#WFH Diaries: Alyssa Toro of Connelly Partners

As confinement continues in most parts of the world, we're checking in with creative people to see how they're faring. Here's an update from Alyssa Toro, chief creative officer of Connelly Partners, an agency based in Boston with an office in Dublin, Ireland.

Give us a one-line bio of yourself.

Conceptual designer who's passionate about health, wellness and, apparently, seeing people.

Where are you living right now, and who's with you?

Living in a two-family outside of Boston with my husband, 16-year-old daughter, 12-year-old son and my lovely parents in the apartment below.

What's your work situation like at the moment?

Currently spending a lot of time helping our clients respond to this crisis with some cool solutions to business challenges. Looking forward to getting back to the office to do that face-to-face with my team in the "new normal."

Describe your socializing strategy.

I talk to my brother in Amsterdam often. I spend quality time with my family that our work schedules and their soccer schedules typically don't allow. And I shout overly enthusiastic hello's to complete strangers while I'm running.

How are you dealing with childcare?

My attention span has taken a big hit. We're managing the juggling of schoolwork schedules and keeping our family mentally well. My dining room currently looks like a teenage art gallery, which we call the paint therapy center. For me, creativity needs space and perspective. Looking forward to getting those two things back soon.

What are you reading?

I'm not. Please don't judge. I can barely manage as is.

What are you watching?

I love the series Abstract on Netflix. Specifically the Tinker Hatfield and Paula Scher episodes. Beautifully shot and incredibly inspiring.

What are you listening to?

My husband made me a playlist called "Maryland," which has pretty much every alternative '80s tune to remind us of our four years in College Park. And when we were younger. And when you could see people.

How are you staying fit?

I have always been pretty good about getting daily exercise in. Now I'm running more than ever, doing online workouts and walking many nights just to move. I'm also eating every 30 minutes, so it's pretty much a wash.

Have you taken up a hobby?

I don't really buy into the "We have to learn something new while in quarantine" philosophy. I am perfectly satisfied painting a few needed walls at home and trying to get my house as organized as possible. You should see my pantry. 

Any tips for getting necessities?

I've become a professional Whole Foods/Amazon Prime stalker. I never thought I would get so much joy seeing that two-hour window pop up. 

An awkward moment since all this started.

I can't think of one for me, but my 16-year-old just reported moments ago that a naked "Zoom bomber" streaked through her online driver's ed class. Awesome.

Best work email you got since all this started.

From a friend and co-worker, "I miss seeing your face."

An aha! moment since all this started.

I used to sweat the small stuff: my kid missing an important practice, a piece of furniture not fitting exactly how we expected, or a meeting not going the way we had hoped. This crisis just shows if you have your health, you have absolutely everything.

What's your theory on how this is going to play out?

Temporarily, we will have a new perspective. Walking down a simple spiral staircase in our South End office space will feel cool again. Seeing friends and colleagues on a daily basis will feel motivating again. I hope we can hang onto some of that as normal life, daily stress and the mundane settles back in.

See the full #WFH Diaries series here.

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Tim Nudd
Tim Nudd is editor in chief of the Clio Awards and the founding editor of Muse by Clio.

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