COVID Silver Linings: Something New

Before the pandemic, we all dreamed about what we’d do with more time. Then we finally had more time to turn those nagging “what-ifs” into reality. Here’s what happened.

We’ve all heard it before: If I had more time, I’d write a novel, make turducken, learn to play an instrument, become fluent in Uzbek, or move to a bucolic paradise, far from the madding crowd. These dreams always seemed relegated to the “When I retire” or “When the kids are grown up” file. Then, at the flip of a switch, many of us had the extra hours we’d longed for to accomplish these seemingly far-fetched goals and make them happen.

Suddenly there were no more excuses, and a lot of us picked up that easel, blank page, instrument, or computer and got busy fulfilling those promises to ourselves.

Here, association pros share new opportunities they’ve explored since the pandemic began.

Linda Grande Brady, CAE

Executive Director, Texas Dental Association

We sold our home and bought a home in the country with a bit of acreage and dark skies. There’s no way we would have been able to make this happen in “normal” times.

Randi Sumner

Senior Director of Entrepreneurship and Strategy, IEEE

We became foster dog parents and really love the entire experience. We’re on our third bonded pair since April!

Willis Turner, CAE

CEO, Sales and Marketing Executives International, Inc.

I started Virtual Memorial Gatherings, a website for virtual gatherings to memorialize lost loved ones, in April. So far we have helped over 70 families create beautiful live virtual memorial services.

Deedre Daniel

Founder, The Interesting Conversations Company

I wrote a book, created an online version of The Very Interesting Game, and have written new card questions almost every day for future versions, and a few expansion packs. I wouldn’t have completed any of these if I were still traveling as frequently as before. Ironically, I have met many more new people playing my game virtually than in person. I spend my days laughing with strangers. Quite frankly, I hope that part stays.

Betsy Boyd-Flynn, CAE

Executive Director, Oregon Academy of Family Physicians

I have started taking trumpet lessons. I have never played before, and it is delightful and hard to be a rank novice. I love it. Two months in, and I can totally play “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star” without any trouble.

Editor’s Note: These responses were compiled by Sheri Jacobs, FASAE, CAE, CEO and president of Avenue M Group, in response to a question she posed on her Facebook page asking her friends and colleagues to share their COVID-19 silver linings. We thank them for sharing them with us.



(AlexSava/E+/Getty Images Plus)

Lisa Boylan

By Lisa Boylan

Lisa Boylan is a senior editor of Associations Now. MORE

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