Work/Life: What new hobby or interest have you developed during the pandemic?

We asked five association professionals how they’ve been filling their time during the last year.

By the FORUM Magazine editors

FRM 012 WorkLife

“I used to do indoor cycling at a local spin studio but stopped a couple of years ago, and I’ve always missed it. With the pandemic going into the winter months and limiting outdoor exercise options, I decided to buy a Peloton bike! I love it, especially since I’m still working from home, so it’s been great to jump on it during my lunch hour and work up a sweat.”

— Angelica E. Pollard, intersociety relations specialist, American Society of Anesthesiologists

“A silver lining to the pandemic is I have had more time at home to focus on my physical, emotional and brain health. I have enjoyed experimenting with new recipes and preparing healthy meals. I have also been journaling and writing creatively, which has been a great way to practice gratitude and focus on the positive — I have even been writing poems! Finally, I’ve spent some time with the Wordscapes app on my phone. This word puzzle game challenges my mind and offers a competitive outlet.

While this has been the most challenging period many of us can remember, I’m grateful for the opportunity to have time at home to re-center myself.”

— Wylecia Wiggs Harris, PhD, CAE, CEO, American Health Information Management Association

“I’m an avid runner who always ran after work when I had a morning commute. Since working from home, I have had time to run before work, and it has been a very enjoyable experience. I have witnessed some spectacular sun rises, and the lakefront trail is quiet and relaxing. Also, back in March when the country started shutting down, I envisioned having to stay inside for months, so I decided to buy a PlayStation 4 and become an expert gamer. I found out even in quarantine I don’t have much time for video games. I’m still at a beginner level, but it’s been fun learning something new.”

— Jason Friske, IOM, CAE, senior director, operations, Association for Corporate Growth

“YouTube has become a GOOD friend of mine! Working from home has caused me to upgrade my surroundings with several DIY projects. YouTube has millions of videos on easy (and more importantly, cost-efficient) projects — from painting, repurposing furniture, remodeling basements, kitchen and bathroom updates, room décor ideas and everything in between. After a long day, I grab a good glass of Cabernet and tune into videos that help spark new ideas and fun challenges to transform my space. After that, I take on the challenge, and it becomes quite therapeutic to zone out and focus all my attention on a handy after-hours/ weekend project. No phone, no TV — just me, good music and my tools. Once completed, I have an incredible sense of accomplishment and pride for completing another small home project!”

— Jakeeva J. Lee, CIPS, AHWD, external affairs manager, Chicago Association of REALTORS


“I’ve started to play board games with family: cards, backgammon, puzzles — as well as some games from my youth, such as Battleship, Mastermind and a newer board game called Otrio. I have also spent time exploring our town and surrounding paths and trails on bikes with my son, who is in eighth grade. This has been a great way to get some quality time in with him and be outside.

It’s the little things, some of the simplest things, which I know we’ll look back on years from now fondly.”

— Matt Sanderson, president and CEO, SmithBucklin

Written by FORUM Magazine editors.

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