Today we welcome Michelle from Ruffled By Grace to the Unconventional Wedding blog to talk about her experiences to date during the Coronavirus pandemic. Over to Michelle …
The novel coronavirus angst is real right now. There is an intense amount of grief hanging in the air. Collectively, we are grieving the loss of so many events: weddings, graduations, funerals, vacations, and so many more. We are also grieving people, those we have lost during and to this pandemic. At the same time, we are grieving a loss of our freedoms and everything that goes along with “daily life,” while we are home trying to cope with our new realities.
Even while we are sheltering in place at home (and perhaps especially because we have cancelled major life events) the pressure to be “productive” has increased. We are being told that we have the time to do more things – learn a new skill, take online classes, develop a new income stream… The list goes on!
The “pandemic promise” tells us that we must emerge a better human when this is all over. If we acquire new skills and take every internet museum tour available during confinement, we somehow “level up” on the pandemic evolutionary scale. Come on, what are you going to do with all of your newfound free time?
Right now, we are all being forced into new realities and roles. Some of us are now serving as full time schoolteachers, working from home, trying to keep small businesses and/or families afloat. Others have been forced into isolation and on top of various new roles are experiencing great loneliness.
The pressure to do more and be more while also dealing with our new pandemic reality is a false dichotomy. The “pandemic promise” is nothing more than society’s contrived hamster wheel of “productivity equals worth.” It’s a promise of prosperity that we won’t catch while circling in that wheel. We need to get off.
This pandemic season (yeah, I know, I hope there is only one pandemic season too), we should be encouraged to jump off the hamster wheel of productivity and lean into our new realities without the guilt that somehow, we also need to level up before it’s all over. Some of us are in survival mode. We are all grieving. We need to sit with these realities before we can begin to glimpse new shiner ones.
Daily life has taken on new challenges and our current outside reality reads like a dystopian novel. In one form or another, we are all grieving the changes and challenges brought on by a 2020 that is nothing as we imagined it to be.
As we sift and sort through all of the newness that has so rapidly come our way, here are three suggestions for this pandemic season:
- Allow yourself to grieve what you have lost. Everything from girls’ nights to proms to your wedding, and everything in between. Grief is long and hard. It comes in waves, washing over you at inopportune times. Allow yourself the space and time to remember what should have been but was not.
- Feel what you are feeling. We are all feeling a lot. Grief shows up in so many forms – anger, sadness, tiredness, crankiness. Grief is a no holds barred scenario on the emotion scale. It’s everything and anything. One minute you might be the saddest sad you have ever had and the next minute a raging bundle of screams. Grief is ALL. THE. THINGS. Recognizing all the over-the-top emotions is helpful in wading through the grief.
- Stay connected as you are able and as is healthy for you. We’ve all been doing the great zoom dance of 2020. Connectivity is awesome, until it’s not. Call your family and friends, have those zoom cocktails, but don’t go overboard or beyond your limits either. Rest and rejuvenate in ways that are healthy for you and connect when it feels right to you. Remember that you have the power of both “yes” and “no” when it comes to connectivity.
A personal note: I feel a deep sense of loss for all of my couples – those who have been forced to cancel or change their wedding dates. My heart is also breaking for all my friends and colleagues, and their small businesses. I’m trying to support them in the best way that I can, but I have also taken on new roles at home. I’ve said a million and one times to my own boys, “It’s hard. It’s scary. I love you. We are going to get through this.” It’s become my mantra and it’s good enough for today.
I’m thankful to all the other vendors who have encouraged me during this difficult season as well. A super huge thanks to Linzi and the peeps over at Unconventional Wedding who are tirelessly working to support those of us in the wedding biz, helping to make online connections for community, while supporting their own businesses and families.
A final note: If it feels too overwhelming or beyond your capacity of coping, reach out to someone. There are many online options for counselors/therapy.
Our guest blogger introducing Michelle ...
My name is Rev. Michelle Wahila, and I am an ordained pastor (since 2005), in the Presbyterian Church, USA, and am a professional wedding officiant. I am the creator and owner of Ruffled By Grace: Parisian Wedding Blessings. I specialize in creating tailored and unique wedding ceremonies that tell a couple’s love story, but I don’t do it alone! I work with an incredible team of wedding vendors in Paris.
More wedding supplier advice available on Unconventional Wedding
Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock for the past few weeks, you’ll have heard about COVID-19 or the Corona Virus. It’s now starting to have an impact on our industry in many ways. So Unconventional Wedding have teamed up with some of our resident experts to bring you this