Thursday, February 16, 2017

Why Freelancing led me to the discovery of Toptal Freelance Interactive Designers Network

My last few jobs have felt like I have been running in circles. But I did get an opportunity to work from home. This gave me some insight. I have now come to the conclusion that I am interested in freelancing. I have been drawn to writing, blogging and other forms of communication that allow me to work from remote locations but still reach larger audiences. As I have been researching companies that allow this kind of freedom, Toptal keeps coming up.
I researched the company and discovered that they are a premier company to be involved with. They put their candidates through extensive filtering before they can become one of the freelancers. This has helped Toptal to become a recognized name for talent in multiple industries.
As someone who truly wants to be given the opportunity to prove herself and to achieve much more than the grind that seems to come with ordinary day to day jobs, I know that working with a company that places so much emphasis on talent would allow me to progress.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Chronic Illness Awareness

As someone with a chronic, invisible illness, I'm always surprised at how many people don't understand it. My daughter and I both have chronic issues and live with them fairly well, but we're constantly exposed to statements such as "you don't look sick" or "you look normal".  This has been a reminder of how far we still have to go in raising awareness.

My daughter was diagnosed with PDD-NOS (on the autism spectrum) when she was five. She has lived with this disorder her entire life and doesn't let it define her, But she faces an uphill battle everyday as she confronts the enormous amount of misinformation and ignorance that still surround this disorder. She will always have to explain herself, educate others and advocate for better awareness and treatments.

My road began with an eight year journey to discover why I didn't feel well. Through multiple doctors, endless tests and years of frustration, we finally found out about fibromyalgia. As I started to educate myself, I found out quickly why so many with this illness give up and want to quit fighting. What little information about it is so confusing and contradicting, we have no way of knowing what is accurate. Part of this is simply not knowing what causes it, but there's also the endless websites offering up "cures" for this. 

Invisible illnesses lead to so much stress, not just for the person with it, but also for their family members, that many marriages end over it. It's a huge load to take on as someone's caregiver. 

More needs to be done to raise awareness and bring about better treatment options and support for the thousands of people that are dealing with this every day.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

busy times...

It's been quite a while since I had a chance to sit down and write. Between the new job, the holidays and everything else going on, I barely have time to blink. Hopefully, I'll be getting my new laptop soon and will be able to write more frequently. I hope to have my children's book to an editor soon.
Now that the holidays are over, I am back to my many projects and ideas. I've invested in a personal computer for me to use. I have started the third and fourth chapter of my children's book. I have also started a weight loss and fitness program to get back where I want to be. It's a big birthday year this year, and I'm determined to face it happier.
My husband and I are talking about scuba diving. He's already certified, and I'm considering lessons this year. It's a wonderful common interest for us. He has been building his photography portfolio and hopes to add some underwater work. I'm thrilled to have a chance to share such a wonderful interest.
I should start adding my own photography work soon. He got me a great camera for Christmas and I'm hoping to have some good shots to add.
My daughter has taken up the guitar. She'd been expressing an interest, so we got her one. We'll see how that goes. If she sticks with it, I'll look into lessons for her and upgrades to her guitar. This was the deal we made with her.
Obviously, I'm determined to make this a totally different year than the struggle we faced last year. I am trying to approach things with a different attitude, outlook and energy. We'll see what happens.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Just frustrated...

I know I have a lot of things to be thankful for. A new job, a wonderful husband, fantastic daughter and great family. I am building my skills and presence as a writer. Things have definitely turned around in the last two months. But I'm still struggling with some things.
My main concern is financial. It's frustrating when you can't give your family the things they would like to have. Now, I have a great family that never shows any frustration or resentment about it, but I can't help getting angry. My daughter wants to try new things and have new experiences. And with all that she has overcome, I hate telling her no. She's actually very reasonable in what she asks for. But I have to make the decision to get her the things that she needs and can't always afford to give her what she wants. The same thing applies to my husband. I am so thankful to have such a wonderful man in my life. He stepped up and dealt with a very difficult situation when we struggled with me not working. And he never complained. He takes care of us. I hate knowing that there are things he wants to buy and do that have to be put off.
I'm not going to go into specifics about why money is so tight right now. Those who know me well, know my situation. I just needed to voice my feelings. I know things will get better. And we still work together to make things work. I just wish it were easier.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Jenna's sailing adventure

We had a very busy day today. Jenna got to go sailing for the first time. With the wonderful group at Sailing Angels Foundation, she got to experience the thrill of being on the water under the full power of sails. I can't say enough good about an organization that is so willing to give children with special needs and others as well this wonderful opportunity. Such an amazing thing. I recommend to anyone in the Clear Lake area of Texas to look at this group.
Jenna took to it like a pro. She helped with the main sail and helped steer. She couldn't stop smiling. It was such a thrill to see. I hope she gets to do it again someday.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Busy times....

It's been a while since I've had time to sit and write. My life has gotten very busy in the last month. Lots of changes and new schedules.
The first and biggest change is the new job. I have almost finished my first month at American National Insurance Company. I love my new job. A great environment, great coworkers and a job I enjoy has made easing back into work much better. I know that there will be good and bad days. All jobs have them. But I feel like I have finally landed in a  company that believes in taking care of their employees. I have educational opportunities that I have never been offered before. I'm excited about this. But this is not the end of my creative outlets. I still intend to keep writing. I am still working on articles and my books as well as my blogs. I just may not get here as often. But I know I need the creative outlet as well.
Jenna has gone back to school now. She has started her junior year and is going to have a very busy year. She has a lot of exciting classes and is involved in the church as well. Hard for me to believe that she's already an upper classman. Two years left!!! (Scary!)
I have also been invited to submit another article to RealCity. So thrilled to be given that opportunity.
I feel like I'm finally getting my voice out there. I'll keep everyone posted.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

The beginning of something new...

Tomorrow is the first day of my new job. I'm nervous and excited at the same time. It feels strange to know that tomorrow morning, I'll get up and head to work for the first time in sixteen months. The time off was both a blessing and a curse. The first few months were wonderful. I got to spend time with my daughter, my husband and my friends. I also started some new things. I learned a lot more about cooking. I started blogging and writing again. I also got involved with advocacy work for chronic illnesses. I started practicing yoga. I think the new interests have definitely helped add character.
After I was home for a few months, the monotony started to set in. I felt like all I did was housework and appointments. I started losing touch with people. I found myself starting to feel depressed and isolated. With very little personal contact other than a sixteen year old, it got boring and tedious fast.
Would I change it? Maybe. I'm grateful for the time I had at home with my daughter. I'm also very blessed with a husband who stepped up and dealt with the changes that my unemployment brought. I'll always be glad for the new skills and hobbies.But......
Now I'm starting a new chapter. Starting a career in a new field that looks much more exciting and more fitting to my skills and my mentality. I have been lucky to land a job that will give me a chance to advance, to build my education and to network.
I'm nervous about starting a new job. It'll be a learning experience, but I'm going in with a positive attitude and the true desire to learn the skills necessary to make myself a valued member of the team. It's a chance for me to branch out of the rut I was in. It also gives me a chance to give back to my family and take care of them the way my husband has been caring for us.
So, tomorrow morning I will get up, put on my business attire and go in with notebook in hand and a willing and open mind to start learning. I'll let everyone know how it went....