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An Update from the IndyHub Team

Posted by: IndyHub
Posted: March 26, 2020
Categories: IndyHub

As a team, we know it’s our generation’s civic duty to stay physically distant to help slow the spread of COVID 19. That doesn’t mean we think it’s easy – and no we actually aren’t huge fans of working from home – but our team, along with millions of our global friends are making it work. 

Want to know what’s helping us feel less anxious, more productive and giving us a small sense of normalcy? Take a look below and you’ll see we’re all coping in very different ways. 

Let us know what you’re doing to stay positive right now. Tag us on Twitter or Instagram with your photos and thoughts. 

Wilson, yoga and sending some snail mail (and a great team at my side)

Ashley Miser, IndyHub Director of Strategy 

First, the facts. I’m pretty much obsessed with anything Dr. Fauci tells us. He’s incredible. I’ll call my friends and give them the #faucifacts of the day. But really, knowing the details makes me feel more in control and hopeful. 

Also, playing jokes on my husband. We’re obviously spending more time together than ever so it’s fun to surprise him with silly things like a “Social Distancing” countdown with my childhood Wilson volleyball (Cast Away with Tom Hanks, yes?). Also, I have no idea why my parents would have bought me this, I didn’t play volleyball and I only watched the film one time. 

I also had to dig back to my teaching days and set a schedule for myself.  I wake up around 6:30 a.m., and do yoga through a free app. By the time I change and grab my coffee I’m at my home desk by 8 a.m. ready for the day. The best part of my day is when our IndyHub team tunes in for Hot Topics and Team Time at 9:30 a.m. And really, nothing at IndyHub has slowed down – we like it that way.  

Finally, supporting local businesses through carryout or DoorDash has become our pastime – along with tuning in to local musicians live concerts via Facebook. And while he’s not local I fully committed to the Live stream of a Garth Brooks concert one night – including a poster on our dining room wall and wearing old concert merch swag. 

Each day I find myself spending more time writing, reading, walking outside and overall slowing down. While this is a challenge for someone who loves to stay busy, I know staying home and sending positive thoughts and snail mail to our healthcare professionals is my job right now. 

Quality time isn’t my love language, but it’s starting to be 

Blake Johnson, IndyHub President

I am a fiercely extroverted person – one of those people who wakes up exhausted and finds my strength from every little moment I spend with others throughout the day. From a quick conversation at the coffee shop, to brainstorming ideas with the IndyHub team, to every meeting and phone call with partners and constituents and friends, my cup is fullest at the end of a long day spent in the company of the people who make this city what it is. So, with stories of struggle filling the news and an important call to physically distance from one another, I’m seeing the world differently, to say the least.

But at the same time as I’m eager to sit around a table with actual people rather than avatars and video feeds, this has been an important reminder of what matters most. I’m as guilty as anyone…walking in the door at 9pm, eating something quick and collapsing into bed with an episode of The Office. More often than not, in a life with multiple jobs and many, many responsibilities, I would get fleeting moments with my family rather than putting them as my top priority.

It’ll sound a bit cutesie, but right now, I’m trying to make the most of every moment that my wife and I are getting to spend with each other. We’re both working the same ridiculous number of hours (probably, more), but we’re making breakfast for each other, talking throughout the day, helping when one of us needs something, walking the dogs, making dinner together, and recognizing that at the end of the day, everything we do – in our professional, personal and civic lives – is a bit sweeter because of the people who we love most.

Our friends have also been doing virtual meet-ups, including playing JackBox.tv through Google Hangouts. While we’d prefer the real thing, we get to see one another and do something fun in a time that we’d usually be grabbing dinner, playing cards or having people over. The IndyHub team is checking in each day, too, not just to talk about the organization but to check in on each other. We spend the first 15-minutes of our daily staff meeting just chatting. It’s cathartic and a great way to start the day. As 20- and 30-somethings, we’ve grown up with the digital revolution, and this is one of those moments where I’m grateful for all the tools at our disposal. 

And now the geeky confession: I’m also doing a bit of gaming. Growing up, I loved sitting down at the old-school Nintendo with Mario, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and eventually with Sonic or Belle’s Quest on Sega (look it up). So, in a throw-back to my childhood and college days, I’ve been hopping on XBOX Live with a few friends and my father-in-law to catch up and take our mind off things.

And lastly, I’m trying to make sure I’m still doing some good, even if we can’t leave the house. Our team is obviously working every day to keep people connected, involved and making a difference, but I’m doing the best (in my other life as a City Councillor) to keep people informed, help them deal with issues that are popping up and doing my part as an elected official to see our city through this challenge. 

It’s a tough time, but I’m incredibly proud of our city and its people. And I know we’ll get through this together. 

Finding joy in the little things during March (S)adness

Hannah Thomas, IndyHub Communications & Advocacy Manager 

March has, and always will be my favorite time of the year. I could argue about this through tomorrow. In addition to the start of spring, March is the time for St. Patrick’s Day, Indiana Basketball, and most importantly, Aries season – yes I’m that girl. Growing up, not only did March mark spring break aka trips to the beach, but also my birthday. Lucky for me, my parents stressed an emphasis on birthdays unlike any other, so not only do I like to celebrate myself, but all the other lucky March born babies too. 

Not only did my 24th birthday call for a celebration, this month I officially began my journey on the IndyHub team. As the COVID-19 crisis grew day by day, my fear of losing the things I was thrilled about this month were gone. The St. Patrick’s Day parade, the Billie Eillish concert with my new team, and having some of my favorite people in the room for my birthday all began to slip away as we began to be confined to our homes.

I’m an extrovert who loves people – I knew this wasn’t going to be easy.

Now here I sit on my back porch, having my own Billie Eillish concert under the sun with birds chirping in the background – not all that bad- and in these unpredictable moments I’m reminded that it’s more about the little things. I’m so unbelievably fortunate at this moment to have my health, my incredible job bringing together 20-and 30-somethings, and my family & friends. I know many of us have these things, but many don’t so take a moment, like literally right this second to be thankful for what you have not what you don’t. 

My plan for the foreseeable future is to collect these “little moments” and harness all the joy they bring to my soul. Each day I get to FaceTime my adorable niece, Genevieve, hop on Google Meets will my team, and give back by fostering a pooch, Fiona from IndyHumane. I take time out to tell my parents and Granny that I love them, hop on Zoom with my best friends from high school, and still try to keep up with my skin routine – ya’ll Glossier, yes. 

And when we get through this together – I’ve got big plans, BIG.

Thinking about when we get through this puts the biggest smile on my face. My Granny and I have planned a trip down to the Grand Canyon and I’m considering inviting the entire City of Indianapolis over to my house for a SoBro backyard party. Do you think I can talk IndyHub prez Blake Johnson to forgo his East side pride and make his way to SoBro? Only time will tell. I’ll keep you updated on this one. 

I’m better when the sun rises 

Katelyn Sussli, IndyHub Community & Events Manager

Social distancing doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy the outdoors. Spring fever is a real thing. Now that those warmer temperatures have arrived – and we all have to maintain our 6 feet –  I’ve been biking, running, and most frequently, walking my pup, Oakley, every which way around Broad Ripple. Plus, I can actually say “hello” to real life humans – not behind a computer! Bonus, my step count has never been higher. 

And it’s a good thing I’ve increased my steps because I’ve been cooking a lot lately. One of my New Year’s resolutions was to start cooking more by trying one new recipe a week. While my commitment to this goal has been pretty wishy washy, I have found a new joy in cooking and baking these last two weeks. Plus, my rockstar team members got me Joanna Gaines’ Magnolia Table cookbook for my birthday full of yummy recipes like this Overnight French Toast. 

One thing that hasn’t changed for me is that I’m a morning person.  For me, especially right now, it is super motivating to get something checked off my to-do list before the sun comes up. Even with my love of mornings, those few hours before work can become busy and chaotic – walking the dog, checking emails, getting ready, packing lunches, you know the drill. #WFH has allowed me to use the mornings to slow down and do something I genuinely enjoy like read a book or connect with my family on FaceTime – while also emptying the dishwasher or putting in a load of laundry. My two-year old niece, Natalie, is a big fan of FaceTime – who says you can’t have chocolate pudding for breakfast?! I can truly say the morning’s will always be my best space – they take away my troubles and keep me grounded even in these uncertain times. 

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