I say May Day… because we’re leading into may, but also…
Send help! Surrender! White flag! It has definitely been a very tumultuous month. A month of stillness, but also a month of high anxiety. My emotions have been all over the place. I’ve been pouring myself into projects that typically bring me so much joy, and they still did bring me joy, but in a different way.
You don’t know how important something is until you aren’t able to do it anymore—I realized pretty quickly that when you’re a creative whose craft is suddenly taken away, you start to go a little crazy. Without my usual outlet for creativity, I needed to find another way to channel that energy, and the house projects were just that. Tack on homeschooling two young children, other home responsibilities, and just being home all day and you could see why my emotions have been all over the place.
We’ve really been taking the stay at home order seriously which means all day every day we’ve been in the house. I’ve done curbside pickup only for the things I absolutely need like groceries and household items and the only other place I’ve been is when I’m at the studio sending out color orders.
The first couple of weeks were kind of nice in a weird, eerie, strange ass way. Now that we’re rolling into week six, and knowing we’re going to be closed for another 4 weeks, it’s starting to feel scary. One of the things that has helped me to survive this time so far has been finding those creative outlets and pouring a lot of energy into my house.
I’ve also realized during this time that before I can sit down and write or get my thoughts out, the space around me has to be clean and organized. I can’t sit down at a junky desk or work in my kitchen if it’s dirty. That takes precedence even if it doesn’t take precedence. I should be able to work on my business’s livelihood during a pandemic because that’s first priority, but no, I can’t, because I need to organize everything under my bathroom cabinets first. So I’ve been taking care of all of the little things that I never really have time for.
Organizing, painting, hanging wallpaper.. does not help my business at all. But, doesn’t it? Because every time I walk into my bathroom now it feels like a completely different space, and that feeling is the key. The feeling that I feel when I actually accomplish a goal or check something off my to-do list is what helps catapult me through the real shit that I have to do.
This habit has even translated into a part of my everyday routine. Even if I wake up in a very clean, organized space. By the time my kids run through the house, cooking every single meal here, Amazon packages, putting together color kits at the house… it all quickly turns my space into chaos. Once that’s wrapped up and the kids are in bed, I’ll spend the next hour to two hours picking things up.
I’ve been giving myself grace for the fact that I actually need to do this. At first I was beating myself up like, “Candice why do you need to spend so long every night putting this stuff up when it’s just going to get messed up in the morning? You could be taking an hour every night working on an amazing business plan that’s going to get your business through the storm.” Yet here I am spending an hour a day, 7 days a week, cleaning. But that’s what I need to do to create the feeling that’s the foundation for me being able to attack the things inside of my business that need to be reworked or course corrected to weather the storm.
As far as the last 30 days are concerned, I have learned a lot. I have gained a lot of new skillsets. I thought I was resilient, a good business owner, and a good leader before this began, but when those things get blasted to the forefront and you don’t have a choice—you either sink or swim. I would be damned if I was going to sink on things that were important to me like my team, family, studio, vision, goals, and clients.
It really shows you what you fight for when there’s potential to lose it or lose even a piece of it or have it disrupted. You really go out swinging. That knowledge is what I’m leaving this first month of quarantine with. I proved to myself that this truly is the person that I am deep down at my core. Everything else was stripped away. My income was stripped away, my “busyness” was stripped away, my title wasn’t necessarily stripped away, but with my business mandated shut, people taking their extensions out, etc, titles don’t really matter.
What matters most is how people feel around me and connections and making sure I have a solid plan for recovery to make sure my family and team and the people that I love are able to come out of this storm in a good position to maintain some sense of normalcy.
I hold a weighty responsibility for other people’s livelihood inside of my space and my studio and the people who are connected to me. It really makes me go to sleep early, get rest, wake up, fight for the cause all over again, and push through to get to the other side.