Yang
5 min readDec 26, 2021


Our family has always erred on the cautious side with Covid. We hunkered down until vaccines became available, having groceries, staples, and carry-out food delivered. My husband and I used to enjoy lunch dates in the Beforetimes so this became “order lunch for delivery” during the pandemic.

Eventually, we began to order from separate restaurants and simply ate at the same time. Why not each enjoy our food of choice? I’m a sucker for breakfast food, so I would often order fancy pancakes, a skillet, or my favorite — eggs benedict (a vegetarian variety).

Eventually, we got our vaccines and re-integrated ourselves with society. Expensive carry-out food became less frequent.

I really missed my eggs benedict. So much so that in November of 2021, I bought a pan that would cook me perfectly poached eggs and found packets of seasoning to make hollandaise sauce at the grocery store. I’m a happy camper once again.

I saw something on Twitter recently asking people to share the small purchases (under $100) that made them happy in 2021. For me, it was this egg poacher pan that cost $16.95 and that I use multiple times per week.

As I reflected on my quick answer to the “best purchase of 2021” question, I began to think about how each of my family members would likely respond — or what I perceived to be their best purchase.

1. A subscription to a meditation app

You would think that this would be an adult purchase, but actually, I renewed my subscription to Headspace primarily for my 9-year-old son.

He is still working on how he responds when he is angry. Usually, he blows up (not uncommon for his age). He’ll yell, bang his fists on a table, or slam a door. All of which is normal for his age, but often he’ll fester on his anger long after his initial reaction.

I subscribed to Headspace in 2020 for myself but found that I didn’t use it as much as I would have thought. However, in 2021 I began to use it with my son. Headspace has kid meditations, including “cool down.” If he stormed off in a rage, I would give him a few minutes and then go into his room and ask him…



Anna Burgess Yang

Productivity geek + solopreneur with niche expertise. #5amwritersclub frequent flyer. •