As an events business in today's current COVID-19 landscape its all about counting down the days. The days when you are up and the days when you're right down there... Like in the poo, searching for a couple of quid.
I'm going to start by telling you that its okay to wallow, cry. self pity, be angry, sad, frustrated and ignorant. To quote one of my favorite New York Mayor's....
"Being miserable and treating other people like dirt is every New Yorker's god given right, your two minutes are up, goodnight gentlemen"
Important to remember a couple things, if you are going to treat people like dirt, expect them to treat you the same back, but if you're okay with that then fill ya boots. And two, fucking enjoy being miserable will you?
This is a great representation of miserable me versus positive me... Miserable me will always be free, get loaded and have a good time...
Hearing a person that's going through a rough patch complain about how they shouldn't be feeling that way and that they should be more positive, they feel bad for not being more productive, it is, in itself, not productive. Its OK to feel crap, there are no expectations from me, we're here for you when you need us. I see so much these days individuals beating themselves up when they feel rough, down and can't be arsed. It's like they are not aloud to feel shit or something, like they must always be positive and productive, a likely fall out from the social media world we live in. I had a recent situation where I had an amazing lockdown day and posted the below on my Instagram page, I use the platform personally as a bit of a life moments album.
This was followed by an absolute stinker, arguments, loathing etc. I believe many of us would paper over the cracks using social media to always demonstrate to our neighbors that our lives are perfect, that the grass is always green. I thought it important to show its not, mainly to myself. Picture 24 hours later. I'd had such a shit lockdown day. It might have been a bad day cos I lost all my positive power, I shaved... I felt like Samson, just with less muscles.
The key to my life balance is perspective. To be able to look at your behaviors, analyse your mood, responses etc and make an accurate impartial judgement (best you can, if you can't that should tell you all you need to know!). It is importation to identify when you are miserable and just try to enjoy it without involving others, get it out your system, don't put it off or try to fight it. Soon you'll get into a routine and with each "session" you'll moderate it accordingly.
I have had many a reason to feel crap recently and yet with balance I'm ultimately feeling good...
After working very hard every single day for the last 18 months trying to build a business from the ground up, finally getting to stage where my partner and I could see light at the end of the "Living with gran, having no money" tunnel. Only to have this ripped away from us by a global virus pandemic of which the irony genuinely takes a little part of my soul away every day, has been devastating...
I don't know about you (and I don't want to), in my darkest hours I have had some of the greatest times, its like I can loose 90% of my self control. I get drunk, I'm angry, I hate everybody and the world, I just wanna run away, bin it all off, give up. In spite of feeling that way I'm always safe in the knowledge that its temporary. There is at this stage in the post, if you're still with me, a very good chance that your interpretation of my comments are skewered. Please don't let them be... Too much... They are good in nature, but also quite cut throat/honest. I understand that not every human psyche is that black and white. The point is that no matter how much I try and be productive when I feel down I know its a futile operation so I tell myself to just enjoy it, go wild, get messed up, "you're in one of those moments Greg". I tell myself this because I'm confident that I will return to normal soon and that I will find motivation and drive to push on when its the right time to do so. Its when I come out of the low that I am at my most productive. I've had a weeks bender and now I feel all the better for it, its like exercise for the mind, an emotional breather, a stress reliever (TM that shit right there....). Much like this post, I couldn't be bothered for ages. Now I feel in a good place to write. The last two weeks I've literally played Xbox 9-5 and caught up on like the last 3 years worth of games I missed. Like actual Master Chief resurrected from the grave 3 years on... but a Chief whose worked those three years as a toilet scrubber and can still smell the shame under his finger nails each time the trigger gets pulled.
So why write this post at all? I'm not really fussed too much who reads or doesn't read what I write, nor am I fussed what you think about it. Its a great outlet for me to express, advise (for those that want it) and give insight into how a director of a company might be feeling and operating through these though times. Like everybody else, with a determined resolve to fight for our god given right?
Zombie Infection has been hit hard like many other companies across the country. We've had to refund a significant amount of tickets, hold off on important deals with partners and attempt to keep staff moral high. As you can imagine zombies need the thrill and adrenaline of the chase! Not easy to deliver over zoom.
As a fairly big business and considering what we do, 100's of customers through scare attractions/events on almost every weekend of the year, sometimes in multiple places at once. That sell out events almost three months in advance etc, has meant it has been extremely challenging to keep afloat. A quick thanks to those that have opted for Gift Cards and not refunds, this has helped immensely. The good news is we are still strong and we're counting down the days.
Why are we counting? Because every week the lockdown is still in place pushes through another week of cancelled events and refunds. Without any new significant money coming in, there's only so long that cycle can last. We completely understand the reasons for the lockdown and are accepting our fate for the greater good of course, but the figures aren't easy reading.
Like my state of mind I know that after dark times comes positive ones. The lockdown has given me a chance to re-asses where I am in my fart of an existence. Its given me a chance to spend time with my wonderful Husky, Archie as he reaches the end of his time, moments I might not get again and that would have almost certainly been missed in the whirlwind that is ZI company life.
Its given me time in the sun, a chance to slow down, let my knees recover! And although there is little point in attempting, in my slump, to resurrect any motivation for a futile cause, that cause being the slog to constantly promote the business, sell tickets then travel hundreds of mile to put on the events. I've have gained an important re-ignition for what we do as a whole at Zombie Infection and I for one can't wait to get back to it. In moderation of course...
I leave you with a quote that I heard recently and loved. Keep safe, stay positive... or not. Its your right to choose ultimately.
"I want to live, however briefly, knowing my life is finite. Mortality gives meaning to human life. Peace, love, friendship. These are precious because we know they cannot endure. A butterfly that lives forever is really not a butterfly at all."