Working from home for 8 years – my experience

Well, eight years is a long time and I thought that I should share my own experience. I do see lots of different posts on working from home, passive income and great part-time opportunities.

I have worked as translator and project manager for one internet company for many years. It was intense. I had to provide very high standard of service and had to be available any time as we had customers from all over the world. When I say any time – I mean it. I worked on weekends and I worked late nights. The pay was not fixed and depended on the bulk work done – hence me working during Christmas and Easter break 🙂 The pay was average and only if I have done 10 hours day, the pay was worth it.

Don’t get me wrong. I am not complaining. I have done it for a reason. I could stay at home with kids. I have no regrets. However, my energy supply was limited and once I slowed down, I was not needed…

I think many people don’t see this side of “working from home”. My family members and friends often joked on my account saying that I am on holidays all the time. About that I WAS bitter. Although these were loving people, they did not see the work I did and assumed I don’t do much if I don’t go to work in the morning. Of course, they did not know that I am working sometimes till 3 am in the morning, that I am working when sick and so on. I felt that my work is invisible and not valued. I know many people can make it and work from home with a great success. But not me. And I thought that my experience might be useful for someone as we are usually told only the good things and then we lose time figuring things out.

My list for next work from home job would be:

  1. What is the success rate of this business model, 1 in 10 or 1 in 1000
  2. What is the pay structure and job guarantees
  3.  Will I have holidays and free time or am I expected to work in different time zones
  4. What are the future prospects of this job
  5. Make list of advantages and disadvantages

and then decide if it is worth it 🙂IMG_1119

Thank you for your likes :)

Once I wrote my previous post on toxic people an interesting thing happened – the people who bothered me and in a way inspired me to write the post went away.  What happened? Have they read my post? Have they recognised themselves and changed their behaviour? Well, that is very unlikely – although one never knows.

I think what really happened was that once I wrote my problem down on paper – my mind was able to take a distance and dissolve it. Of course those people are still there but somehow our paths don’t cross or their poison does not pierce my shield. At least for now. I can definitely say that by writing down my feelings, I was able to let it go and direct my attention on other things. Moreover the response I have received made me realise that other people facing very similar challenges.

My main takeaway from this experience is:

  1. don’t keep your feeling bottled up inside and share them in a way that is easiest for you
  2. draw strength from others who went through similar experiences
  3. don’t accept the status quo and think of different ways you can change it
  4. talk to experts
  5. take a look at the problem from a distance

And remember – there is no shame in feeling down, alone or different!!!

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On toxic people and on being yourself

This is an unusual topic for me but it maybe useful for some of my readers.  I am just putting few thoughts on the paper about toxic people and how to deal with them. Mainly because I came across few of them quite recently.

One of the decisions I have made few years ago was that I will be myself – not pretending anything and not playing social games. I feel lot more balanced and happier within myself. I stress lot less and I worry about things lot less. Lots of weight is off my shoulders as I care lot less what the others think or what they might think. So that is the good part.

However, not everyone likes it. And yes, I can confirm: “You can be yourself (as is promoted by so many influencers), but there is a cost.” You need to ask yourself if you are willing to bear the cost. Because – you will meet toxic people – there is no doubt about it. And they will test you and your decision. They will laugh at you, to your face or behind your back. They will try to make a little ‘haters’ group and laugh on your account.

It has been my recent experience and I can’t say I am above it. But it is not something that will overshadow everything I have achieved or I am achieving. It does make me sad if anything. If you are in the similar situation, realising the following may help you:

  1. There will always be one person (or more) that is toxic. They will pop up sooner or later. Simply because you can’t be loved by all. No matter how hard you try. So accept this as a fact and don’t be paralysed by this when you come across people like that. You will already know, that they have to come your way and you will be ready.
  2. Remind yourself that toxic people are that way for deeper reasons (which you can’t fix). Simply because the reasons come from deeper layers within them and were formed for many years throughout their childhood to their adulthood. It took many painful experience on their part to become that way. And although logically you would expect them to be nice (because they know very well what it feels like when some is horrible to someone) – most of them are not able to do it. They cannot leave that shadow behind and rather are consumed by it.
  3. What helps me when I meet people like that – is to imagine them as kids. What happened to this kid standing in front of you? Why he/she has to act that way? Do they suffer from lack of love? Was their self-confidence badly undermined? Were they ignored and ridiculed by people who were meant to give them unconditional love? I assure you, the answer is yes. People who grew up in love don’t feel the need to be toxic. They do not see any reason for it and they don’t get any pleasure from laughing at others. And that brings me to the next point.
  4. Toxic people get pleasure from hating on others. The pleasure gets even stronger if they find like-minded people who will chime in. And yes, it sucks that it is you who they are laughing at. But know this. That feeling they get from it, is very temporary. It is a brief moment. It will never bring them long-term satisfaction because the black hole in them is getting bigger every time they try to hurt someone. It is a paradox but they themselves have to realise this in order to close that big black space inside them. It is their journey. For you, it is enough just to know that. It is not really about you. It is about them. Their emptiness inside them. The beast that they have to feed but the beast that is never satisfied. The beast that will eat them up or the beast they have to defeat one day.
  5. We always think:”Oh there must be something wrong with me, if they are hating on me. ” However, it is exactly the opposite. Toxic people have a deep rooted problem. It is so deep that it gets outside their inner world and effects the environment around them.

What I do when I come across toxic people: I stay away. I don’t play their game. I don’t socialise with them.  I don’t pretend I like them. I stay polite and I try to be neutral. I don’t want to be pulled into their game and hate them back. That leads nowhere. At the same time I strengthen my own circle of people, who are there for me. I do things that make me happy. I think positive and creative thoughts. I socialise with people I can trust. And I try to lear from it all. I know it is not easy but I know that it can be done…

I wish you luck, strength and happiness dear friends 🙂

 

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Things that might look very complicated can have very simple explanation

Clothes prep to save 10 minutes

I tried to prepare meals for many times before and for some reason – I could not make a habit out of it. But I was desperate to save some time in the morning and I decided to try at least prepare clothes for the whole week and save some time like that. (I do have some changes at work and I am desperate for more time.) So instead of the meal prep I do – clothes prep. On the weekend I prepare a whole week wardrobe and I don’t have to worry about it in the mornings or evenings. It really helped! It saves me about 10 minutes. It’s not much, I know…but in the morning every minute counts especially because I am not a morning person.

At least it’s a start. Small steps right? I think meal prep is the next step and if it saves me another 10 minutes, I can look forward to a less hectic and more Zen mornings 🙂

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Intermittent fasting 4

This is going to be a short one but a happy one. I have been doing the intermittent fasting for a while without massive results. I did not see any big changes in my weight and was getting dispirited. Not only that. At the beginning I had some problems with my looks – big circles under my eyes, dry mouth, tiredness and stomachache after eating. I did not experience any of those wonderful things that are advertised in numerous  videos and articles. However, I did not stop. I knew from my experience with homeopathy that things get worse before they get better and decided to continue with the IF.

And this week – finally – first positive results arrived. The stomachaches stopped! Moreover, my co-worker said that she needs to ask me something; I thought it will be something work related of course. To my surprise she said that she has noticed I am losing weight and what is my secret! I was delighted. On scales I am more or less the same weight! Very interesting indeed. I sent her two videos to get her into IF and get some basic idea about IF. I am doing the easiest 16/8 hours. My advice to anybody would be to carry on if you don’t see result. The body will first focus on the repair processes inside the body. This may take time and it took me about 3 months to see some results. So don’t give up 🙂

Update: 2019 I have noticed more visitors are reading the post on IF so let me put few points together that might be useful for you:

  1. Stick with it longer – I have not seen results straight away, first visible results came about three months later
  2. Choose what suits you – for me the 16/8 works the best, I can last without food and not being ravenously hungry, I can keep my social meetings and family dinners
  3. Observe all the changes – I recommend a journal/diary, you will not remember everything in detail and some small changes may escape your attention, I thought there are no changes first but there probably were – but I just did not know about them
  4. When you eat, eat as healthy as possible – in the beginning I was tempted to eat the unhealthy stuff as I thought the IF will balance the calorie intake. But now I think that was one of the main reasons why I did not see any changes in my body.
  5. The beginning was hard – I did have some bad days, big circles under my eyes, bad breath, dizziness, feeling groggy etc. I took it as a ‘healing process, when body is focused on repairing the broken bits”. I did want to give up at one point.
  6. It is not cure all solution. It is just a part of your overall change for the better. Don’t stop there. Try to detox, try different power foods and so on.

I have completed a whole year. I am slimmer although not my ideal weight. My stomach is not bulging and T-shirts are looser. IF is something that I will stick with – it delivered.

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Intermittent Fasting 3

The most frustrating  thing about this is that I keep on reading how it helped almost everybody who tried it. I honestly cannot say that my weight dropped off or that I feel whole lot better or healthier. It seems to me that things that work for others just don’t for me….anyway enough of crying!

I am sticking to my schedule. Four days I keep 16/8 and three days 14/10. I have reduced sugars to minimum. When I have a major craving I have a Greek yogurt with a little bit of honey and some almonds. I have reduced wheat products – that must help for sure right?

I had some digestive issues which started with the 16/8 schedule. I decided to carry on despite this but was more gentle when breaking my fast. Started with bit of fruit or bowl of clear soup before eating my main meal. Also I loaded up on yogurt with Bifidus and pickled vegetables. Tried some probiotics as well. I have heard that if you don’t eat, your body focuses on the repairing processes – so maybe this is what was happening. I feel better now. The digestive issues are lot better although not completely gone.

Now, the most important thing. Did I loose any weight since I started in April? About 2 kgs. That is my book is nothing because I know I can put back on really easily. Do I feel better, healthier? No not really. I think it is the detox that I do makes real difference. So any improvement what so ever? There is one and quite interesting. I used to have bulging, hard stomach that sometimes reminded me of a basketball. It was always there not matter what. I was thinking if I am bloated all the time or if it is just fat. Well, I still have the stomach but it is somehow deflated and is softer. It does not feel that hard. If I am not deluding myself, I would say that it is smaller and less noticeable – especially when I wear clothes. So not much change on the scales but slight change on the appearance. I will keep on going as I have nothing to loose and of course, will keep you posted 🙂

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Vegan Burger

Intermittent Fasting – 2

The first week was not easy. Had lot of digestive issues and did not feel great. I was hungry and waiting eagerly for my meal. That has changed by the second and third week. I kept on going because I read so many reviews how wonderful and helpful Intermittent Fasting is.

However, I did not lose any weight 😦 I was not surprised because diets don’t work for me before. After several weeks I did not see major changes. There was one change though that made  me think that I should drop it. I had massive and very visible dark circles under my eyes. I looked like Panda! I thought to myself – this is not good and I need to figure out what is going on before I continue. So I decided to go for an good old detox which I have already mentioned in one of my old blog posts. The detox got me back into looking refreshed and glowing – the look I like 🙂

I researched the possible reasons but did not find anything satisfying. Most of the reviews, I would say 99% of them, are positive – Intermittent Fasting helps with weight loss, people feel energetic, they think clearly etc. etc. For me this did not happen. The only reason I can think off is – that maybe I tapped to my old fat reserves that had some toxins in them and that caused the tired looked. Or my kidneys/liver had to work extra hard and that was reflected in my drained look. Simply I don’t know.

I did not give up on Intermittent Fasting, yet. This time I am going to slowly ease into it – first with 3 meals and no snacks and then maybe after a month changing that to two meals a day. The eating window will be 10-9 hours (before I had 8 hour window). This should help with any side effects. Anyway, that is a theory. Will let you know, how is it going 🙂

Healthy snack

Finally clean pores!

This is a very short post. One thing that always troubled me were pores. They always seemed too big and with blackheads. I tried everything. Numerous masks from shops and homemade as well. Usually their effect was very short lived. So my misery continued. Always when I went to the beautician for eyebrow shaping she would comment on my pores suggesting a facial. I knew facial will not help and I was saying to myself that she is probably just trying to promote the facial and get extra customer.

Anyway, what finally helped me were pore strips. They are usually Japan or Korean made. I could not believe they will deliver – and they did! Since then I don’t look back. The effect lasts 2-3 weeks and my nose looks pore less. You can imagine how happy I am…so I am spreading the knowledge to others…Such a simple thing and such a big difference 🙂

Update: 2019 My pores are clean and I am feeling good about it. I wish I knew about this earlier. I recall all the embarrassing moments when the beautician noted to me that I need facial…

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How is my business going – update

Well, so this is interesting. About a year ago I have launched an Easy shop and now I should be a successful entrepreneur right? Not really. And I don’t say that with any bitterness. I have learned new things, met some lovely customers, got great reviews – but did not make much money. I have covered my costs and got little bit of profit but not enough to keep me motivated. By now the shop is closed and put on hold probably indefinitely.

Here are main reasons why I decided to do that. It took a way more time to manage, my products were too cheap  and I would have to sell a large amount of each item. The shipping was expensive and labour intensive. First I did not mind running to the post office with every little order but it wore off by several months.

What went wrong? I don’t blame Easy at all. I think it is a great platform for people who make products by themselves. I however had stationary products that were more of a supplies for arts and crafts. My big downfall was that I did not think it through properly and jumped into it without asking myself whether I am passionate enough about selling stationary and running to the post office every day. I realised it was not for me. I must say that the customers were really nice and often left a very good review. Some customers became frequent customers and dare I say – fans 🙂 It is a very friendly place and you can meet some wonderful people there which is quite unique thing to experience on a selling platform. Things to ask yourself before you give it a go:

1/ What is my profit margin? /I made a mistake selling cheap items with small profit and had to sell large amounts to get some profit./

2/ How much time I can invest into this? /I had to be engaged every day. You can close for holidays but it is not recommended, some orders can come when you are on holidays, on weekends, during Christmas and so on./

3/ Can I secure the shipping? /I was visiting post office with numerous packages and queueing  with people being that were very grumpy because I had ten parcels of different weight  and value. After a while I started to dread that situation./

4/Does my product stand out or am I one of many? /I did not have a unique product. I think if I had something that was hand-made or more unique I would be more successful./

So – I hope I did not discourage you but learn from my mistakes – it can save you time 🙂 My next venture is self-publishing…I know I am bit late to enter this field but who knows maybe I will be more successful then with my shop on Etsy. I will keep you posted!

Update: 2019 – Etsy shop did not work for me. I also tried publishing on Amazon – did not work either (but still trying). I took a part-time job at local school which changed to full-time now. It is an interesting work but very exhausting. I do not have time to pursue my business activities. I am thinking about some new business ideas but at the moment they are just in my head…

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Update on my mother

My mother – thanks God is still with us. She is maintaining reasonable lifestyle and is relatively happy. However, the chemo made her arthritis worse. As a result she is not very mobile and stays at home most of the times. If she goes out, it is only for short walks. She needs a stick to support herself and lost confidence to do longer walks. She stopped taking most of the supplements and I suspect that she is back to her old diet – which is mostly vegetarian but does not include much of fresh veg. Psychologically it is not so wonderful – up and down. So all in all we are happy she is still with us but the quality of her life is not that fabulous. I think the main problem is that she is slipping in the old lifestyle – she always wants to help and do everything for everyone and tries to do it even now. That means her own wellbeing is not her priority anymore.

If I would make one note to anyone reading this – it would be – don’t go back to your old ways. Make changes for better and stick to them. Stay focused on yourself. Don’t try to save other others all the time, don’t try to be perfect, don’t be scared of not being perfect and be more selfish. You don’t need to sacrifice yourself for your family. Instead thrive and they will thrive with you. At the end – everybody will benefit from your strength although in a different way than you imagined. The household can wait, kids and husbands can be more independent than you think 🙂 Good luck to everyone xxx

Update: I have noticed more visitors coming to read this post. What I want to say is this – stay focused on yourself and think about your life in a great detail. What can you change? Make the changes today and don’t put them off – like giving up sugar, upping greens, taking more rest. Delegate things that you do for others – share the tasks. You don’t have to carry everything on your shoulders. My mum always felt guilty about resting or even about thinking about herself and her needs – don’t do this! This is your life and no one is going to live it for you.

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