It has been too long since I have written in this category. It is Tuesday, right? With everything that is happening in the world right now, I felt the need to write a new blog post. The Tishspiration posts will be on my new website when it is ready.
I was a little disgruntled this morning while I listened to the local radio station. It seems that while I decided not to listen to Prime Minister Trudeau’s daily news briefing (it is a little surreal to even write that bit) he talked about trying to help more people who were falling through the cracks of the current emergency benefits program the Canadian Government is putting into place.
Great, man. Way to steal my thunder. I had this title since last week, thank you very much.
As I contemplated the idea of choosing another title, I decided to keep it. It is timely and relevant. More than I thought it was when I first began working on the concept for this post.
The Canadian Government is helping people.
They are working hard to help Canadians maneuver through the world which is very different than it was only three weeks ago. Three weeks. Has it only been three weeks since we were all told to stay home? It seems like longer to me. Maybe that is because I have spent more than a year at home, working on building my own businesses.
I had unemployment insurance until November of 2019. The government, because of many years of being a part of the workforce in Canada, offers this while people are in between jobs. I was an employee, of several different companies for most of my adult life. I am not lazy, but I have been selective in which jobs I have applied for since the pogey (unemployment insurance) ran out. When things started happening three weeks ago, our Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, started holding daily press conferences on his front lawn. He said we would all be okay, and that the government was working on emergency benefits to help Canadians weather this storm called COVID-19.
I had hope. He said people who were self employed would be able to apply for this benefit, to help cover the bills while our businesses were unable to run normally at this time. I thought things were going to get better for me, at least for a short period of time.
I do not qualify for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit.
In my business, in the last 12 months, I did not earn the minimum of $5,000, needed to qualify. While I do not expect a free ride through this crisis, I was led to believe that there was hope for me. Although I am not surprised that the Representatives of The House Of Commons added stipulations to what the Prime Minister was offering to help Canadians, I am disappointed.
I am not alone. There are people in this country who also do not qualify for what is being offered. Thankfully, my husband is still able to work at his full-time job from home, and able to continue working at his part-time job, outside of our home. I am not able to look for employment outside of our home at this time. I am a person with a chronic disease and therefore considered immunocompromised. To stay healthy, I need to stay home, and to be honest, I haven’t gotten any calls for interviews in the last month.
We made the decision to take advantage of the offers available to us while we weather this out. Deferrals do not help us in the long term, but they do help us right now, and like many other Canadians, we will take all the help we can get.
Where is the Tishspiration in this article?
It is here. With me. I am also writing to tell people to not sit quietly in anticipation of the worst possible outcome. I am my own best advocate, and you are your own best advocate. Speak up. Do so with intelligence. If you whine and complain, nobody will listen. If you look for one thing to be grateful for every day, share it. Give others hope.
Follow the guidelines, but if you, like me do not qualify, don’t apply for the benefit. It wastes your time, and it takes time and energy away from people who qualify for it. Tying up the system for no good reason doesn’t help you or anyone else.
I know things are wild out there. People are yelling at people about the safe distance and who should or should not be out and about. Remember that they are not intending to be ignorant, they, like you, are scared of what is happening, because they, like you, have no control over things they normally would have control over. Like going to work and getting a paycheck. Going to the mall. Seeing their friends and family.
Get creative. I know, a lot of people do not think that they have any creativity in them. We all do, to varying degrees. Ask for help if you need it, but don’t just give up when technology decides to be uncooperative. I haven’t told my husband, yet, but I am considering painting the link for this website on my living room window, to see if I can generate more followers, but even more importantly, more book sales. I wanted to paint a picture, and I think I will incorporate it into a white, fluffy cloud, so it can be easily read from the street, and snapped in a picture on a cellphone by the people in my neighbourhood who, like me, are walking more as it is something we can still do.
If you have ever considered working from home, the time is now!
Stick with me for a moment. People are at home. They need things. Network Marketing has the answer for the needs of many people, worldwide, right now. You can support someone you know by purchasing the products they sell, and they will be delivered to your door, to avoid leaving the house to get the things you need. I am currently offering makeup and books for sale, and I do make jewellery. Jewellery designing has taken a back seat for now. It is more of a hobby than a business, and I am okay with it as it is. My supplies will be there when I am ready to play with beads again, or if there is an order I need to create.
The only way I have available to me right now to earn an income is through my online businesses. I am working very hard to grow my entrepreneurial dreams, and it is a way for me to lay a plank across the path to hold myself up, to keep me from falling through the cracks. What I do isn’t going to be what everyone else should do, but I want to encourage you to be open to what your friends and family are offering, and even a stranger might have the opportunity that will help you stay on top of the path. Do your own research, like I did, before taking the leap, and jump in with both feet when you find something that you could see yourself promoting as something you love. Whatever that is for you!
To the Extroverts and to people who suffer with mental illness:
This is not an ideal situation for anyone who falls into these two categories. If you are a people person, call a friend, every day. Schedule a video chat with your family. Write a letter to someone you love. When is the last time you got a letter in the mail? It is something that ALWAYS puts a smile on my face, to open the mailbox to find something there that is from someone I know, and someone I want to get mail from.
To anyone who is suffering from mental illness, my heart goes out to you. Things were hard before COVID-19, and they are likely to get worse before they will get better. I want you to know that someone out there cares about you, even if that someone is only me, a stranger trying to spread a little hope into the world. Please reach out if you need help to get through the next second, minute, hour or day. You are not alone, the world is struggling with you. The world may not have the same struggles that you do, but we are all struggling in our own way right now.
One last thing.
Things will get better. It can and it will. It has to because every roller coaster has its ups and downs. We are in a down right now, but we will be going up, maybe even stronger than we ever have before, if we just keep on working on the things we can control, and not getting lost in the fear of what might be. Focus on what will be, and make it a reality.
Please don’t ever give up hope. It is all we have to hold on to in times like this. I am going to grab on and pull myself up out of the cracks I am falling into, and when I am on solid ground, I will reach out to see who I can help up to stand beside me.
When we support each other, we rise together. I believe this with my whole heart and soul.
I am admitting to dragging my feet again about the business plan. It is something which I do need to work on, and therefore have to make time for. I am learning one thing this year, it is that things always take longer than I think they will.
I have made some decisions about the new direction for my business. It will happen. Next, I need to find time to work on the business plan. To make sure I get it accomplished, I have given myself a deadline.
What else have I been doing?
Cleaning. A lot of cleaning has been going on in my home. It was long overdue and very necessary. I am doing well. My parents were here for a visit. They like to stay busy and asked if they could help with anything. As they are on vacation, I hate to think that they are helping me with my mess. After all, it is my responsibility to clean it up. I let them choose what they wanted to tackle; the result is I am farther ahead in my cleaning than I would have been without their help.
In Roy’s shed, to start to organize Roy’s tools, Dad hung up a peg board to have a place to hang things up. When Dad is here, he also helps with the BBQ, except for Father’s Day. Roy cooked on the BBQ as a treat for Dad. I surprised him with a new ball cap. Dad also took down our front step and helped Roy get the area ready for the new step. A friend has been hired to build a new step, and it is coming together nicely.
Mom dusted in the bathroom and helped me to get started with the kitchen reorganization. It is easier to move things from one place to another if two people are working together. She also dusted the kitchen table and chairs. She also cleaned the cupboard doors. I didn’t expect so much help when they were here. It motivates me to keep going.
Deadlines help me to finish projects.
I set a deadline for the cleaning to be finished on Thursday. It needs a final push in the kitchen, master bedroom and living room to get it done. I am very close to finishing, and then I can work on more fun things while upkeeping the new cleaner home.
It is easy to slip into what my friends refer to as ‘Tish Time.’ I try very hard to be punctual, and this year I am managing to do so more than ever. It isn’t that I don’t think things are important, rather that I find it difficult to manage my time. When I am working on a project, I rarely look at the clock and the time surprises when I do. As I am learning this year, things take longer than I think they will take to do. Planning ahead is something I am working on planning ahead when I have to be somewhere. It is working, but I can do better. I will keep at it, and soon it will be a non-issue.
My parents experienced ‘Tish Time’ while they were visiting. My mom was very surprised at how time just flies in my home. It is nice to see that it isn’t just me and that it doesn’t only relate to punctuality. I am an anomaly, I often say, meaning my health, but it also relates to time itself. Time really does fly around me!
We did take a day to do fun things also. We took a short drive outside of the city to the town of Oromocto, for lunch and to go to a store. The Oromocto Galleria is a place where local artists have their work for sale, like a gift shop. It is one of four in our area, and there was something I had wanted to check out. I picked up some paint samples on popsicle sticks of Fusion Mineral Paint. The plan is to paint the front door, and the window shutters with it, after the front step is rebuilt.
Mastering My To-Do Lists
I work well with lists. Of course, I need to take the time to write them. Normally just make them before packing suitcases, to make sure I don’t forget anything. Lately, I am making them for cleaning. I have 2 agendas, a small one and a large one. The small one helps me to keep track of all of my appointments, except for the one I was 24 hours early for. I chose not to wait for that one, I went back the next day.
The large one is to help me to keep track of my health. Medicine doses, water intake, food diary, sugar levels and activity. I did well with it for about a month and stopped. I will clear a space in my living room to have it readily accessible to use. It is on my list of things to do.
The important thing to note here is things take time, and when you find a method which works, use it. I am making time today to revise the current to-do list to add in the rewriting of the business plan. Cleaning and writing my next book will also be a priority. The second book is a part of my current business plan. It will be the foundation of what I am about to build.
This week for #Tishspiration Tuesday, I am seeing results start to come back to me. What? Results? Things are going well. Not perfect, but very well.
A while ago I had asked for some information about cameras. I had been advised to find better quality pictures, and well, sometimes I like to use my own pictures instead of free to use stock photos, like the one I have featured above. The old Tuesday picture, the one I used to use, was my own, and I had a friend help me to edit it a while back. If you have been following for a while, you may remember this:
Previously on Tuesdays, I would write under this title and category. I was so grateful when my friends helped me with photo editing, and this was the final choice for the blog. It was a great pic at the time, and the enhancements made it better than the original.
Shortly after asking for advice on cameras, a friend offered to loan me a camera, long term. I am thrilled every time I take a picture. I use it frequently, and I have even downloaded the manual to improve my photography skills and to look up information as needed. It has been a dream to have a really great camera to take pictures with.
Since then, I have been working really hard on things.
Don’t get me wrong, I have had some good results from my hard work, and I appreciate every little bit of it. I have had meetings and appointments every week pretty much since I have been unemployed. It was a little tough at first, as nobody ever wants to unexpectedly find themselves unemployed. As you know if you follow this blog, I have chosen to take it as an opportunity to find out what I really want to do with my life. I have had jobs since I was a teenager, but now more than ever, I want to take another chance on me.
Sure, this is scary. It is a leap into the unknown, hoping that my dreams will turn into a trampoline and bounce me higher than I was before I started.
Realistically, I have wanted to be an entrepreneur for almost 20 years. I have tried on my own, several times, and failed. So why do I keep trying? The truth is, I am not a cookie cutter individual. I mean, I wrote a book which I describe as a memoir narrated by cats. I made up this word, #Tishspiration, and now I am developing a business idea, based on a word I made up.
Who does that?
I do. I make stuff up all the time. My sense of humour is sometimes out there, but I still crack jokes. With comedy heroes like Weird Al Yankovich and Betty White, I am going to make someone laugh, even if it is only me. I am writing a book and basing a business on a word I made up. It could be the best thing I ever did, or it could fail. In which case I will take the time I need to reflect on what did work, and what didn’t; before I try again.
So really, if you think about it, this entrepreneur thing is always a gamble. Someone comes up with an idea, and when they are brave enough, they try it out. Sometimes they make it work, sometimes they don’t. What happens next is the important part.
That part right there, the time for reflection, is the reason why I keep trying. If I quit, I could find a regular job and earn a paycheck every two weeks like I used to. When I left the job I had for 7 years, I had taken on a project which grew bigger than I could manage on my own, just to find joy in my daily job. The regularly scheduled work day was not fulfilling my life. I wanted more. I still do.
Today, some friends helped me out, in a big way.
Instagram. I have been trying to figure out how to be more active on Instagram for months. An author friend, Shannon McRoberts, has been advising me on how to do that without a cell phone. The day is getting closer to when I finally get one. It will be a celebration of some sort I am sure, and it’s going to be a real big deal when it happens, as people everywhere cannot understand why I don’t have one. It is something we haven’t been able to afford in our budget yet.
Lately, we are maintaining well, but any financial commitment will need to be planned carefully. It is also why we don’t yet have that kitten or dog we want. To be honest, I want 2 kittens, and I am in negotiations with Roy about it. He says because we want both a kitten and a dog, that we can’t get 2 kittens. I disagree; I also digress.
To expand my social media platform I have worked a little bit at a time. As an indie author, it is crucial to pick your lane and stick to it. With all of the changes lately in social media, however, I have thought about trying different lanes, and even different routes. I know there is a lot of action on Instagram, and I want to join in, to see what the buzz is all about.
I finally posted my first Instagram post today.
It was a fight, let me tell you. It seemed to be really difficult. I joined, but could not post from my computer because I couldn’t download the app from the google play store. It did not recognize my computer or laptop. My landline telephone number will not work as it is not a number from a mobile device.
Shannon told me about Hootsuite. I thought I finally had a workaround. So I went to sign up, only to find that I could try it for free, for 30 days. Another source said for 60 days. After the trials, I would have to pay to keep it going. I don’t want to be a flash in the Instagram pan, to be there and gone without a way to continue building content there.
After messaging back and forth with Shannon, finally, I learned that there is a way. Hootsuite will let me post 30 times in a month, to 3 different accounts. I am on my way to automation. It will be odd if you follow my author Facebook page, my Twitter account and my Instagram Account, as they will all be sharing the one post a day as I create them. Since I have a few to start with, and once they cycle through, I am going to create more content for the automation. I will work hard to keep as much of it as new as I can, so it doesn’t get boring.
I really do love to help people.
Shannon wasn’t the only friend who helped me out today, though. I went to see another friend, Marilyn King, at her store, King Woolens and Yarns. She has moved the location of the store several months ago, and it is now located within the city limits. It is really close to where I live, actually, and I have been to visit her there once every couple of weeks. I have been helping her with some graphics for the store, and she is learning more every time I visit.
Today, I helped her out, and she let me try to get the Instagram hiccup resolved by letting me try to do what I needed to on her tablet. She didn’t have the app on her tablet, and I thought I really needed a cell phone to get this program to work. I went home, disappointed, and ready to give up on it until I got a phone.
I relayed the news to Shannon, and she told me that the tablet will work if it has the app installed. Since Marilyn had told me it wasn’t installed on her tablet, I didn’t want to make her install it just for me to use for 15 minutes and then have to uninstall it. I thought of another option.
I sent out a message to another friend with a tablet.
MaryRuth McGee invited me to her place, and I made sure to ask that the app was downloaded. I wandered to the local dollar store on my way, just for some time to walk around for a few minutes. I found a cute picture frame and then went to MaryRuth’s. When I arrived, I said hello to MaryRuth and her daughter, who has grown up before my eyes into a smart, beautiful young woman, and I joined MaryRuth on the couch. I thought she was going to help me on her tablet, so it was a sensible place to sit. She handed me the tablet with a note on it for me to read.
I read the note and thought it was a reminder for her to help me when I arrived. She is very organized, and I didn’t understand what the note really meant. MaryRuth was giving me the tablet to use for my business! She said it is slow and old but it doesn’t matter at all to me, I have none to compare it to.
It’s here and went right to the dollar store after leaving her house to get it a case and a stand. She gave me one, and now I have 3. One to charge on and one for my desk. The one she gave me will be great if I am travelling with it. I also found purple earphones with a mic to try, as I may be filming for my social media with it. I have seen that they are necessary for some situations, and I want to be prepared.
As I pulled into my driveway, a wave of gratitude came over me.
I had thanked all of my friends throughout the day, but at that moment I fully realized what was actually happening. People are helping me not only because they are my friends, but because they see what I am working on, and because I want to help people, my friends are supporting me by helping me on my way. I had to just sit with it for a minute in the car before I came inside. I was feeling like I could cry, and I was shaking with the enormity of what I was thinking.
The day had its moments, both good and bad. Overall, I feel really blessed to have such good friends in my life. No matter what you believe in, when you put the right thoughts behind your actions, good things will follow. It isn’t always what you ask for, but it is always what you need. Truly, this was a #Tishspiration moment, where my friend was able to surprise me with her gift, and her encouraging note.
Have you had an unexpected gift which helped you to achieve something you were dreaming about? Please share in the comments below.