WHAT INSPIRES A WEDDING PLANNER DURING LOCKDOWN?
It’s true. I’ve always had a pretty positive attitude.
I have been extremely fortunate to be raised by parents who have encouraged me to embrace every single opportunity life has thrown at me. They instilled certain beliefs in me, with phrases like ‘life is what you make it’, ‘every cloud has a silver lining’ and ‘EVERYTHING happens for a reason!’
For many people, Covid-19 has affected EVERYTHING – life at home, work and their mental health. Although I’ve been determined to maintain my positive mindset and mental wellbeing since the onset of the pandemic, there have been times when I’ve felt the strength I’ve worked so hard to maintain slipping away.
Admittedly, I was devastated when the initial lockdown was introduced. I cried – a lot. I cried for my friends whose businesses were forced to close immediately. I couldn’t imagine the pretty little market town I’m ordinarily so happy to call home CLOSED. It felt surreal.
I ordinarily work from home and live alone, which is isolating at the best of times
During lockdown, I could meet friends for walks and indulge in the occasional coffee or ice cream outdoors – socially distanced. I could participate in family group calls on Facebook messenger and maintain regular contact with my clients and colleagues via Zoom, Facetime and Skype. But I missed my Mum and Dad and closest friends so much. After thirteen weeks without sitting in the same room as another human being, I’d have quite happily given my right arm for someone else to hand me a cup of tea, never mind give me a big hug!
There were times when, despite the pressure I’m used to putting myself under to produce or achieve something worthwhile every day, I had to acknowledge intense frustration and accept that simply getting up and getting through the day was enough. As a result of this, I’ve learned that sometimes, the best thing you can do is nothing but take some time out – and reset.
I haven’t baked banana bread or had to adjust to home schooling, but I have had to adapt to some pretty challenging situations. Not all of the weddings I have postponed, dismantled and rearranged have been straight forward. I have helped lots of couples to navigate some very difficult situations.
For some people, it has been utterly heartbreaking
They cannot see their friends, go to the pub or the gym. But for everyone working in the wedding and events sector, the virus has been so much more deadly. We cannot do the jobs we love. We cannot fulfill our purpose. When you create joy for a living and genuinely love what you do, being told that your industry simply isn’t viable is hard. Whichever way you look at it, the events industry is currently in a deep dark hole. But recent news of the development of a vaccine brings with it a glimpse of light. There IS hope and we ARE a resilient breed. Resilience is the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties. Recover we will. Meanwhile, it’s amazing what we can adapt to.
Lately, instead of feeling like I haven’t got a reason for getting up in the morning, I have actively looked for inspiration in the simplest things;
MY HEALTH – waking up, being alive and being able to do so much with my day, every day is a blessing. During the first stage of lockdown, a close friend and former work colleague contracted Covid-19 and spent just over three weeks in Intensive Care on a ventilator. They survived, but are still struggling to overcome the effects of the virus. Their experience and the impact on the people closest to them highlighted how important it is to take care of ourselves and not take our health for granted.
GETTING BACK TO NATURE – long walks in beautiful places. My heart is at its happiest when I’m stomping along a footpath in the countryside or on the beach in my favourite hiking boots with my little four legged friend, whose name is Percy, by my side.
LEARNING – listening to pod casts and reading books in the pursuit of personal development. I’ve been so inspired by some of the people and content I have listed to that I’m intending to launch my own podcast in the New Year.
BEING CREATIVE – I’m a fanatical foodie. Although eating out has obviously been off the agenda recently, I love experimenting with new recipes and creating delicious home cooked meals.
COMMUNICATION – keeping in touch with my clients and colleagues throughout 2020 has been an integral part of my daily activity. My primary response to the situation was to try to help as many people as possible. With this in mind, I reached out to a shortlist of businesses who are renowned for consistently delivering a high quality service and created a Symposium to help facilitate collaboration and ultimately find ways to ensure we all bounce back, collectively stronger from this experience. Since early April, this group has met weekly (via Zoom) without fail. I’m incredibly proud of this group and the extent to which its members continue to support each other.
MY BUSINESS – my business IS my life. It always has been. I take inspiration from it every day! I take inspiration from wanting to take things to the next level. This has inspired me to revive some of the skills and attributes I’ve used in the past as a Celebrant (prior to becoming a wedding planner) and expand my offering to incorporate this as an additional service.
However you choose to spend your time during the remainder of lockdown, do the things that you know make you stronger. Whatever vision you have for yourself beyond Covid-19, give yourself a chance to achieve it and stay safe and well.