how we're experiencing coronavirus, what it's taught us [so far] + what we're doing to make moments with positive impact
we’re all in the midst of forming a new normal with this corona craze. companies are navigating how to work remotely and still stay business as usual as much as possible, families and schools are navigating how to deliver uninterrupted learning remotely [shout out to the moms hosting structured home schools for their kids…this warms my heart every time i see it. moms are incredible part one thousand], and we’re all navigating a new physical and mental state around staying connected, productive + supportive in a time when social distancing is the new normal.
we, like everyone else, have suddenly been plunged into this chaotic and uncertain time that’s twisted all of our norms + even more importantly, severely impacted people we know who are dependent on the exact opposite of social distancing. for many, this is not just navigating a new normal: it’s completely uprooting their life. we won’t pretend to know what this experience has been like for anyone except ourselves, but wanted to share how we’re experiencing this, what it’s taught us [so far] + what we’re doing to make moments with positive impact.
as small business owners, coos of our respective “day job” companies [in which we’re equally emotionally invested] + new yorkers who like to walk fast + get sh*t done, we’re used to living fast. for us, the coronavirus has been akin to the brick wall at platform 9 ¾ when harry tries to go through and ends up crashing into the wall. he’s not expecting it, he crashes, and then is immediately forced to reevaluate his surroundings and come up with a new path forward [did we mention we are huge harry potter fans?] the point of this brilliantly executed harry potter metaphor is the moment of impact where you’re forced to stop. take a breath. and reevaluate your path forward.
i [gabi] saw something yesterday that really struck me: “we haven’t lost control of our lives, we’ve lost the illusion that we were ever in control. relax and just breathe, this is just a footnote in your journey”.
this hit home. as someone who loves to be in control, i know we can’t be. we can’t control what’s happening outside of ourselvesand the people / things that rely on our actions. we can’t “fix” the terrifying negative externalities caused by coronavirus: markets plummeting, companies going out of business, lost jobs and the implications of that. so, what can we do?
we can pause. take a deep breath. and slow down. more importantly, be okay with slowing down. reflect on what about Coronavirus makes us fearful or anxious, which will tell us what’s truly important to us. take time that would otherwise be spent on living fast and use those moments to connect with people we love. read more. listen more. do more of the things that inspire us that usually fall victim to to-do lists. control the controllables, and know that there will be personal growth in this. know that this is temporary – just a footnote in our respective journeys.
so now the focus becomes: how can we use what we have to influence the way people are experiencing their version of corona?
some of you may know this, but blankbox was built on the foundation of thoughtfulness. i [gabi] wanted to give my best friend who was having a rough week a thoughtful gift with her favorite things, and the idea for blankbox was born. yes, we love our chic gift boxes. we love a good custom bridesmaid proposal gift box. but what we really love is making moments: giving people the opportunity to make someone’s day [their month, or even their year….. if you didn’t just sing this to the tune of the friends song, we can’t be friends. pun intended].
with social distancing and physical separation amplified by doubt, fear, chaos and uncertainty, now more than ever is the time to connect with the people you love and make someone’s day. write a letter telling someone what they mean to you. have deep conversations and moments of quiet enjoyment sipping coffee with your partner. facetime your grandparents who learned how to use facetime yesterday [or not. always fun to see up grandpa’s nose]. call your parents and talk about funny memories + what ridiculous recipe to make the next time you see each other. call your best friend and tell her you love her, and have virtual happy hours with people you don’t always call at 5pm on a “normal” day [okay, fine noon works too]. send someone going through a tough time a thoughtful blankbox filled with their favorite gifts.
now more than ever is the time to do what you can for other people: we’re guilty of focusing on ourselves, our own goals and ambitions and our immediate ‘bubble’ too, but times like this shove our interdependence into the spotlight. we forget how connected we are until we’re faced with the absence of connectedness, but it’s important to remember we don’t need physical contact to stay connected and make an impact; while trying not to spread coronavirus, we can still do our part to spread love, positivity and happiness by making moments that impact others.
there are people right now who couldn’t care less about blankbox. they couldn’t care less about anything, really, except feeding themselves + their children. this has always existed, but coronavirus and schools shutting down have cut off access to food for a lot of families. these are families you’ve probably seen walking in your own neighborhood as you go to pick up your $5 latte or your takeout without a second thought. while we’re adjusting to a “new normal”, we can do our part to help our community and the people we sometimes forget we’re connected to.
right now making moments with positive impact feels especially important, whether it’s showing someone you love them with a thoughtful blankbox or helping feed a family who needs it. we want to make it easy to do both. we will be donating 25 meals to @foodbank4nyc for every blankbox purchased from today until april 15.
with love, gabi + catherine, blankbox cofounders