Back in May, when quarantining was still a novel thing and fall felt lightyears away, we shared how our team members were passing the abundance of time they had suddenly found on their hands. Six months later and we’re all still (impossibly) living in some state of quarantine. Now that Tiger King is over, our sourdough starters are moldering in the back of our fridges and we’ve all had one (or 27) too many Zoom happy hours, we’ve found new ways to pass the time.
From enjoying New Mexico’s blue skies and hiking trails to binge-watching Tik-Tok, here’s an updated list of what’s keeping Esparzans busy this fall. We hope you’ll find some inspiration to fill the hours as the days get shorter.
Del | President & Founder
With lots of blue skies, sunshine and great weather in New Mexico, I use that to help recharge and reset. Golfing, mountain biking and spending time at our cabin in Ruidoso has been my prescription for handling the virus and staying safe. New Mexico’s sunshine offers plenty of vitamin D, and I have been trying to get as much of it as possible!
Staci | Senior Strategist
For me, the past few months have been on the alliterative side: it’s been all about the daily step count, DIY and doggos. I developed a healthy morning walk habit, which helps quiet my nagging Fitbit and gets me outside in the fresh New Mexico air. Never-ending projects around the house and yard typically fill my weekends. And in August a wee terrier puppy was added to the family.
Kiki | Traffic Director
In the last five months I’ve sold five new paintings. I’ve been working on some new skills, too. I also painted my first wall mural for a nursery. It was unbelievably rewarding and terrifying at the same time. My hubby and I have continued to support as many local restaurants and shops as possible by ordering takeout and curbside pickup. We’ve also been working on our home and making more home improvements. I’ve read 99 books so far this year and am on my way to my goal of 120 books. And every weekend my hubby and I go to all the local estate sales (while masked and socially distanced, of course!). I also continue to work on exercising as much as I can and eating better to get to a healthier me.
Cheyenne | Client Success Coordinator
Since travel is limited during this time, I’ve taken that as an opportunity to have more adventures within our beautiful state! Whether that’s hiking the summit of Mount Taylor, camping in the Jemez, rafting in Taos, horseback riding in Red River, kayaking for the first time at Conchas Lake, drinking wine in Cloudcroft or playing in the sand at White Sands, I have definitely made the most of what New Mexico has to offer during this crazy time. Next stop? The catwalk in the Gila National Forest. I’ve learned to pack extra masks and plenty of hand sanitizer everywhere I go!
Jamie | VP of Experience & Digital
I would imagine I am like most people—my pandemic experience has been a roller coaster of emotions. The things that have kept me going are my family, friends, colleagues, and these incredible stories from people all around the world. I think these last few months saw the collective realization that when dealing with the pandemic, we can’t go over it, we can’t go under it, so we must go through it. As times are unpredictable, it helped me to fall back on the passions that have been foundational in my life. One of those is painting and drawing. I’ve used art as a way to reduce anxiety, ground myself in the familiar, reduce the amount of time I spend in front of the computer and, finally, bond with my three kids.
Forrest | Client Success Executive & Project Manager
Five months later and I am still trying to make the most of quarantine. I’m using this time to continue practicing art, from bringing back my love for photography to trying out drawing using colored pencils (normally I use graphite only). The husband and I have also continued to support our favorite local breweries and restaurants (while masked up and practicing good social distancing) after a nice Saturday morning hike or a home improvement project. Most recently, we painted the garage.
Tonya | Media Buyer + Office Manager
Five months later … and I’m still binge-watching TV shows. A new thing for me is watching TikTok. Sitting down for 10 minutes of funny videos often turns into two hours or more! The family and I have also finally been getting some work done in the backyard that should have been done when we started this quarantine five months ago!
Eve | Director of Client Success
These past months have definitely had their ups and downs but being able to spend more time with my husband and dogs has been great. Whether going on hikes or just snuggling and binge-watching shows, it’s nice to not feel that every part of our free time needs to be filled with being social. It’s ok to just be and not plan anything. The dogs have also loved having us home. We get to spend more time going to the park, going on walks, and giving them treats.
Natalia | Digital Marketing Specialist
I’ve settled into my senior year of college and am balancing working at Esparza full-time! It’s been quite a lot of work, but I am thoroughly enjoying it and still finding many ways to unwind. Running in the foothills, near the Rio Grande and now my high school’s track, playing the piano and reading are my evening and weekend activities if I don’t have a ten-pager to write for my history class, or any dogs to dog-sit. Quarantine has not stopped me from exploring new activities, like mountain biking for the first time in Tijeras back in July, and has definitely not left me bored whatsoever!
David | Client Success Executive
The last five months seem to contain a decade’s worth of history (both for me personally and on a much grander scale), which is hard to whittle down into a quick blog post, but I’ll focus on my highlights: In March, I went from teaching English composition part-time at CNM and teaching tennis part time at the Tennis Club of Albuquerque to seeing my beautiful club and campus abruptly closed down (thanks, COVID). I had to rapidly transition to remote teaching. I finished out the semester sitting in my kitchen, communicating with sixty-some students primarily over individual emails, and generally trying not to pull my hair out.
Then, in mid-May, state regulations lifted, people felt the need to get active in a way that allowed for social distancing, and I found myself back on a tennis court full-time, teaching over 40 hours a week in 100-degree heat. I was a physical wreck. I had tan lines like WOAH. I knew that my interests and priorities were changing, and that my work life had to change with them.
I met Eve and Del. Six months after the pandemic radically changed all of our lives, I’m starting a new chapter here at Esparza. I’m so excited about the work and about my co-workers, and I feel very fortunate to be a part of this team. For now, I’m doing my best to settle in and learn fast—and on the weekends, I’m setting aside time to get a good massage and to actually enjoy playing tennis again.
Anne Claire | Art Director
It’s crazy to think we’ve all been living our “new normals” for so much of the year. While it’s been hard not to see the number of faces I normally see on a daily basis, I’ve really enjoyed being able to spend more time with my husband and dogs than I normally do with things being so busy. Over the last 5 months we’ve kept up virtual game nights every week with friends, been learning a new instrument, taken up axe throwing, witnessed one of my closest friend’s COVID elopement and made sure to find time to get outside (did anyone else catch that brief snow shower we got in September?). With everything being so remote, it’s been important to keep myself working towards goals…in Part 1, I was planning a virtual 50k so it’s only fair this time to up the stakes, so next weekend my husband and I will be running 50 miles together for the Yeti Ultra Challenge virtual race! With the weather finally cooling off and the leaves turning it should be the perfect weekend to spend exploring the Sandias!
Justin | Web Developer & Digital Specialist
Even being a homebody at heart, I’ve found time with friends and family more precious than ever. Whether over a zoom call or a masked meet-up, being able to enjoy and appreciate company has helped keep me balanced and grounded. I’ve tried to balance out my usual habits of coding personal projects, gaming with friends and binge-watching shows with bike rides and long walks with our dog.
Heather | Senior Marketing Writer
All the trashy TV. Early on in the pandemic, I binged weighty TV, award-winning TV, Serious Television. My husband and I re-watched The Wire. We explored HBO documentaries we’d missed out on. Six months in and that’s all gone out the window. Emily in Paris and Selling Sunset have been in regular rotation. We may have started Indian Matchmaker last night. I can neither confirm nor deny. Don’t judge. It’s escapism at its finest. And between the pandemic, the social unrest and the looming election, I’m ready to bury my head in good, fun nonsense. Add in a voyeuristic peek inside the homes of LA billionaires and I’m sold.
We’d love to hear what you’ve been up to. Share what’s keeping you busy this fall in the comments section below. We’ll pick our favorites and share them on our social channels!