It is a rainy and grey Tuesday in June. I work on Tuesdays (well I work everyday but during lockdown my partner and I had to divvy up working days and childcare - Tuesday is one of mine.)
Often I'm at the desk in our spare room by 8.30 with a cup of tea speaking with writers, designers and clients but this morning we had traded a few working hours and I was hanging out with our son when my phone pinged!
"Congratulations! You've made it!"
Backpack has been shortlisted for the Creative Bath Startup Award 2020 alongside some awesome organisations. I feel honoured.
[WARNING: Everything below is my experience of Covid-19 and lockdown and is by no means meant to detract or belittle the experiences of others and the terrible losses many have suffered - family, employment, social isolation and mental health. Please don't think me callus.]
Yesterday I went for a socially distanced walk with someone and we spoke very openly with each other about the last couple of years and how it felt when Covid hit. The person I was with described it as 'Smashing into Covid' from a work perspective - everything for them had been fast paced with little breathing space and so Covid and the lockdown was like driving a train into a wall. "We saw it coming but we still felt we had time to turn or hit the breaks."
For me it has been a little different, perhaps still 'smashy' but different. Our smash was more driving a train into a bouncy castle - impact, chaos but we bounced out of it and after a few rolls we settled a little way off the tracks. Before Covid my partner and I couldn't have slowed down our hurtling train for love nor money, life was busy, stressy and FULL. It was a never ending to do list. "Let's just get blah blah out of the way and then..." For us, the whole world had to stop to allow us to stop and I suspect many people have felt that way too. There was suddenly a justifiable reason not to do this or that. We couldn't go out, we couldn't work there. We had to give ourselves a break - and with that break and confused exhale dissolved the guilt of the unticked items on the to do list. Weird huh!?! That to improve our quality of life we had to pause life entirely, sit uncomfortably for a week or two of 'oh shit' and then find our way again slowly and without expectation.
So now we are both pushing on with our businesses, doing the things we want and not doing the things we don't - and its awesome, for the most part! I mean we are still human and so there are still moments of total ecstasy followed by journey-to-the-centre-of-the-Earth lows and confusing middle grounds. Oh and we've totally piled on the lockdown lard - but we're on that, thank you Zoom Bootcamp!
But it's not like that feeling of apprehension when you are on holiday, knowing that 'real life' is waiting for you on your return. There is no more 'real life' - we have a chance to recreate our own societal norms. We can change what we expect. Of ourselves and of each other.
We can decide that certain things are simply not acceptable anymore - we don't want them. Or that some things are so obviously better we would be ridiculous not to engrain them into our lives. Whatever happens I am over the moon to be a finalist alongside these other fab companies. And of course I hope to win! But I am feeling pretty 'winny' right now too.
Better shoot - zoom calls! ;)