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26 ways we found joy in 2020 — AspireIQ Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving! 

It’s been a rollercoaster of a year. But today, we want to take a moment to reflect on the things we’re grateful for and celebrate the little pockets of joy we’ve experienced this year, despite the circumstances. Since Thanksgiving falls on November 26th this year, we had 26 employees share how they’ve found joy in 2020. 

Here are their stories.

1. “It’s been heartening to see how the team adapted to working remotely so quickly. Also, seeing pets pop-up during zoom calls is also always a nice little hit of joy throughout the day!” — Leila Shooshani, Business Systems Manager

2. “I got a puppy! My boyfriend and I welcomed Stevie (a female Cavapoo) into our lives and we’ve never been happier! It’s been the best way to kick off the holidays!” — Madison Smith, Senior Marketing Strategist

3. “I got serious about decorating my apartment this year. Since I now spend so much time at home, I figured I should make it as cozy as possible. I’ve bought a ton of prints from artists I follow, colorful chairs, hygge-approved lights, and a couple of large plants — to name a few things. It was really fun picking out items that sparked joy and rearranging where everything should go until it felt just right. And now I’m so much happier staring at these 4 walls all day.” — Brittany Fleit, Director of Content Marketing

4. “I was able to spend more time with my family due to sheltering in place. And found different friendships flourishing from not seeing people in person. It helped me realize who in my life is important. I think my inner circle has become a lot stronger now. From a professional standpoint, going through COVID and seeing the HR community really come together and help each other navigate through the difficult times has been uplifting.” — Jeanine Dunlap, Director of People Operations

5. “My mom had her 6-month post op check up and is officially 6 months cancer free!” — Anna Gusdorf, Marketing Strategist

6. “Pre-COVID, I found joy through travel and going to the spa. Obviously, I’ve had to switch it up this year. In 2020, my greatest joy came from the abundance of time I’ve spent and memories I’ve made with my family. Regardless of anything going on in the world, spending time with the people I love brings me the greatest joy! (And a little online shopping here and there helped too).” — Terilyn Walker, Senior Content Marketing Manager

7. “My new relationship has been a surprising joy in 2020! I definitely wouldn’t recommend starting a romantic relationship in the middle of a global pandemic (lol), but it makes for a funny story. I’m thankful to have met someone so special amongst all the craziness that we’ve seen this year!” — Alyssa Voydat, Inbound Team Manager

8. “A golden retriever puppy joined my family in March and she’s been the best part of this year for me! I’ve been going on longer walks and making new (dog mom) friends because of her, so she’s had a really positive effect on my life.” — Jenn Kim, Content Marketing Specialist 

8. “Looking back, and I know it’s corny, but the happiest thing in 2020 has been seeing how our team at AspireIQ have stepped up to the challenges that 2020 has brought. 2020 hasn’t been an easy year for any of us personally, nor for us as a company. Our team has stuck together through the thick of it though. They’ve put in incredible effort, and more than ever, have stepped up to solve new challenges that not only the company faces, but raised their hands to help each other, help our brands and creators, and through Aspire for Good, help our communities. It’s corny, but if I really stop to think about that, I can’t help but have a smile on my face for what we’ve accomplished together this year.” — Shuhan Bao, Co-founder

9. “Buying roller skates and taking consistent time out to skate by the beach have given me joy.” — Jennifer Rose, Senior Campaign Manager

10. “One way I’ve found joy in 2020 is by taking more time to explore new hiking trails and just be in nature, while also encouraging my cat to go on adventures with us!” — Nicki Aguilar, Community Manager

11. “I found joy this year by expanding my family and getting some time to enjoy life with them.” — Emily Robinson, CMO

12. “I have found joy from our weekly Friday Meditation with Cody and Brahmani! Brahmani leads a wonderful practice every Friday, it is always the highlight of my week. Brahmani has a topic of focus each time we meet and an insightful story to learn from. I always find myself more calm, cool and collected after each class.” — Lucy Smith, Senior Customer Success Manager

13. “Since going remote, I was able to fulfill a lifelong dream of living on the beach. I am so grateful for being able to live in Venice and surf every day.” — Noah Kruse, Technical Implementation Manager

14. “I’ve welcomed a furry little friend into my life and he’s just the fluffiest ball of excitement and joy!” — Jeanie Paek, SDR

15. “Our new baby Louis was born in July!” — Tanner Simmons, Partnership Expansion

16. “I found myself spending my time unproductively so I decided to buy a broken motorcycle and teach myself to fix it up in my spare time. It’s been an incredible experience.” — Andrew Reese, SDR

17. “I got engaged and found creative ways to celebrate love with family and friends!” — Julia Raab, VP of Customer Experience

18. “I’ve been spending all my time with my fur baby Ofelia.”  — Ana Murray, Managed Team Lead×1024-1.png

19. “This year, I focused on my mental and physical health. I have made it a priority to make time everyday for meditation and some form of exercise!”  — Harrison Robinson, Account Executive

20. “This year undoubtedly has been unpredictable. However, I found joy in being comfortable with the unknown and unpredictable. Settling into a weekly routine that allows space for ‘curveballs’ and unexpected outcomes allows me to process those events as they come in and not feel as overwhelmed as I once was.” — Bryan Brennan, Director of Sales Development

21. “I’m so happy we decided to adopt our pitsky Rolo this year. It was a quick last-minute decision, and ended up being the best choice we’ve ever made. I still can’t believe how mild and sweet he is. It’s definitely a highlight for 2020!” — Missy Feola, Creator Support Representative

22. “Contribution. I truly believe the secret to living is giving. It doesn’t matter how you contribute — it could be volunteering, doing something nice for your friends/family, donating to a cause you care about, or even simply smiling at and acknowledging a person that is passing by. But consistently finding ways to contribute to others has had a profound effect on the amount of joy I experience on a regular basis. We all seek connection and purpose and I’ve found contribution is one of the best ways to meaningfully connect with others and create a sense of purpose in your life.” — Kyle Smith, Senior Manager Demand Generation

23. “The birth of our 2nd child, Bowie!” — Cody Liebman, VP of Sales

24. “I found joy in spending time with my kids as a family — even mundane activities like riding bikes, playing on the swings, swimming in the pool. Just being able to watch them grow up and spend so much quality time as a family has been a true blessing.” — Shanna Weinblatt, Senior Account Executive

25. “I really enjoyed seeing and spending time with my family. They live in Spain and it was so nice to enjoy beautiful moments with them and with my nephew, the new member of my family.” — Alvaro Carreras, Visual Designer

26. “I’ve had more time for self care – candles, face masks, and reading instead of busy social friend-and-family weekends.” — Nisha Shah, Chief of Staff

+ a bonus that’s too sweet not to share: “I started doing daily morning walks while on the phone with my best friend and coworker Haley Fiorentino. We take at least 30 minutes to walk in our respective neighborhoods, catch up on life, and we end by setting an intention and focus for the day. Those 30 minutes are so precious to me and have created a much-needed sense of routine during the chaos of 2020.” — Magda Houalla, Director of Marketing Strategy

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