#WeAreArity Wednesday: Kamron Clifford
What bucket list item do you want to check off in the next six months?
I love to travel and I’ve had traveling to the Panama Canal on my list for ages. I read a book recently about the marooning of sailors that were traveling around Cape Horn and how dangerous the seas are there. It really got me thinking again about the Panama Canal and how we’ve overcome that challenge.
I’m planning a trip to go in a few months. It’s in the initial planning stages, and we’ll see if it works out. I know they’re having water level issues, so that can get in the way – but I’m hoping to scratch that off my list soon.
Why do you want to travel to the Panama Canal?
The Panama Canal was the answer to a lot of problems that affected the way the world worked – the way travel and transport happened in the past. It’s kind of an engineering marvel that it was built, and it solved a lot of problems.
And to be honest, I think I’d actually prefer to go to Cape Horn and see the Patagonia region. Going to the Panama Canal though is probably an easier, safer option for me to do.
What are you planning to do at the Panama Canal?
I think it’s cool to travel by boat and be able to see it from end to end. I’ve never been to that part of the world, so I hope to have a more direct experience with traveling through there.
What is your favorite holiday?
Definitely Thanksgiving! That one is a no-brainer for me. I was born on Thanksgiving, so I always favored it as a kid. But I think even if I wasn’t born on Thanksgiving, it has to be the best holiday just because of the awesome meal and the opportunity to get together with friends and family. There’s a focus on celebrating together. I absolutely love the menu – the mashed potatoes and stuffing pushes the holiday over the top.
Growing up, how did you celebrate both Thanksgiving and your birthday?
We had four family members that had birthdays around Thanksgiving. So, alongside the pumpkin pie, we usually had a birthday cake as well for the four of us. That was always a consistent part of our Thanksgiving celebration.
If you could live in any state, which state would you pick?
I have been to all but a couple of states. I think I’m down to eight or nine that I still need to go to. So, I’m pretty confident in saying that I would choose the one where I live – New Hampshire.
I’m originally from California. I lived all over the state and I moved to New Hampshire 19 years ago. I haven’t regretted it for a minute.
It’s mostly because it’s a good counterbalance to my work life. Once I’m done with work, I can leave and get out there. There’s fresh air, there’s a lot of space, there’s almost no traffic, and there’s a lot of quiet. There’s a lot of art, culture, and a lot of things to do here at the same time.
Who is the most famous person you have ever met?
One of the advantages of New Hampshire is that we’re the first in the nation in terms of the presidential primary. So, we end up having a lot of big political names that pass through.
The most famous person I’ve met in terms of political figures has to be Bill Clinton. For Hillary’s campaign in 2016, he spoke at an event in the neighboring town. When he came around and was meeting different individuals – he was talking to me, my husband, and my stepson, and a news crew jumped through the crowds and started talking to him. So, I was on the news that night – trying to look calm and natural – while he was interviewed but the whole crowd meanwhile was shoving him and us into each other, a little closer than we all probably would’ve liked.
What do you do with the extra time working from home (WFH) that you wouldn’t get to do working in person?
So much. I definitely have more time for quality time with my family and to pursue hobbies. I have a vegetable garden, and I’ve been trying to be good about having a garden each year for the last 12 or 13 years. Now that I work from home, I have more time to actually keep up with it – maintain it and cook what I’ve grown. I can even step outside during lunch and grab stuff for a salad.
I also spend more time reading. Since joining Arity earlier this year, I’ve probably read more this year than I ever have in the past.
If you had to move to another country, which would you choose?
We have long winters in New Hampshire, and I’m from San Diego. I’ve never been into winter sports. The closest I get to winter sports is shoveling snow. I’ve always had the idea in the back of my mind of moving to a warmer country for the winter months. That would be really luxurious to be able to do that.
I think where I’d want to go is somewhere in coastal Spain. I like the Spanish culture. I like the food. And, missing the winter would be great.
What is a good way to give back to the community?
Volunteering. It’s amazing to see how much work happens in a community on the backs of volunteers. They’re essential to making things happen – at least where I live, but I imagine it’s not too different from other places.
I try to do my fair share. I don’t always have as much time as I would like to be able to contribute. But I do try to make a conscious effort in supporting the things that I care about the most, either by being able to give money or put in some time. This summer I’ve spent a few weekends, for instance, in helping scuba divers remove invasive plants from a local pond. It’s something that wouldn’t happen without people volunteering their time.
What advice would you give to someone balancing work and home life?
I’ve given that a lot of thought because work has taken over my life at moments. One of the pieces of advice that I got – and I think I got it from a podcast – was don’t say yes to doing something in the future if you don’t have time to do it today. For me, that’s a good rule of thumb. If I don’t have time for that activity today, I’m not going to have time for that activity in the future. So, don’t sign up for it because that’s how you end up getting overcommitted.
I don’t follow that rule as often as I should, but I think it’s a good one for both personal commitments and professional commitments.