Happy new year, everyone! Who else is with me in saying “let’s try this again?”
What a year. What happened in 2020, granted it’s still going on right now, is something out of a nightmare. I have this game on my phone called Plague Inc. and I always thought it was hilarious. The goal is to kill the entire population with a bacteria or virus. As it spreads, you can add new abilities, mutations, symptoms, etc. I actually played it after about 6 months of COVID and kept judging how inaccurate it is. It took 6 months in game time and about 100k for WHO to finally declare a pandemic.
Games aside, last year sucked. It was awful. To be honest, I was actually in a pretty good position – neither my husband nor I lost our jobs and we’re so lucky for it. As some of you know, I run a licensed home daycare. I’ll admit, when PM Trudeau first announced the CERB benefit, my husband and I seriously considered closing the daycare temporarily and collecting that benefit. Because I have lupus and I’m on immunosuppressants, we were extremely worried about what could happen to me if I got COVID.
After considering all our options, I opted to keep my home daycare open. It was a really hard decision but ultimately it didn’t just come down to the fact that I didn’t want to screw over my wonderful families. I also considered that CERB was a 4-month benefit. After those 4 months, what would happen? In my heart, I knew that the pandemic would still be here. Do you think my daycare families would have waited for me to reopen? No way. They need care for their kids. They would have absolutely found care somewhere else in that 4 month span. Then CERB would run out and I would be left with no families, no income and royally screwed.
I’m sure my daycare families would tell you: I turned into a major hard ass. A big part of it was guidance from the provincial child care office, part of it was from my child care coordinator and part of it was me, figuring out how to keep me and the rest of my family safe. I’ve always had a good, robust illness policy, but now it was that, on steroids. It was no longer okay to have any single symptom here. I’m usually pretty lax, if a kid has a bit of a runny or stuffy nose, no problem. Minor colds happen. But not anymore because this stupid virus has the same damn symptoms. It’s now a zero-tolerance policy for illness and must be 48 hours completely symptom-free without the use of medications before they can return – and that’s only if they do NOT meet the criteria for COVID testing.
I’m just a human. One person, flying by the seat of my pants here. Yes, I have some help from the child care office but with no one knowing what’s going on or what to do, many of us providers felt left in the dark to figure it out on our own. It’s not really their fault though, no one knew…
After a year of this shit, I have to say: there is absolutely zero chance that I would have been able to stay open if I didn’t have the phenomenal families that I have. They all agreed to these insane policies. They all follow them. They all follow the recommendations of Dr. Brent Roussin even when it wasn’t mandated. The bottom line: they all take this seriously. And I cannot thank them enough for that.
Asarye Paperie off the Rails
This time last year, I was getting ready for the Wonderful Wedding Show. It was the most amazing, most exciting thing to happen to my business. I worked countless hours. I reached out to countless people and small businesses. I got the incredible opportunity of being in VIB Magazine’s styled shoot, which was the most amazing experience ever. Watch out for a future blog post about that experience and the incredible photos that Chantelle Dione took! I also got an insane opportunity to provide the stationery in the Bridal Lounge at the show, curated by Decorations by Rick. I may need to do a separate blog post for that one too because man, was that ever an experience!
Things were looking so great for Asarye Paperie. I was getting clients, getting exposure, getting my name out there. I had another show in March that I was getting ready for, and that’s when the pandemic reached Manitoba. I remember asking Engaged Winnipeg what the plan was but there were only a couple cases at the time, so they were really great about keeping us all safe – both us vendors and everyone who came to check it out!
It wasn’t too long after the Engaged Boutique Wedding Show, that the postponements started rolling in. As a vendor, I honestly didn’t know what to do, but I did want to make sure to protect you and to take care of you while everything was so up in the air. For stationery, it was easy. I offered digital “change the date” cards to my current clients to send to their guest lists, and offered printable version at-cost with no additional fees. I mean honestly, it was the least I could do. I got married in 2012, but I cannot imagine how I would feel if I all of a sudden had to postpone my wedding… Not making vows with the love of my life on the day we planned for? That would have been awful. I feel so awful for all of you engaged couples who have been impacted.
We’ve been through somewhat of a lockdown, a little more freedom over the summer, to code orange and then code red in the province. Honestly, the numbers have been slightly better as of late, but I hesitate calling it a trend. We are most certainly not out of the woods yet. With that said, we’ve got two vaccines approved in Canada with potentially a third and I’m extremely hopeful that we will end 2021 on a much better note.
Where do we go from here?
I’ve written blog posts before. I’ve been on-again-off-again for years. At first, it was a bullet journal blog. Then it was a personal life blog. Then it was related to Asarye Paperie, but I never kept it going. I’ve been getting the itch to write for quite some time again and decided that now is the time. I think we all have a lot to say with this shit-storm we’re in.
I used to write conservatively as well. As I’m sure you can tell from this post, I’m trying to be more candid, more myself. I swear like a sailor (when my kids aren’t around). I’m wonderfully cynical as I put it, with a dry and sometimes morbid sense of humour. It’s me. And I’m feeling like maybe this is why my blog never stuck around before – I wasn’t being me.
In 2021, I want to be nothing and no one but myself. I want to speak my mind, even if it sometimes pisses someone off because reality check, you will always piss someone off. You can’t make everyone happy, it’s just not possible.
So I’ll end this the same way I started. 2020 sucked. Let’s try this again in 2021!