Each year has its happy moments and challenges but 2020 is unique in its own way. It is a year where most would like to forget. We kept on waiting for the next day, the next week, the next year to be better. While we wait the whole year has passed. Now we are looking to 2021 with many looking forward to the end of 2020.
Collins dictionary declared “ lockdown” as the word of the year. No argument there. We too got familiar with Covid 19, pandemic and social distancing. Words that we read everyday in the news and part of our daily conversations. Life was changed, we couldn’t interact like how we used to.
Each of us had different levels of interruption in our lives during 2020. Some had to endure more than others in losing a source of income. Families weren’t able to see each other due to travel restrictions. Added to that the constant need to maintain our emotional well being.
No matter how big or small, Covid has impacted the lives of everyone. In the midst of all this, humans have persevered and hopefully learned a thing or two about their own strength and resilience.
At CreaTee, it is no different. On that Monday we were suppose to have started a workshop with a group of kids and of course this was before the first wave of Covid-19 struck. On Friday before, we got the news it was going to be cancelled. This was followed by other workshops as well. As the pandemic just started the immediate feeling was that it will eventually go away. The "eventually", became a constant wait and see game. The buzz word around this time was pivot. That and Zoom. Yes, how can we ignore Zoom! We didn't join in the bandwagon during the peak of Zoom. Mainly because we were still developing the curriculum for our Zoom class. One time workshop is one thing but to actually hold a 6 weeks class needed some time and preparation. Eventually we did get into Zoom and successfully conducted the classes. Because of this, we were also able to get in a couple of schools for their after school activity.
Our slight change in model allowed us to find some other opportunities as well. Again when we just about to start the sessions with the school, the second wave Covid-19 hit started and our plans for yet another session with the kids was postponed to an undetermined time.
This is what we found in our Zoom classes, the frustration that probably most teacher’s face. A computer screen is no substitute for human interaction. Art is a process, as we guide the kids it would have been more ideal to be able to look behind their shoulder of what move they are thinking about next. The lines they are thinking of drawing. Because art is not math. 1+1 might not be an immediate 2 in art. We go through different paths to get to that 2. As we supervised the kids, we guided them to different ways to get there. Zoom gives the technical info but not the full experience of really feeling the process.
Then there is the conversation aspect of it. After several failed attempts to log in and the constant “can you hear me?” questions, we get into the nitty gritty stuff, “ I really don’t want to talk to the screen sort of thing”. Some kids are quite shy. Imagine in real life trying to get a shy kid to participate and now ,put a computer screen as a barrier. They are not able to mingle with other children to feel the warmth, get the feedback of their peers or take a peek at the other designs.They are doing art in a vacuum. We have to try ten times harder to get some form of reaction. We live in an unprecedented time for sure. Even if Zoom comes with its set of disadvantages, but at least it gives us a way to reach out. It may be flawed, but it is still better than being in total isolation.
As we learn to adapt, sometimes we cannot run from the sheer timing of everything. CreaTee started 2020 with a new business plan, concentrating more growth outside the local market. Our website, our ads were tweaked for this purpose. As we were fulfilling orders we then found out that the local post service was not sending parcels outside the country. That certainly placed a dent in our plans. We couldn’t sell outside the country. There were some orders that we still fulfilled using international courier service but that was not cheap. We lost money but felt it was better to fulfill those orders. Those things are beyond our control so we just had to take things as they come.
We know our struggles aren’t unique. If you are a growing business who is still working hard to make things better, 2020 was an unnecessary added stress. The thing about stress is learning how to manage it and find a solution to get through it. Not impossible just takes a lot of work and patience for sure.
We hope no matter how difficult 2020 has been for you, you found your resilience and strength. Hopefully as a collective we learn more about humanity and what makes us stronger. On certain days we too feel burned and tired but that is just part of the process isn’t it? What fun is life without some twist and turns, even that twist and turns has Covid-19 in it! It is a pain no denying, but we can look for hope and faith in spite of it.
What’s your story? Ready to push reset for 2021? We want to hear from you. Sending much love, prayers and light for what’s great and yet to come. Cheers!