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Honorable Mention Chapter Award



Ask the Board - What was your ‘silver lining’ while in quarantine?

20-21 board

By: MPIGNY | Dec 3, 2020


In the current climate of quarantine and lockdown, it can be easy to focus on the negatives—all the places we can’t go and all the friends and colleagues we can’t visit with in person; but for many, the inability to go to work or socialize with friends has brought about some unexpected positive changes. We recently asked our board, “What was your ‘silver lining’ while in quarantine, i.e. an unforeseen benefit that came about as a result of the city-wide lockdown?”

Michelle Marie Adams

Getting to know myself! I have been able to identify the areas of my life and person that could use a little improvement; come to find out that most all of them are 100% within my control. Although 2020 has truly been a glass half-empty kind of year, I didn’t want it to go by having accomplished nothing, so I looked past the hopelessness of 2020 and did something. Since April I have lost 20 lbs. and counting, feel in love again with my fiancé, recertified as a Yoga Instructor, connected with many “long-lost” friends, and started NYIAD Interior Design and Home Staging classes; I should have both certificates before the end of this year. So come December 31st at 11:59pm I will look back on this shitastic year and feel content that I made a few “improvements” that will only make me a stronger and better person going forward. I really got to know me, and I must say that I like her a lot more now than I did before.

Andrew Barnes

Silver lining for me has been seeing the strength in relationships. I have connected on different levels with my clients. Been able to chat about different things other than work and have actually been able to get face time (through Zoom) with a lot of people that pre-COVID I wasn’t able to due to everyone being so busy all the time.

John Bock

Through this time, I have been furloughed and have moved out of the city and in with my in-laws. This is a place years ago I never thought I would be. While trying to piece life back together, I have taken this time to explore avenues of my life I have forgotten about. I have been able to open up my creative side and write three fiction books which are available on Amazon. I have been able to take art classes and expand my knowledge of digital design. I have used the time to enjoy and explore a lost passion that can be forgotten in the day to day hustle.

Additionally, I have been able to focus on my family. I have had more Zoom calls with loved ones and people I have not connected with in years. I have trained a puppy that I adopted in February before this all happened. I have been closer than ever with my wife as we plan for this new future.

Although I still feel confused about the future, I feel good about this time that basically gave me a new and fresh outlook on life. I'd like the world to go back to normal and people not to get sick, but my quarantined time has been beneficial to rediscover what I love.

Lauren Carbonneau

I was able to spend more time with my family than I have since living at home prior to college. I could go on leisurely walks with my parents and our dogs, bike with my sister and nephew, and just enjoy spending quality time doing nothing together.

Patrick Colomer

My silver lining while in quarantine was being able to spend time with my family. Back in March, I went home to Ponte Vedra Beach, FL, to ride out the start of the pandemic in the Sunshine State. The main highlight was being able to spend a lot of time with my seven-year-old nephew, Mikey. We went to the pool, rode bikes, and watched a lot of cartoons. Living in Manhattan for the last nine years, you get accustomed to a certain high-paced environment. So, to be able to go down there for almost three months and experience a more relaxed lifestyle that I grew up with was truly a blessing.  Oh yeah, and I played a lot of golf with my friends from college, too!

Lauren Fair Gilbert

My silver lining was getting to spend so much time with my husband in our home. We bought our first house in November and finished the renovations the weekend before quarantine happened. It has been really great getting to spend this much time together somewhere that we put so much blood, sweat and tears into!

David Hughes

Once we passed the peak of the COVID infection rate in NYC, I began to mask up and venture out for walks in my Bay Ridge neighborhood of Brooklyn. I gradually expanded my path and eventually encountered a Revolutionary War Heritage Trail marker showing the historical sites of the Battle of Brooklyn on August 27, 1776. I set a goal to walk to and visit as many sites as possible by August 27, 2020. As a result, I have explored many neighborhoods (Gravesend, Windsor Terrace), parks (Calvert Vaux, Prospect Park), and cemeteries (New Utrecht, Green-Wood) for the first time; and have seen more of Brooklyn in 3-4 months than I had seen in the previous 14 years! All of which resulted in weight loss (30 pounds!), my first suntan in decades, and a break from the cable news cycle!

Colleen Jasinski

The silver lining for me as been two-fold – physically, I am in the best shape of my life, and mentally, I spent some of my downtime sharpening my skills with online learning and earned certifications in Cvent Event Management and Copy editing/Proofreading. None of which would have been possible without quarantine. Pre-COVID, I could never work out at home and spent money on a gym membership that I only used sporadically. During lockdown, I discovered several yoga instructors on YouTube and started doing Yoga every morning. That, plus a decided change in my eating habits, and I have lost over 30 lbs since June. It has been a complete lifestyle change for the better!

Annie Kojundzija

My silver lining has been to take an actual lunch hour and go for a bike ride.  It’s a great stress reducer, and I come back to work with a clear head and feeling refreshed.

Judi McLaughlin

While I so miss seeing all my industry friends and colleagues and travelling, my silver linings include the unexpected time I’ve been able to spend with my immediate family, the many more books I’ve been able to read, and the recognition that I really don’t need much in the way of “stuff”.  In other words, I can live much more simply than I thought I could without a need or desire for new clothes, make-up, and even manicures!

Elaine Morena

Decluttering with the help of Marie Kondo. And reconnecting with my best girlfriends who live out of state.

Laura Mulholland

My quarantine silver-lining is being able to work from home and being with my husband and three dogs.  It may not always be peaceful around here, but being surrounded by love, laughter and 12 paws is the comfort we needed to get through this. I miss being in NYC and seeing my work and MPI family in person, but I sure don’t miss Penn Station!

Travis Pham

Seeing more of my family “virtually” during the pandemic was one of benefits that came out of this pandemic. I don’t see us changing the way we communicate anymore – Facetime for the Pham family for life!

Geri Richlin

Reconnecting with friends around the country! While we’ve always stayed in contact, so many of my closest friends are scattered across the country and now that we’re all connecting with everyone virtually it has been a surprising delight to start “hanging out” more regularly and growing closer than we’ve been since living in the same city.

Carly Roncaglio-Marotta

My husband and I love to cook! Now that we’re not going in 100 different directions, we’ve made LOTS of home cooked meals with Matteo!

Jennifer Rondinelli

I would say my silver lining during the lockdown was being able to reflect and reprioritize my personal life more. It gave me a time to focus on my home, my family, and friends. FaceTime and Zoom allowed me to stay connected with my parents especially. Setting up a weekly call with them gave us the opportunity to see each other, and our calls seemed to get longer and longer, which I enjoyed so much.

John Sklencar

I made time in my schedule for a daily quick 30-minute yoga practice, and now I cannot imagine my day without it. It has helped bring back the focus, energy, and connection that my life had lacked from quarantine.

Sarah Thomas

My silver lining during quarantine was spending quality time with my husband. We got married June 2019 after I started a new job in May, and we moved from DC to NYC. All in a span of 6 weeks. It was a busy year last year, and I feel like we didn’t have a lot of time to process our marriage. As soon as we got back from our honeymoon, literally two days later I was on the road visiting clients in the Northeast. And because I am based in NYC working for a DC hotel, I went back and forth at least 1-2 times a month. Quarantine came in March, as did a furlough, and time suddenly stood still. We were able to really be there for each other, and even though spending every waking hour with someone brings friction, we came out stronger together. That is something I’ll never have again! Also, sitting on my fire escape and breathing in the air of my favorite city...socially distanced!




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