Jill Rizack is a graphic designer who owns Blush Waters, a company that specializes in event invitations in Greenwich. She and her husband have four adult children aged 25, 23, 20 and 18, all of whom have returned home during the Corona Virus crisis. The family has lived in Westport for 18 years. Jill’s business is on hold since her work centers around weddings, engagements, bar mitzvahs, and other group events.
“I have my four adult children here. They live in four different states and the fact that we are all together–which only happens twice a year now– is my silver lining. It’s an adjustment for all of us. They are used to doing things their own way and I like things my own but every night we are sitting down together, and we are all hanging out at the table talking after we eat and that’s kind of cool.
I returned to my work as a graphic designer 2 ½ years ago after staying home to raise our children. I started my own company in October and have a studio called Blush Waters in Greenwich on the Avenue. There was just enough work to pay the bills and I was hoping to grow and give work to other designers as well, but then this happened. My landlord has been amazing he’s lowered rent and said going forward we can address the situation month to month.
I continue to work at home doing complimentary design for my clients to help them announce change of date or a that new date will be decided. For example, I just got off the phone with a bride who was supposed to get married in Venice in May. I’m advising clients to postpone and I’m trying to support them through that. I also signed up with a firm in California trying to do similar work pro bono.
I just can’t make money for this kind of work– it’s not right. I don’t want to take from other people. I do what I do because I love what I do. Hopefully, I can just ride it out. I’m very fortunate in what I have and I know there are lot of people who aren’t. I don’t want to take from people who desperately need it. When I go to the store, I only buy what we need. I just went to grocery store and was lucky that they had toilet paper–I did take two this time to give them to an elderly lady I shop for.
Basically, I take what we need, but not at expense of others. It isn’t just us in this world. We are getting through by not just looking after ourselves and our family but whomever else we can help because we are all in it together. This affects everyone. I’m hearing that people are doing things like sharing groceries that have run out at the store, sharing supplies with neighbors. I hope that what will come out of this moving forward from this time is that we are coming out of “it’s mine” moving to “it’s ours.” I feel like I have to believe there is a reason for all of this and maybe that’s what the reason is.
Sometimes I get upset. There are days when I feel bad. But I’ve learned if I don’t admit I feel that way, then it will only get worse. It’s ok to say “I’m having a hard time right now.” We keep thinking about those people who are isolated and don’t have other people in this crisis. We all have to take care of each other and do what we can to help others, but to do that you have to take care of yourself first. It’s like what they say about oxygen masks on airplanes: You have to put on your own mask first to be able to help others on the journey.
It’s ok to say “I’m having a hard time right now.”