Amanda: When San Francisco shut down back in March, it all felt so surreal. Anyone in business for themselves knows that sometimes, it seems like you’re running a marathon at sprint speed. The world’s coming to a screeching halt forced a confrontation of what we were doing, what we believed, and what we would need to change. Ivanka and I both agreed we didn’t want to go back to the same world.
For a few weeks, we ALL took our foot off the accelerator and just spent time cooking, talking, healing, and dreaming. It’s been really beautiful to see our community come together to fight COVID-19 AND start to heal these deep wounds around racial inequality.
Amanda: In many ways, this pandemic has brought about a tremendous reversal of fortune for me. I fell in love right before the pandemic hit, so that’s been on the Pandemic Relationship Accelerator (ha!). And I’ve fallen back in love with the work we do as florists and educators. I feel an incredible clarity and excitement about what comes next.
It’s really been about new routines for me — waking up without an alarm, leisurely drinking coffee and tending to the vegetable garden with my lover and our dog, Narra.
Then I’m in the studio working on producing, script writing or editing our distance learning video series with If I Made. OR I’m on a call with our publisher’s PR team reimagining how to host a book tour virtually in support of our forthcoming title, Ikebana Unbound.
Ivanka: I wake up, water the garden with my son Izak, and then we all eat breakfast as a family on the patio. He’s obsessed with basketball, so I guess I’m obsessed with basketball now. And then I head to the studio — most of my day is writing and tending to our clients whose celebrations have been postponed because of the pandemic.
Amanda: The lows are in those moments of powerlessness in the face of uncertainty…quickly followed up by the highs of excitement and anticipation that come with this very same uncertainty. It’s dealing with the reality of ‘yes, this could fail…or it could be better than you could have ever imagined.’
Ivanka: The low was having to navigate our year’s book of business being wiped out in a matter of weeks. The high, though? There is time to explore and think about the future. All of the things we didn’t have time to do before, we suddenly have time for. That part has been wonderful.
Amanda: Faced with the fragility of all things, I think Ivanka and I have become gentler with one another, and with ourselves.
Amanda: It feels trite to say, but I’ve found refuge in nature. It’s been incredible to have this unfettered access to the Japanese Tea Garden, which is managed by Ivanka’s father in law, and the time to linger in the shadow of a maple tree.
Ivanka: I’m not quite on the inspiration train yet. I don’t feel called to do flower work right this moment because I’m on a different spiritual journey. I know I’ll find my way back to flowers eventually, though.
Amanda: I saw this meme of people at the beginning of pandemic making banana bread and now, dismantling the police. We’re all showing up in this moment, and THAT gives me hope.
Ivanka: I know that this time will birth new beginnings, and with that, new dreams.
Amanda: I’m indulging in wearing as few layers as possible (because I’m not traversing six SF microclimates in a single day anymore). I live and work in the Mission District, which is part of the sun belt, so that means I’m reaching for skirts and dresses, and wearing all my warm weather whites.
Ivanka: Nothing has really changed for me. I still want to be cozy, whether I’m at home or in the studio. It does feel like wearing ‘normal’ clothes is the new ‘dressed-up’ though.