Being resourceful, scrappy, and even creative was not new in 2020, and yet being restrictive in where I went to stay safe and keep myself challenged, or overcoming challenges was different!
From those altered situations came some ingenuity, or at least some "punting" when faced with a lack of resources or an interest in a new approach to doing or solving something. Some even reminded me of previous hacks that have become habits, and they are each worth presenting for your consumption. After all, aren't all learnings best when shared for other people's benefit?
- LIFE HACK: Shoes smelling stinky or the linings getting misshapen? Doing 10,000 steps before sunrise for 100 days, and now a marathon of miles every week, my feet sweat, which causes both odor and wetness, and as a result, messed up shoe linings or arch supports unless you do this: Before putting on your socks, tights or shoes without socks or tights for work or for play, swipe or spray your favorite clear deodorant on your feet in order to save your shoes and keep your confidence high for removing them without odor or wetness hesitation!
- LIFE HACK: Looking to practice a physically-distanced presentation at a podium without a podium at your remote work office for your run-throughs? While I am not a fan of using a podium, other than for a commencement address, they are making a comeback as part of safety protocols. To practice remotely, and/or in your home, use a large Amazon box, a paper ream box, or even a box from a case of bottled beer positioned length-wise, and there you go, you have a podium! Delivering that talk standing on a virtual meeting, and still no podium for notes? You can either put large print notes around the outside of your screen above the camera to keep eye contact up, or wrap the box in brown paper (available online in a roll), and put your company logo on the front, so the podium-effect carries across the on-line meeting!
- LIFE HACK: Rough feet or hands? Having only had one professional pedicure, and no professional manicures in 2020, and still getting dressed head-to-toe for remote work each day, my hands and feet were not looking their best! The solution? Put Vicks Vapor Rub, or the generic equivalent, on in generous amounts before bed, and for your hands, use old gloves or mittens, and for your feet, use socks you no longer want, and cover them. In the morning, you will find all the little cracks diminished or gone, and once you dispose of the gloves or socks, you'll likely have the added benefit of noticing that you have clear sinuses as well! (Bonus hack is that if you are painting your own nails and/or toenails, shower with a washcloth or scrubby about an hour after the fast-dry topcoat is applied, and the excess around your fingers and toes will soften and you can quickly remove anything around the nailbed while the skin is soft.)
- LIFE HACK: Too much gift bag to fill? I discovered this quite by accident and through my resolve when wrapping gifts in the early hours with a dwindling supply of tissue paper and leftover tablecloths from the prior week's in-home room-by-room-themed pub crawl. What to do? When you have a large gift and a large gift bag, instead of using 2 or more packages of decorative tissue paper to fill the space & cover the gift, use one Dollar Tree disposable, lined tablecloth to create a cute look while filling the bag for only a dollar!
- LIFE HACK: At the end of your lipstick or ChapStick with some left below the surface? The lipstick I love was discontinued, and having many tubes in various places, it seemed there was a lot getting wasted when disposing of the tube with about 1/6 of it below the line of sight once the tube was fully extended yet part was below where it could not reach my lips. How to fix that pout without pouting over wasted lipstick or ChapStick? Using a cotton swab, you can scoop out the remaining lipstick or chapstick, and if you have any small container with a lid, that becomes your new container for it all, and you can use a cotton swab or your finger for applying what is now your new-found supply of lipstick or ChapStick! (Bonus hack is that you can put the lipstick, lip balm, or even sunscreen or foundation in a small contact lens holder for compact, flat storage, and carrying.)
- LIFE HACK: Want to send flowers last minute within 2 hours? The idea of Christmas flowers following some news from a family member felt like they'd brighten that person's day, and yet it was too late to get a local florist to deliver. I love supporting local florists and do often. This day, though, I got creative by logging onto Publix (a grocery chain I knew was in the area) and selected a floral arrangement and a vase to be delivered (she had vases, so I could have skipped the vase). While there was no card with it, the process was outstanding and was less than half with tax and tip. In order to ensure the delivery was smooth, I messaged the recipient to ensure she'd be at home, and they sent a text message to check out front. When she got them, it was a beautiful exchange of surprise and appreciation for how fast that happened! I'll surely still honor the expertise of local florists in the future AND in quick turn-around times will use delivery services through grocery outlets!
The lessons learned over the past years were meant to assist you with some quick or convenient changes or considerations, and hopefully this LIFE HACK edition carried that forward with a twist. While these life hacks were new to me the first time I thought to "hack" the way shared above, I present them not for credit, for, admittedly, they could be something common that I never heard of, or they could be unique based on my experience, and either way, here's to happily hacking life and enjoying the results with some fun!