What do I do when I’m not working? People who know me well know that I work a lot, but a major reason why is that my personal interests align closely with my professional interests.
I love learning about “what works” in tackling big issues. This is the foremost reason why I became a researcher. When I’m not working, I am often reading about exciting new developments and discoveries in the social sciences, public health, technology, and government. Mostly I read news articles and analysis pieces, but I also love reading books over long weekends. Nothing makes me happier than having a great conversation with interesting and thoughtful people.
Helping others through formal and informal volunteerism is also a big part of my personal interests. I believe we’re all in this together, so it is right and good to lift each other up. I regularly volunteer at my church, as well as through Board service at a local private school. I dedicate a significant amount of time helping kids stay active and learn new skills, because I believe that positive role models can have a lifelong impact.
I try hard to stay healthy through regular exercise, including martial arts and distance running, as well as eating a vegetarian (okay, pescatarian) diet. I also enjoy meditation, but I’ve struggled to turn this into a daily practice. I’ve never met a chocolate dessert I disliked.
The most fun I have, without question, is camping with my family. It’s hard to call it camping, though. We have a travel trailer that we take out as often as possible for weekend adventures, which seems to work well for a family with young kids. It is so much fun to be in (or at least near) nature with your family, with nothing to do but read, relax, talk, and play outside.