one red arrow veers off from a set of black arrows Source: Shutterstock

These past few years, all of us in the industry have been doing a lot of pivoting, professionally and personally (in some cases, it’s been more like pirouetting – the ballet term for a series of 360-degree spins performed while balancing on the toes of one foot).

For me personally, I’m living a much more quiet life than the one I envisioned for myself in 2019, which would have included a lot of traveling, in-person networking and visiting at least one new country each year. But instead of dwelling on what could have been, I’ve tried to focus on the things I’ve been able to do that would not have been possible had I led a more hectic, on-the-go lifestyle. I’ve become a much better cook than ever before, read 85 books in the past two years, and become obsessed with something that began as a pandemic hobby: Full-coverage counted cross stitch. For those of you who don’t know (which is probably all of you), this involves taking anywhere from 50 to 200 different colors of thread, and a large piece of fabric covered in small holes created by the spaces in between the fabric’s woven fibers. The holes form a grid of tiny squares – sometimes nearly 1,000 per square inch, depending on the tightness of the fabric’s weaving – and, following a paper or electronic chart where each thread color is represented by a different symbol, the stitcher fills the fabric’s squares with thousands of little hand-stitched x’s. You can find cross stitch charts online that allow for the replication of virtually any photo or work of art with thread as the medium, and the finished result can be art exhibit-worthy.

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Natasha Chilingerian

Natasha Chilingerian has worked in the credit union space for over a decade. She joined CU Times as managing editor in 2015 and was promoted to executive editor in 2019. Before that, she served as a communications specialist for Xceed Financial Credit Union (now Kinecta Federal Credit Union) in Los Angeles from 2013-2015, and as a CU Times freelancer from 2011-2013. She has been a professional writer and editor for more than 17 years, specializing in news and lifestyle journalism as well as marketing copywriting for companies in the finance and technology space.

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