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.
This week I am going to catch you up on the last three surprising weeks I have had. To start, we will go back in time to Monday, a few weeks ago.
As a person with diabetes, I need to see specialists from time to time to properly manage the disease and to take care of myself. Three weeks ago, I had an appointment with the ophthalmologist. It happens every three to six months, and it is to make sure there are no signs of diabetes progression in my eyes. I have been going to these appointments for a few years, now.
When I went into the room this time, there was a change.
I needed laser surgery in my right eye. It is to treat a protein leak in the back of the eye. A few flashes of green light and I was on my way. My husband was scheduled to pick me up after the appointment. When he arrived, I was on a bench near the door. I had my sunglasses on, and my hood pulled down over my eyes. I kept peeking up to look for him. He told me I looked pale after I got into the car.
After I told him that I had the treatment for the first time, he understood my reaction. This concerned me because my eye felt like there was sand in it. I was in mild shock because it happened so fast and without a lot of information.
I did not ask enough questions at the appointment. That was my fault. The doctor didn’t ask me if I had any, which was their bad. When something catches me off guard, it scares me. I acted like I was fine, but I wasn’t.
The next day I called the office.
The ophthalmologist called me back and answered all of my questions. I felt much better after we spoke on the phone. The following day they called again and asked if I could go back to the hospital, where the clinic is, to get a second look at my, to make sure everything was okay.
In the meantime, the doctor prescribed an ointment for my eye, as a precaution. It is fine, and the issue only lasted for about two days. I also have another hydrating gel to use when my eyes get dry, now. Although I feel like the doctor was taking very good care of my eyes, and did the follow up after I asked, I did not feel like they took good care of me on the day of the appointment. However, they are not the only ones to blame, as I am my own best advocate, and I should have asked more questions before leaving the clinic that day.
On Wednesday, in that same week, I was back at the treadmill for the medical study I signed up for. It started with another surprise. I was really not feeling it, but I had to do it to keep participating. They hooked me up to the machine that measures my oxygen, for a reassessment. It was only for the first five minutes of the walk, so it wasn’t too bad, but it caught me off guard. The good news is that the reassessment told them I was using oxygen better, and that I was going to have a lower threshold for my heart rate when on the treadmill. The next morning, I was told to bump it up. I almost called the person working with me a liar.
In week 6, I had my lung test.
It took about an hour. It was determined that I do not have asthma. I was previously diagnosed with environmental asthma. I do wheeze sometimes when I am exercising. When I asked if I should continue taking the Ventolin puffer during the study, I was advised to try without it, and use it if I need to.
The very next day, I had a milder attack. I didn’t use the inhaler before the treadmill, but I needed to after I was done, like the other time. Thankfully, it was not as bad of an attack, and I recovered much quicker. The next day, I woke up feeling ill. I was experiencing a blood sugar low. The exercise was finally making my body need less insulin, again. This is not a pleasant feeling, but it is good news. My body is responding to the increase in my activity.
I took that day off.
When someone misses a day, the minutes need to be made up. The last surprise I was given in week 6 was on the scale. I am finally losing weight. It thrilled me to see the change on the scale.
When we got to this week, week seven, things changed, but not just for me. For the whole world. I was on the treadmill on Monday, and then the study was postponed. They had increased the cleaning, and we were to wash our hands before and after the workouts, but it wasn’t enough. As I write, the world is holding its breath as we try to navigate through the most stressful staycation we have ever experienced.
I was really having a hard time on Monday after the news came out about the study being postponed. You see, I am willing to walk on the treadmill for science, and to help other people, but I was not convinced I would be willing to do it for my own health. I reached out to a friend through a chat.
I am so glad I did.
We have decided to become activity accountability buddies for each other, and I have walked 3 days this week. I share pics after my walks on the days since the study was postponed. I have not walked much yesterday or today, but I know I need to, and I know someone is counting on me to do it.
In accordance with the current guidelines, I am able to go out for fresh air and go for a walk. I am walking outside, around my mini home park. It is about 2km/lap, and I am walking for 2 laps right now. I was walking for 30 minutes on the treadmill. It takes me an hour a lap outside. As I turn on the treadmill tunes in my Spotify account, which is downloaded to work with no wi-fi, I go. I am not pushing myself, but I am using my tricks to get my heart rate up. I guess you will have to wait until next week to read all about what that means. For now, I am grateful for the support of my friend, and for those who are encouraging me on social media.
If you won’t do what you need to do for yourself, do it for someone else until you feel like you want to do it for yourself. Ask for help. Get the people who want to see you do well involved.
One last thing. I am changing the words in my head. Instead of saying:
I am strong; I am capable.
I changed these words to:
I can and I will.
I am walking with a purpose.
Good things are happening for me, and for some friends of mine. I started a small beta group to support people like me with regards to weight loss. It has been running for a while now, and I have asked for feedback to make it better for the users, and as my own research to prepare for the option of expanding to a paid membership group. I haven’t fully decided on what to do next, to be honest. I’m going to share a bit about the good things which are happening.
We are more of an accountability & support group. There is no plan we all follow, we each are responsible for our own choices in that manner. We are working on daily step count totals, and I have kind of fallen behind in our weekly totals. We are also working o water intake and healthy recipes. I post tips with articles once a week. Recipes are shared, and there is a weigh-in day, a non-scale victory day and feedback on Fridays. Other days allow for a spa day to treat yourself, and prep cooking meal planning prompts.
I create more graphics, which I did as a result of feedback, and I think the group likes them. Every so often, I make new ones. Scheduling the posts keeps them consistent. I can forget things when I am busy.
We had some milestones in June.
One member is in ‘onederland’ which is below 200 lbs, and two members are in ‘twoville’ which is below 300 lbs. For us, these are huge goals, and I celebrated their victories with them. I am not sharing their names, as it is not what matters here. The important thing to note is that we are holding each other accountable, and providing support to each other. With success!
I had a scare last week when I got on the scale at the doctor’s office. I was not amused. It weighed me at 330 lbs. I have never been that high, and I was quietly very upset by that number. I told Roy that I should have only celery for supper.
It was awful, even though I knew it was a different scale, a different time of day, and I had clothing on. It was still a nasty number to see.
Wednesday rolled around this week, and I prepared to step on my scale.
I was not 330 lbs. I weighed in at 320.8 lbs. What a difference! I had actually lost weight in two weeks. Things are not as bad as they appear to be, even if I am not at one of the major milestones, yet.
I am working towards that first milestone, twoville, myself. When people ask me if I lost weight, I really want to be able to say, yes. Some still ask. My answer is honest. I am moving more, and I am trying to make healthier choices. This week I feel like I did something right because I was down about 4 lbs in 2 weeks. However, I won’t feel like it is enough to talk about until I start hitting some major milestones.
I am waiting for my body to adjust to the highest dose of Victoza. The doctor recently increased it, and when I adjust, I start needing to lower both of my insulin injections. It is the reason to take this new injection, to lower the number of insulin injections. As a type 2 diabetic, my body still makes insulin but doesn’t make enough, or it isn’t being used properly. Taking less means my body is using its own insulin more effectively. It is another good thing. I was worried about nausea with the Victoza, but it only affected me for a couple of days when I started it a few months ago.
Hard work pays off, especially when you have accountability and a support system.
Issues with weight. It has its ups and downs. On the scale, in the grocery store, with activity…I could go on for days with how many things can affect my issues with weight. I am not alone. So many people have issues with their body image, and if it is something everyone experiences, then we need to take a step back.
Reflection on our body image can be a harsh experience, if we let it. I remember when I was writing about gremlins, a while back, who were whispering so softly I didn’t even realize they were inside my head. One thing we can do to help ourselves is to change the message we are hearing from within. I did not come up with this concept, but I am giving it a whirl.
I have been working so hard on myself and this includes my health. It is tedious to be focusing on it all the time. It could be something to obsess about if I let it. I am not the best at the daily record keeping for this. Why?
I struggle with prioritizing me on my list
What? I have been working on this issue for what seems like the whole time I have been writing in this category. If I was doing this on a regular basis, things would be better. I know it. You know it. Sometimes I have a hard time thinking that I deserve to be on my list. Oh, I have this, and that, and so many things to do that I should do which are more important than filling out the daily checklists which I have taken the time to write down. Am I filling out the paper for time management were given to me to track my time? NO! I am important enough to fit my health and my time into my list. Why can’t I just grasp this concept? It is a struggle, like the title says, with its ups and downs.
Yes. I am writing that I did take the time to make my checklist, and I do have paperwork for accountability to bring to all of my appointments. This is my attempt to get the ball rolling again. For the billionth time. Maybe this time it will work. It has to.
The pressure of letting down the professionals I am working with is not enough incentive. It used to be. When I decided to work on me while I have the time, I was doing the work. I stopped. As a result, I am trying to get back to creating healthy habits. Some days, it is so hard.
I was relying on others to make me do the work
Of course it was easier to get me to do things if other people were counting on me. If others need my help, I am the first one to volunteer. I need to focus on more than just time management. I need to get to the bottom of my issues. What does that mean, really?
It means I have to do the work.
As we all roll our eyes at this, me while I write it, and you when you read it, it is the truth. It isn’t rocket science. Hard work is not easy, and if you fall out of line, it isn’t so easy to get back on track. If doing the work was easy, it wouldn’t be something a lot of people struggle with.
I am in a lot of groups on social media. Most of them are not run by me, but one is. It is a support group, of 8 people with weight issues. I do find it is helpful for me to have a safe place to encourage others and myself. It helps me to try harder and to do better. The members help me to change it for the better, which is incredibly helpful. Their input is crucial in keeping it active. I am scheduling the posts a week at a time, so I don’t fall behind. I still interact with the group in the prompts, and for now, I am happy with it.
We do work on meal planning, tips, weigh ins once a week, non scale victories, feedback, spa day, and activity. One topic per day, although sometimes I miss a day here or there. I have added in recipe shares when I find new recipes, or some I have tried already and love.
I do think I can keep improving it, but for now, it works for our needs. Part of the work I need to do is to manage my time more effectively, to become more productive. This will allow me to do more of the things I need to do in more areas of my life.
Finally, I want to ask you about how you think of yourself.
Self-reflection is a difficult thing to do. Start with your positive features, and increase from there to how awesome you are. Especially if you read this blog! 😉 I happen to think my best feature is my blue eyes. Instead of commenting with what you do not like, please leave a comment below about your best features. Let’s share our ups this week, and forget about the scale.
I have been here before.
On the verge of a new idea, ready to burst with excitement. It is hard to contain it, to keep the important parts to myself. I cannot wait to reveal what I am working on to the world. Yes, to the world!
It has potential. When my ideas are getting interest within a circle of like-minded people who I trust, I know I am on to something. It could be life changing. If I take the time I need to develop it properly. If I get the support I need from the creative community in the city I live in. The possibilities really are just beyond my grasp, and can expand exponentially, under the right circumstances.
In literal terms, I am sitting at my computer desk, in my home. My home office is a part of my living room, which is centrally located within the floor plan. I have access to my TV and music while I am working, or on a break.
Figuratively, I am not exactly sitting.
I am on a tightrope, way up high, where I can still see the ground and the safety net. From this vantage point, I am on the brink of something new. I can see what is waiting on the other side of the tightrope. There is a place to go from here, with a ribbon to cut upon my arrival.
There are people who support me waiting to hand me the scissors to cut the ribbon when I reach the other side. They are holding balloons, and wearing party hats. Everyone in that space is waiting for me, tentatively holding their breath while they smile through the tough part.
The tough part, well that is on me. I am heading in the right direction, but like the sentence I opened with, I have been here before.
Deja Vu can lead you astray or guide you to where you were meant to be all along.
I have been on the verge of something wonderful before. People can attest to the joy I have when I am working on my dreams. The first time I went down this path, I had everything but a realistic business plan.
A local craft store was closing, and I got the idea to buy it and take over the business. I even had a price tag on what the owner was willing to sell it for. Networking within my community allowed me to meet people and start looking into a new location for my store. I had a vision for the design and layout. The problem, however was that I had no idea how much work and research is needed to create a proper business plan. I didn’t have the necessary support or resources to fund my dream. As a result, my proposal was declined, and that dream died when this happened.
When you pour heart into something, it is a devastating blow when it doesn’t work out. It could have put out the entrepreneurial flame within me. It didn’t, because I wouldn’t let it go out.
My next idea was for Tish’s Treasures.
I decided to forego the business plan this time, and just see what I could do with my love of creating. I wanted to run a jewellery business. The location I started at was very limiting. I went to the local Farmer’s Market and was told I had to sell other items, hand-made, but they would not allow me to sell my jewellery there. There were too many vendors already with jewellery for sale. I got creative, and worked on creating beaded ornaments and suncatchers. I went to craft shows with my full stock, and was thrilled with each and every sale I made.
This business idea was but a hobby, and so it never really turned a profit. When I stopped going to the Farmer’s Market, I would then turn to friends and family to generate income from my hobby. Again, it fizzled out of being an actual business. I began creating jewellery to give to people as gifts, with a custom order from time to time. I do have a few loyal customers, but it was never enough to generate a sustainable income.
Reality is a tough thing to understand as a dreamer.
Don’t get me wrong, I do have a logical side to my brain, along with the creative side. I am always thinking, and sometimes it takes me a while to find my courage to try again. Enter the dream of becoming a published author.
I was inspired to write From Where I am Sitting…A Collection of Cat Tales after working very hard at starting this blog. Again, I did not create a business plan, because cat people would totally get this book, and read it and love it. I am an optimist and a dreamer. It will generate future sales, and I hope it does. I have had success with the book, although not as much as I had hoped for, but the sales are not something which will ever really stop unless it is sold out. What a dream come true that would be, not just for me, but for any author!
After finishing the book, and indie publishing it, I wanted to write a second book. I do have a plan for the books I want to write, and unless this is the first contact you have had with Tish MacWebber, you know I am working on #Tishspiration: The Art of Surprising Yourself. It will be more than a book. It is the foundation on which I am building that tightrope walk on. I am working very hard on a new business plan, based on #Tishspiration. I am still in the development stages, but this time, I am playing on more of a level tightrope.
How are things different this time around?
For starters, I have learned lessons while I have been on this journey. I am finding out what resources are available to me, and I plan to use them to the fullest extent. While I am working on a new concept within #Tishspiration, I am still sticking to my original ideas. My business will not conform to narrow my scope, although I am looking to work with local artists in a very niche setting. There is plenty of room to grow with this idea, and I know where I need to start to get things going.
This time, I will be writing a business plan. I have contacts who will not write it for me but will support me to help me to succeed. This new business does not only help me. It helps other creatives, and the customers I will have who will buy what I am planning to offer. I am learning about my target market, and what I will need to do to get the idea to sprout from a dream into a garden. (Again, speaking figuratively here).
This time, I have a lot more information, and experience to guide my path. I need to focus, look straight ahead, hold out my arms to keep my balance, and dance my way across that tightrope. With the right plan of action, there is only one outcome that I will allow to happen. Fearless Success. Who knows, I just may surprise myself with another source of…