coronaviruschronicles, mental health, self-care, spirituality, teaching

Reflection and Self-Care Day

Today’s teacher training focus was self-care. Our school chaplain led us into reflection. It truly focused on the inner life (mental and spiritual), with the use of a Ted Talk video and a YouTube video. The setup fits into the narrative that teachers should be flexible about how we tackle our new teaching arrangements. Some teachers open up about their present anxieties.

Being used to “religious” people telling others to pray instead of getting therapy, I was pleasantly surprised that our chaplain recognized the need to get rid of these toxic judgments. Instead, he recognizes that everyone needs to take care of their mental health and that we need to get rid of the stigma that surrounds mental illness. People immediately judge those who are suffering from some kind of psychosis or depression. They jump to the conclusion that it must have been drugs or a punishment from heaven.

Unfortunately, I am not the right poster child for self-care. Today, I still wrote 3 short articles, one longer one, and 1500 words for my creative project. I am anxious when I am not doing anything. I need to face my reluctance to give myself some mental silence and reprieve.

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Dreame, online jobs, online portfolio

Episode 34 is Out!

I am surprised that I have been able to write 1500 plus words daily for my Dreame story when I have clients to write articles for. I wrote 1000 words for one client and another 750 for another client – on top of some in-person tutorials at school. I am not saying my work is a masterpiece because I believe feedback and an editor can help me gauge if I am expressing the right feelings, etc. I remember how hurtful comments can be when That is why it is easier to write factual articles.

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coronaviruschronicles, teaching

Ways to Help Teacher Friends during COVID Lockdowns

So, instead of being on self-imposed lockdown today, I went to school in-person to help out fellow teachers go over the use of Google Classroom. I wore two surgical masks and a mottled shield. After I had sprayed it with alcohol, streaks and spots covered the whole thing but I still trudged on and walked to school in a haze.

It made me think. Teachers might be popular when some parents had a brilliant light bulb moment, but they often get the short end of the stick. It is worse now that I am a primary school teacher. When I was still teaching university students, I do not even get to meet the parents. My teenage students had to answer to their parents when they got terrible grades.

Anyway, here are some ways to help teacher friends during COVID lockdowns:

  • Check up on them. Are they okay? Let them open up if they got COVID but do not pry. Do not let them feel guilty by saying things like, “You could have been vaccinated” or “You could have been more careful!” Full disclosure: I am fully vaccinated and I am rarely out and about. My home is my ultimate shield.
  • Post things on social media about what you do. Some teachers are not oversharers like me. So, I make it a point to post that, hey all, teachers are working. I annoy my Facebook friends to death, I suspect, that nobody would comment about “No, you possibly could not be working that hard.” I wake up at 5 am and sleep at 11 pm. What about you, then? I work most of the time I am awake, too.
  • Help the non-tech savvy with one-on-one tutorials. Some do not want to slow down other teachers during group sessions. So, they just fret on their own.
  • Provide slides or videos for those who want to learn on their own. As an introvert, I know how awesome that feels – making all my mistakes without an audience.
  • Kind words and encouragements work well, too. Unfortunately, I doubt I should be sharing cookies and cakes at this point when people are weary about where your hands had been.
  • Plan lessons together, especially if suddenly all of you are working completely online instead of the usual face-to-face.
  • Wear your mask when talking to them in person. (I double mask!) You never know if you have been infected, or if they had been infected. Let us protect each other.
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coronaviruschronicles, Dreame, online jobs, web content jobs

Online is the Key

Everything is done online nowadays: school, work, freelance stuff, creative projects. It can be freeing and overwhelming at the same time.

Today, I had teacher training online, a landing page due, the second half of an article due, and of course, my creative efforts due (for the personal project, I set the deadline).

So, yeah, I am happy to announce that Episode 33 is now out. I now have 51 followers (compared to yesterday’s 37). I just have to keep on working hard I guess because Dreame has not promoted my book as much as I thought they would. It is a signed book, after all. Some writers say that it is probably because of the genre I have chosen – fantasy. What could have happened then if I had chosen my first love – horror? Everyone is promising a lot of steam in their books. I can only offer PG-13 romance at the moment. Would I be tempted? Well, there are some steamy ones with a good story out there. The story still should be the core of any book. I am very new to this. There are stories in my head, but I have never been that good with execution.

I love making covers. So, my first story is not even done yet, but I already designed the cover of my second because I have a little story vaguely dancing in my head. Haha! I probably should remain confident since I am in self-promotion mode, but I am still trying to find a story that will land me a printed publication deal. One day. Oh, one day. But it all begins right now.

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MFA, motherhood, personal, web content jobs

Updates, Updates

I’m back. I have not been able to update my blog for awhile because I was drowning in stuff I needed to do: work, thesis proposal and mommy duties. Now that I am back, I don’t even know how to focus on a particular topic. I have been writing on SEO & marketing, arts and culture, and B & B stuff for one company, and on product descriptions for another. Last week, I wrote 25,000 words in five days – for work alone.

Then, there are the constant revisions for my thesis proposal. My adviser is still not pleased with it – can’t blame him because I am far from being pleased with it myself. So, the 3,000 plus words have been completely scrapped and I am starting anew. There is that vague idea floating somewhere deep in my consciousness. My thesis is supposedly a mix of science and personal essays, so I had to review my Physics, update myself on theories as well as philosophies regarding my topic, and read all sorts of memoirs. My adviser said that I should come up with at least 20 pages for my thesis proposal and 30 pages’ worth of samples, due before Saturday. There is still work, of course, and home management to consider. ย I am trying to be calm about it.

I did have a wonderful weekend despite it all. Last Saturday, Joreb had his nth haircut. I am so proud of him, not just because he looks oh-so handsome. He never cries when he gets haircuts. I also bought him clothes and shoes for next Saturday’s modelling search. Yeah, I registered him for a 0 to 6 year old modelling search. It’s really his first time. It’s for exposure, but not the beginning of a career because he’d rather be an astronaut or a surgeon than a male model – I know. ๐Ÿ™‚ Who knows how he will turn out during that day, though: shy like mommy or outspoken like daddy. He kind of has a switch that makes him unpredictable at times, but I am sure he’d be adorable that day no matter what. Joreb is a pretty busy kid this month. He has a Halloween party to go to on the 30th. I don’t know if he would end up wearing his Captain America costume or his Harry Potter one. If he comes as Captain America, he would go without the mask. I’d put a bandage around his head, complete with fake blood. He’d probably use fake fangs, too. Captain America-as-Vampire (darn the Twilight theme the condo admin came up with – No, Joreb is not coming as Edward.) Oh yeah, I also need to promote his photos for a milk brand children’s contest in Facebook. Voting is from October 29 to November 9, I think.

Yesterday, Joreb, Donald (my husband, his dad), and I had a relaxing afternoon at the mall. We three are almost always stressed-out that it was time to just sit down, eat, and laugh.

So, that’s it for now. I need to go back to my thesis proposal.

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MFA, motherhood, personal, web content jobs

Life as a Home-based Writer

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I never thought I’d end up working at home. I used to work as a college instructor at Ateneo de Naga University, teaching Programming (ActionScript), Adobe Photoshop, Presentation Skills, Scriptwriting (for short animation), and other subjects related to my degree, which is Bachelors of Science in Digital Illustration and Animation. I graduated cum laude from the same university and thought that I would be serving the school for more years to come.

My family (me, my husband, my brother and the maid) moved to Manila in 2007 basically because my brother was about to start medical school at UST. My family is very close-knit. Something good came out of the move, anyway. My husband is now about to take his comprehensive exams for Masters in Marketing. He works as a manager for a major social and entertainment hub. I now have 18 units of Masters of Mathematics and am almost through with my MFA – and oh, I shouldn’t forget ย the four days of law school. ๐Ÿ˜€

When I found out I was finally pregnant after a year of getting treated for infertility, I was eager to prove to people that I can still work at an office and brave the daily commute (I took a train and a bus to work) until the eighth month. Unfortunately, I was frequently sick. At only two months pregnant, I reluctantly resigned from my office job because my office mates were – and still are – such lovely people. I still stay in touch with some of them. My former manager even became one of my son’s godfathers.

After the sickness stopped, during the fifth month of my pregnancy, I applied to the same office as a home-based writer. Luckily, I was taken in by the company. I still work for them as a home-based web content writer, covering SEO articles, press releases, short news items, and more. I worked on other gigs at the same time.

I went back to working in an office setup on September 2011. I worked as a test creator and rater for mostly Korean test takers. Again, I was in a pleasant environment. My toddler, however, was acting out and was mad at me for working. So, I resigned but I still work part time for the said office, as a rater.

This year, I applied for a regular home-based job. I only needed to be online four hours a day from Mondays to Fridays. I write three blog posts daily for the company’s three websites. I write on entertainment, SEO and travel/festivals. So, I now work daily for two companies and have other part-time jobs while I am almost at the end of the MFA program at De la Salle University (now writing my thesis proposal and have started some essays for my nonfiction thesis).

Working at home is ideal for a mom and graduate student like me. In the mornings, I write for one company. In the afternoons, I am online and available for the other as I work on blog posts for its sites. At night, I get to work on my thesis.

Of course, I do have time for my toddler. I bathe him in the mornings and play with him, albeit a few minutes at a time, during the course of the day. We both spend the afternoons in the living room with the nanny, anyway. During bedtime, I read him three to eight story books, complete with gestures and varying voices. Fee Fi Fo Fum! He loves story time! ๐Ÿ™‚

Not everything is perfect about being a home-based writer, though. There are no bonuses and benefits. So, I pay for my benefits as a voluntary contributor. People also think that I am an unemployed mom just waiting for my husband and my parents to hand me money each pay day. The moms in my condo building are either unemployed (with or without nannies) or completely engrossed in their jobs (doctors, office workers, etc). I feel out of place.

In school, it is the same thing. Most of the other MFA students are very young (22 to 26 years old), younger than my brother who is now a medical intern.

I try to make the most of being a home-based writer and see the best that I can get out of it. The flexibility of hours is amazing, of course. I can buy the weekly groceries on Wednesdays at 4 pm. I can go for a mani-pedi in the morning. I can bring my son to the doctor when the need arises. There is no need to go on a leave. The problem is I really am never on vacation. I am always on, almost 24/7. I say ‘almost’ because I do sleep. Sleep is not as refreshing, however, when your son’s toddler bed is right next to your bed and he sometimes pees a lot to wet the covers – at least that is the case lately what with him drinking too much milk and juice during the day (sometimes as much as 4 Big Mango Zestos, 3 large bottles of milk and more). ๐Ÿ˜€ But yes, at least I am with him. He is my priority, and that is why I am a home-based writer.

Next year, he starts kindergarten. By then, I hopefully would have my MFA degree.ย I will first get him accustomed to going to school and then I will check if I can get back to an office setup. I am considering jobs as college instructor, SEO writer, or translator (well, I do have to review Spanish).ย My son and I do have to learn how to be independent of each other. If things don’t work out as planned, there is always the flexible life of a home-based writer.

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health, personal, rant

Gym Membership and the Lazy Home Office Worker

I just had my gym membership account frozen for the third (?) time. I had not been working out properly for over a year, So, I am just paying monthly for a membership that I don’t really avail of. I just cannot do it when I am worrying about what time I will get home (even though the gym is located in the mall next to our condo building). There is just too much to do in terms of work and school, and it is getting hard to leave my toddler home. When I leave without him, he asks me “What are you doing? Where are you going?” I’d end up worrying about him whenever I am away.

The condo has a gym but it has only a couple of treadmills and one skiing machine. I have to wake up really early just to be able to use one of the treadmills. Even when I do, there are usually some men and women in their forties or fifties already using the gym before they go to work. I would end up using one of the bikes halfheartedly. But yeah, I just might do that tomorrow – wake up early and end up using the bike. Then, I will just do my crunches and weights at home. Ugh. If I do get up early and if my back does not hurt and if I don’t get tempted to work on an article due Monday. The reluctance is pretty strong, I know.

Also, tomorrow, at about ten in the morning, I have to bring Joreb to the optometrist for his first ever eye checkup.

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rant

My OCD is Acting Up…

When I have nothing much lined up to do, my mind wanders to other things that I could possibly accomplish during the day. For example, today I have to proofread 5000 words of a medical article. I know I will be finished before 1 pm, though it is still due on Friday. Then, I can buy the weekly groceries. Now, what to do afterwards? I can get my much-needed mani-pedi, hopefully will remember not to get a foot spa because my feet are smoother without people trying to scrape off my skin. I will probably end up reading Hawking or Einstein while getting my feet done. I need to read lots of stuff for my upcoming thesis.

I am currently working regularly for two companies, part-time for one, and freelance for another (I have actual contracts for three home-based jobs), and still scouring the net for other jobs. There are lots of suspicious offers that I would like to prove as scams, but I would be, of course, happier if they turn out to be genuine home-based job opportunities.

Hopefully, I will get to write about these various sites and offers later on, to help other web content writers.

Updates:

submitted article, bought groceries but now too lazy to get that mani-pedi. would rather stay home to read, write and update statuses

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