I don’t honestly think any of us anticipated the situation that we currently find ourselves in, did we? I know that only a few weeks before, we were watching the news simply with a curious detachment.
As time went on, we began to realise the implications of Covid-19, and what it might mean, especially when it dawned upon me that both as an asthmatic and someone who has a chronic health condition, I am actually classed as being ‘vulnerable’. So, my business partner and I had already made the decision to temporarily close our bricks and mortar shop a few days before it became Law.
I am lucky in that I work from my home studio a few days a week, since we take it in turns to man (or ‘woman’) the shop. Even I wasn’t prepared for the emotional impact this would have on me though. As with any situation that is unusual, it takes a bit of adjustment, that’s fine. But with this, it’s so monumental, and at the heart of it is the very real prospect of losing our little shop. The Government funding might be there, but actually accessing it is another matter, and our Local Authority and Landlords have been less than helpful.
Three weeks on, I feel less as though I am on a roller coaster, and more as though I am on a ship with a slightly unclear destination. I don’t know where we might land, or when, and what the terrain will be. But I do know at some point it will become apparent. I am lucky that, unlike so many others, I can work from home and am not restricted access to the job I love. If we lose the shop it will be heartbreaking, but we will both find a way forward, either collaboratively or separately.
So, I have settled into a routine of sorts. The novelty of wearing pyjamas every day has worn off, and I get dressed and ‘go to work’ (my studio adjoins my house). I take time out as and when I need a break, and give myself permission to take my foot off the accelerator.
Who knew, all those weeks ago, when everybody was shouting ‘be kind’, that sometimes the person you need to be kindest to might be yourself?