Work/Life: What new hobby or interest have you developed during the pandemic?
“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
We asked five association professionals how they've been filling their time during the last year.