Blog Feed

Creating Printables as a Side Hustle

It’s hard to believe September is half over. Kids are back in school, and we’re once again faced with restrictions. I’m really hoping life can get back to some sort of normal soon.

Being unable to go a lot of places has not been all bad, however. I have been able to work on both of my Etsy Shops and have even made some sales. I know I could do more in terms of sales, but I’ve been concentrating more on creating than marketing.

Creating printables for my TOLA50Printables shop has been fun. I have purchased some templates with PLR Rights, which means I can modify and sell the content; as long as I export as a PDF.

Using templates with PLR Rights is easier than creating from scratch, but it’s not just a matter of adding your name to the template and calling it yours. You have to take the time to use your brand’s colours, fonts, and content.

What I like about printables is I can spend a few hours creating one, then list it. Once listed I don’t have to worry about filling orders because they’re all digital downloads. I can then take the time not spent filling orders and create more, or work on my pattern designs and physical products. My eyes get a little buggy from spending too many hours in front of my computer, so it’s nice to have another creative outlet.

Designing crochet patterns has led me to creating printables for crochet artists. I know which steps are needed when it comes to pattern design, as well as what is needed when selling those items at a craft fair or online. By utilizing my own knowledge I can help others who are perhaps just getting started in the crafting business.

The learning curve can sometimes be steep, so creating products to make a small business get off the ground faster is important to me. I know I made a lot of mistakes along the way, but without those mistakes I wouldn’t be able to help others.

Now that I’m becoming more familiar with Affinity Publisher and utilizing Power Point a little more, I can take my first Crochet Business printables and revamp them to better suit my customers. The one I currently have listed in my NotJustAlpacaDesigns Etsy Shop was designed in Canva but I know I can improve it in Affinity Publisher.

I tend to try to make things perfect in the beginning, but I have come to realize the main thing is to get the products out there. If it’s never listed or shown to anyone, how can improvements be made? Customer feedback is important, and you should always try to find the positive; even when the customer is less than polite. (I have never had anyone downright rude, but I have seen it happen to others.)

If you’re considering starting a printables business as a side hustle, you have a lot of options for both products and platforms.

You can create and sell items such as:

  • planners
  • journals
  • cards (birthday, anniversary, sympathy, graduation, wedding, etc.)
  • wine labels
  • trackers
  • charts
  • vehicle maintenance logs
  • plant care records
  • babysitter’s list
  • petsitter’s list
  • housesitter’s list
  • garden planners
  • …and so much more.

There is a bigger variety of printable to create than places to sell them but that doesn’t mean you can’t be successful. As mentioned, I’m and Etsy Shop owner and I like the fact I don’t have to spend countless hours putting myself out there. Etsy takes care of the listings, transactions, and downloads. Its built-in search engine helps point customers in the direction of your products, provided you have utilized keywords, descriptions, and tags.

Another way of getting my printables out there is by having them available directly through my website. I have to admit, I haven’t taken full advantage of this feature yet but have dabbled a little. I do have my latest ebook available via clicking the picture of it.

Another platform for selling digital products is Shopify. I do have to say I’m not familiar with how the platform works, but a quick Google Search did let me know it does have options of digital or physical products.

Amazon is another platform if you’re interested in creating ebooks. As an author I have used it for years to sell my fiction and nonfiction titles, but not for anything that’s only a few pages.

In conclusion, I do have to say Etsy is my first choice for selling printables. It’s easy to upload a file, and adding the description, title, and tags is straightforward. The listing fees are low which is perfect for anyone on a budget, and the automatic renewal feature is fantastic.

Now that I’m taking charge of my wellbeing again (grief can sure kick the crap out of a person) I’m focusing on the things I want to do, and the things I enjoy doing. I foresee my experiences playing a huge part in what I’m capable of doing, and becoming. And I have these cards to thank for the positive outlook, no matter how my day begins.

Daily Affirmations

Have you thought about starting a printables business? If so, what will your first product be?

Etsy Shop #2: My New Side Hustle

I did it! I opened a second Etsy Shop!

Why would I open another you ask?

Well, so I can branch out a little more without my existing shop looking like it’s a mish-mosh of stuff. (And I hate to say it, but right now that’s how it looks to me.)

I’m a creator, and I think it’s time to get back into creating patterns and small physical items for sale. There are so many neat things to be made from yarn, alpaca fiber, and macrame cord. And I have all three in abundance.

I’m looking forward to adding more products to both of my shops and seeing which one does better: physical products or digital products. It’s going to be an interesting experiment, and preferably a profitable one.

According to the experts a successful Etsy Shop can be attributed to SEO, lots of photos of the products, and competitive pricing. Something else that seems to be a contributing factor is free shipping for physical products.

Digital products are automatically delivered to your customers as soon as payment has been made, so there’s no need to charge any shipping on them. That’s one of the perks of offering digital products. Another is they can be bought by anyone in the world at any time of day, so you can even earn money while you sleep.

With the holiday season coming up I foresee Etsy being the place to shop for many gifts. And with the COVID-19 restrictions coming back into play (at least here in Alberta) online shopping is going to continue to be the way to go. I know I’ll be doing some of my gift shopping through Etsy.

If you are considering opening an Etsy Shop, there’s no better time to do it than now. Listing fees work are low, and you can easily work in the cost of any additional fees into your prices. I have items in both shops advertised, but only have the stats for my first one. The second is in its very early stages, so I won’t be able to see any stats for at least a month or more.

It can be frustrating to a new shop owner when the sales don’t come pouring in right away. My advice is to be patient, utilize SEO in your product descriptions, and use Etsy Ads if your budget allows. I currently have a few of my products advertised, with a budget of $1.00/day. That’s not a lot, but it’s what I’m comfortable paying for advertising at this point in time.

If you don’t have an advertising budget, Pinterest is a good place to place your products. It’s good karma to pin the products of others in addition to your own. Pinterest likes to see pins from a variety of sites/businesses. This practice makes you appear less spammy as well. Group like things on your boards, even if they are similar to yours.

Now that my new shop is open and I have a few products added to it, I’m going to go out and enjoy the afternoon by cutting up some trees for firewood. Last night was a beautiful evening, and I’m hoping tonight will be the same. Harvest is well underway, which means the smell of grain dust in the air. (One of my favourite smells).

Have a wonderful long weekend, and I’ll keep you posted on what is working for me and my Etsy Shops. I’m excited to see when the first sale will be!

2 Done-for-You Side Hustles

Looking for an easy side hustle? The two mentioned in this post can have you on your way to earning some extra cash within a few days.

When it comes to side hustles I know how hard it can be to find one that works without taking a ton of time.

***This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through one of the links I will receive a commission at no extra cost to you.***

The first one I’m sharing with you today is the Digital Business Startup by Yadsia Iglesias. It comes with templates, video tutorials, and the option to become an affiliate of her products (which I have recently done).

The cost is currently $297 (which is what I paid several months ago) but it has everything you need to get started. The beauty of it is there is also a payment plan available if you’re unable to pay the entire amount at once.

If you’re familiar with Canva you’ll find this a breeze because of the editable templates. If you’re not, it’s easy to learn through her video tutorials. Not only will you learn how to make digital and printable planners, printables, create ads, and how to sell a planner on Etsy; you are also granted commercial use of the templates. What this means is you can edit the templates to make the planners and printables to sell. However, you may not sell the templates themselves.

I bought the DBS Program several months ago, and have used the templates for my own products. One of them is my Printable Weekly Planner, which is available in US Letter Size. It may also be printed 2 pages to a sheet if you prefer a smaller size planner.

The nice thing about creating printables and digital planners is once they are listed, you can earn money while you work your regular job, sleep, or even while you’re on vacation. How cool is that!

An easy side hustle.

The second one I’m sharing today is Design and Sell Canva Templates. This one is also by Yadsia Iglesias, and is currently listed at $97.

This one is a little different from the first one in that it allows you to create and sell templates instead of the finished printable/digital products. The benefits to this type is you can charge a little more because you are giving your customer the commercial rights to your templates. They in turn can use your templates to create and sell their own planners and printables. They cannot, however, use your templates to create and sell their own templates.

Once again, this is a side hustle in which most of the work has been done for you. All you have to do is edit to suit your needs, make a copy, and sell it on your website or via Etsy (or whichever platform you choose).

You will, however, need Canva Pro to utilize this particular course. I am a Canva Pro user, and recently upgraded from paying monthly to an annual membership. It saved me some money, and I can easily recoup my cost by selling a couple of templates.

In conclusion, when you don’t have a lot of time for a side hustle, the two I talked about in this post are a good option. Work your way through the video tutorials, download the templates, and edit in Canva. A little work in the beginning can lead to sales for months, even years, to come.

4 Side Hustles to Earn Extra Cash

What’s a side hustle you ask?

Well, it’s simply a way to earn money on the side of your regular source of income.

I have had side hustles going ever since I was a teenager. It was a way for me to earn some spending money while I was still in school, and as I got older it was a way to supplement the household income to pay bills.

Now that it’s just me, I do it to supplement my widow’s pension. Plus it gives me some extra spending money to go on little trips (camping mostly) and set some aside for a double car garage. (Yes, I’m getting tired of sweeping the snow off my vehicle and not having enough space for my tools.)

The following side hustles are ones I have personally tried, and am still active in.

Note: I may receive a commission for any purchase made through my affiliate links. Or, I will receive the full purchase price for items I have designed/created.

Etsy

As an Etsy Seller since 2014, I have earned money from patterns I have designed, printables I have created, and a variety of tangible items I have made and shipped. I think my bestseller is my Weaving Sticks, which I no longer make. I do have the instructions available for how to use them however.

Etsy is perfect for you if you like to be creative, yet don’t want to pack up all of your wares every weekend. Plus, offering digital products (which is what I do now) will earn you money while you sleep. I love waking up to find I have made a sale while I was sleeping.

How much you earn here is completely dependent on how much time you invest in product creation, shop updates (which I’m getting better at), and customer service. It’s not a “create the product then leave it” type of deal. You have to let people know what you have to offer in terms of updates, advertising (optional), and just getting the word out.

Zazzle

This is something I have only dabbled in. I have added photos to playing cards and listed them for sale in my first Zazzle Store, and have earned a few dollars over the years. Just this week I opened another store under TakeOnLifeAfter50 and now have a small number of items available.

My new store reflects where I’m at in life, and what I find joy in. I think the John Deere Mug is a good way to show the farmer in your life how much he (or she) is appreciated.

All you need is some time and good quality photos, and you can be on your way to earning passive income with your designs. Zazzle takes care of all of the order filling, shipping, and collecting of payment. You’ll be notified when one of your designs has sold and your royalties will be paid out when you reach the threshold.

HubPages

If you like to write then this is a good place to start. You will be paid a portion of ad revenue the site earns based on clicks within your articles. I have been writing on HubPages since 2011ish, and have reached the payment threshold of $50.00 more than once.

I haven’t put a lot of time into submitting articles in the past few years, but the existing ones still earn me a little here and there. I update them occasionally, and the editors will also make slight changes (after first notifying the author) to improve the article. One of my most read articles is the one I wrote on creating and selling printables online.

I do know some authors make several hundred dollars per month, but that’s because they put in the time to add new articles and are updating what they have. As with anything, it does take some work but the monetary rewards can be plentiful.

Passive Income Planner Girl

(I am an affiliate of P.I.P.G. and will receive a commission if you purchase through my link.)

Do you dream of making your own digital planner? I want to share a course with you that I’ve taken personally and loved! The price is going up and I don’t want you to miss out!

Learn how to make a planner that works for you.

What does it look like to honour your genius and build a business from it? In Passive Income Planner Girl, you’ll learn how to turn your zone of genius into a digital planner. Then use it as a launching pad to a business full of raving fans, while honouring your desires, your personality, and your joy every step of the way.

But what if you don’t know what your zone of genius is right now? That’s okay, because Michelle and Aimee help to draw that out of you. 

A note from Michelle:

“A planner is the simplest, easiest way to say “this is what works for me, this is how I approach my life. Maybe it could work for you too.” You start to look at what makes your life work and realise “this is important! This deserves to be in a format that other people can pay money for.”

The problem is, we’re bombarded with messages of how to take care of other people. It’s all about pleasing and serving other people, so we forget ourselves. We are so disconnected from who we are and what we want. And then we get into business and it just gets WORSE.

But we believe that staying true to who you are, honouring your zone of genius is THE most powerful way to build a business. Forget who your audience is. Who are YOU? Forget what your audience wants. What do YOU want? If you start there, you’ll attract people who will follow you to the ends of the earth.

This is so much more than a course on how to make a planner. The planner gets you to take that first step.

We’ll help you embrace that you’ve always had the power to do whatever you want. Your desires matter. You can honour yourself and when you do, the world won’t break. In fact, everyone is better off when women put themselves first.

We want to see that happen in your life and business. And Passive Income Planner Girl is where we can help you start.

Join us before the price increases on August 31st. We’d love to have you!”

In Conclusion:

Finding the right side hustle for you can take time, but there’s nothing wrong with trying different things. As we grow as people we find we don’t always want to do the same thing for the rest of our lives. What we enjoyed 10 or 20 years ago isn’t necessarily what we’re going to enjoy now.

As friends come and go, so do our interests and our desires. Pick a side hustle you are going to enjoy, not one that claims to make you thousands of dollars while you sleep. If you do find one that you enjoy AND it makes you thousands while you sleep, kudos to you!

Hot Hot Summer

Is it really the 5th of August?

I’ve been trying to stay cool, but in my single level home without AC it’s not an easy thing to do. This summer has been the hottest I can remember, and I’ve seen a LOT of summers.

My rain gauge recorded 1.52 mm (yes, mm) of rain in July, and so far this month there hasn’t been anything more than a light shower that barely got the deck wet. I’m worried for the farmers; their livelihood depends so much on the weather.

I’m fortunate to live out in the country because I am able to water my garden with well water. I’m glad I took the time to build more raised beds this year, as it makes watering, weeding, and harvesting easier. Plus, just the veggies are getting watered; not all the weeds too. (Although, the weeds do seem to thrive no matter what the water situation is.)

My last few posts have been about grief and missing Ross, which is where I’m at. However, as much as I miss him I do know it’s not what I should focus on. There are still some hard days, and there are some good ones too. Life goes on no matter what shit-show we’re dealt, and it’s up to us to make the best of each day.

I have spent some time working on new planners and have recently listed two new ones in my Etsy Shop. One is digital (for use with Goodnotes or Noteworthy), and the other is basically the same thing but set up to be a printable. The printable version has an extra category and contains only one of each sheet. Not only does that make it more economical, it also gives you the option to only print the pages you need (and as many of them as you wish for your own use).

The latest planner I designed.

Most people have a Bucket List, which is all the things they want to do before they die. After I hiked to the summit of a mountain in Jasper last fall, I decided there should be a Fuck-It List as well. And by that I mean doing something on the Bucket List, but not wanting to do it again. My latest planners contain that list. 🙂

I am currently revamping the Writer’s Planner I have listed in my shop. It’s going to be easier to use, is clearer than the first one, and will be available as a printable only. I may consider designing a digital one down the road, but for now I feel the printable is better geared to where writers like me are at.

I’m finally getting to a place where the things I enjoyed doing before Ross passed away are bringing me joy again. I love to write, design printables, and design crocheted items. Today marks the 15th month since he passed away, and there’s not a day goes by that I don’t think about him or miss him. As I have said before; I’m not moving on, I’m moving forward.

Now if you’re wondering how I created the planners, I have to give credit where credit is due. I enrolled in a course by The Secret OWL Society and have worked my way through the lessons. If you are interested in checking it out for yourself and creating your own for personal use or as a business, check out the Digital Planner Template. (Please note: I am an affiliate for this product and will receive commission from your purchase, but at no extra cost to you.)

I am enjoying the planner creation process and have learned about myself in the midst of it all. I love the versatility it gives me to move forward during this season of my life.

Have a wonderful day!

Grief is Different for Everyone

So much for being more present.

They say the road to hell is paved with good intentions, and I can see how that can be true.

I think part of being human is we tend to overthink things. I know that’s the way it is for me. I’ll plan out something in my head then talk myself out of doing it. I think there are many writers out there who do the very same thing.

On May 5 I went out to the cemetery and sat with Ross. It was the one year anniversary of his passing so I took a couple cans of Guinness; one for him and one for me. His can is still there, albeit a little warm. He did prefer it on tap but a can was the best I could do. Besides, a glass just would not last long.

I have been struggling with coming to terms with how much my life has changed. I’m sure anyone who has lost someone dear to them can relate. I also know everyone deals with grief differently.

Life goes on, no matter what shit-show we have going on in our lives. We’re still expected to show up, be present, and act like our world has not fallen apart. Just today (July 15) I talked to a man in our community who offered his condolences; over 14 months after Ross passed. He said he hadn’t seen me so hadn’t said anything before. I get it; no one has seen many people in the past year plus. (Post published just after midnight July 16.)

We chatted for a little while, and as I drove to the funeral home I cried. Today was the day I sat down with the staff at the funeral home and picked out a monument for his grave. I had considered one type, but after the meeting I opted for something different. I think the decision I made today is the right one. And to be honest, I don’t really care what anyone else thinks. My kids will have some input before the order is finalized, but that’s it.

We never know what’s going to trigger an overwhelming sense of loss; no matter how much time has passed. Losing the person you were supposed to spend the rest of your life with definitely knocks you for a loop.

I have spent some time working on a grief journal, and have made a couple versions. One is a digital one (for use with an iPad/tablet) and the other is a printable one. There’s a lot of the same content in each so buyers can choose whichever format works best for them. The printable one can be found here and the digital version can be found here. Both are in my Etsy Shop, along with a number of other printables, patterns, and planners.

A few pages from the printable grief journal.

Having an outlet to share my experience with others has been good for me, even if it is in the form of a printable. My goal is to help others work through their grief, plus earn a few dollars here and there. A girl’s gotta eat, so I can’t give my journals away.

What I can do, however, is connect with others through my posts. I know no two experiences are exactly the same, but by being able to share our stories and talk about our dearly departed, we will be able to move forward.

I share some of my story in my journals, and some has been shared in previous posts. I find the more I am able to talk about him the more I can move forward. And by moving forward I don’t mean forgetting him; I mean being able to live my life without him. I said it before and I’ll say it again: we were supposed to grow old together. I was NOT supposed to become a widow 8 days before my 52nd birthday!

When I started this blog and website all was right in my world. I learned very quickly I am not immune to everything going south, as is no one else. So bear with me as I work through my shit-show; and feel free to share yours if you wish. We all have something going on, and we do what we can to make the rest of the world think we’re coping just fine.

Mickey and Merlot

What a strange name for a title, don’t you think?

One week ago I got two kittens: an orange one and a calico one. The orange one is a boy and he’s Mickey. When it came time to name the girl my daughter suggested Merlot, and I agreed. Sure, they’re boozy names; but given what life has dealt me I think it’s fitting. And how many cats do you know that are named Merlot?

Mickey is helping as I write this. Doesn’t he know it’s after 10 pm and he should be sleeping? He’s chewing on my sleeve, and tries to walk on the keyboard. If there’s a typo chances are I missed his input.

What I have been doing since December (my last post).

Christmas came and went, even though it was much different than any I have ever celebrated before. My daughter had dinner with me, then I went to my son’s for supper. During dinner we video chatted with my sisters and my son, so we spent some time together even though we couldn’t be in the same house.

Our winter has been fairly decent for the most part, so I did some tree-trimming and a lot of branch-burning in the fire pit when it wasn’t too windy. When we did have the minus 40 temperatures, I stayed home and inside for the most part.

I have been working on my Etsy Shop, and have even changed its name to reflect more of what I do now. It started as Not Just Alpaca because I sold alpaca fiber and items made from it. As time has gone on, I have added patterns (of my own design) and printables: all digital downloads. The name of my shop is now Not Just Alpaca Designs – not a big change, but still a change.

Little changes have been happening since I lost Ross, and revamping my shop and what I offer has been one of them. Another is my daughter and her dog have moved back in with me. No matter what life has dealt me, I am a mom first. And if one of my kids needs a place to live, then my door is always open. She moved back into her old room, with the only change being a new, bigger bed. I do have to say, these modular homes do not have second and third bedrooms big enough for a big dresser and queen size bed. It’s a tight fit in there. (The third bedroom is my office, so no bed in there.)

I haven’t been diligent with my blog postings, which hasn’t been helpful to you, my reader. I’m the first to admit I have a tendency to procrastinate, and that’s something I’m going to try hard not to do. Life gets a little overwhelming at times, and writing is what used to get me back on track. I have found that even my journal has been neglected; something that used to give me joy has become a chore.

It’s amazing how the time has flown by, no matter what has been happening in the world and my life. Covid-19 has dictated where we can go, what we can do, and who we can spend time with. It’s hard to believe we have been living in the Covid-19 world for over a year now. I am glad I have a home in the middle of nowhere, and can go outdoors without neighbours giving me the evil eye. I really do feel for those who are stuck in apartments, and can’t go out at all.

Where I am now.

As we begin month four of 2021 I find myself needing to be more present here. I started this website to help others earn an income from side hustles, and I haven’t been a good mentor. I am working on rectifying that problem, and realize it’s time to go back to using a planner. When I made notes, kept track of what I planned to do in a day, and jotted down some gratitude, I was more productive. Now that one day seems to blend into the next, I find I’m kicking myself for not getting as much done.

It’s amazing how much a planner helps. I have drawn out spreads for each month, week, and day; and also just taken the Bullet Journal approach. I’ve had separate habit trackers, gratitude pages, lists, and recaps. At the end of the day, I could reflect on what I did because I had it documented. Now the end of the day comes and I have nothing written down, and it bothers me.

https://www.etsy.com/ca/listing/989183007/minimalist-digital-planner-80-undated
The photo is of the daily page in my planner. When using a digital planner, the tabs are hyperlinked so you don’t have to flip through dozens (or hundreds) of pages to get where you want to be.

I’m switching from a paper planner to a digital one (started using it just about a week ago) to see how it works out for me. It’s a hard switch to make because I’m generally a pen-and-paper girl, but I need to do something. And given the areas of my life I want to keep track of, hauling around a two-inch binder full of paper just isn’t going to work. My iPad will be much easier to carry around than a binder.

I’m using one I bought from Secret Owl Society (on Etsy), but will be making my own. I’m partway through the course on how to make them using Affinity Publisher, so will be learning as I go. I have a basic one made, so if you’re interested in checking it out, just follow the link to my Etsy Shop above. My personal one will have several more sections than the one I have listed in my shop, simply because I have more things on the go.

One thing I did learn (after the fact of course) is that with digital planners there’s no need to have a page for each week or day of the week. When using an annotation app such as Goodnotes, there’s an option to add pages as you go along. I guess I should have watched the rest of the videos before I added 52 weekly pages and 365 daily pages. Whoops!

Moving forward.

Now that Mickey and Merlot are sleeping, it’s time for me to do the same. I have a feeling my office time will be much more entertaining now that I have two little hellions underfoot. I have missed having cats in the house (Ross was allergic so we only had outdoor kitties), and it’s going to take some getting used to. I ordered a cat tree for them, so maybe they’ll spend more time on it than on my keyboard when it gets here.

Now that I’m working on getting back on track I’ll be posting more often. I can’t promise a certain number of posts per week or month, but I will do my best to get at least one out a week. And my planner will help me with that.

Have you used a digital planner? Paper planner? Or no planner? What are your thoughts on digital, whether or not you have used one?

Mindset Makes a Difference

I’m back!

The past few months have been months of figuring out who I am, and what I want out of life. Mostly, they have been months of learning.

Seven months have passed since I lost Ross and so much has changed in that time. 2020 has been a crazy year as it is, but becoming a widow without any warning has been the worst.

The first few months I tried to keep busy as much as possible. I built a two-level deck, resigned from my job at the library, worked on my yard, and tried to just get through each day without him.

As time passed I told myself I could either wallow in my sorrow or continue to live life to the fullest. I have control over what I do, and having a positive mindset no matter how shitty the situation is so much better for my wellbeing.

I miss him every day and catch myself thinking about what I want to tell him when he gets home. Just last night I wanted to tell him what a friend had said, and then cried when I remembered he wasn’t going to be home to tell. It’s those moments that are the hardest.

In August I became an Independent Pampered Chef Consultant, plus a Young Living Distributor. Both allow me the freedom to improve my health and wellbeing, plus the lives of others. And best of all, I can work from home.

It took me a few months to get back into the kitchen, and I credit being a Pampered Chef Consultant for helping me get there faster. I like to cook and bake, but when Ross passed away it was all I could do to just get through the day much less cook meals I wasn’t going to eat.

When I did cook, it wasn’t much. I basically lived on cereal, granola bars, and convenience foods from the freezer section of the grocery store. Now I am cooking, and the convenience foods have been replaced with portions I have frozen. There are days when I don’t feel like cooking but I still have a home-cooked meal.

Ross wouldn’t have wanted me to be sad all the time; he always wanted me to be happy. Once I started to see through the tears I realized I still have to live. The choice of how I do so is mine and mine alone. Being sad all the time doesn’t help anyone mentally or physically, and definitely not emotionally. I am slowly moving forward; an important step in the healing and grieving process.

No one knows how another person feels; only how they feel themselves. It took me months to realize life does go on no matter what. The sun still rises and sets, without discrimination.

On top of losing him COVID-19 has wreaked havoc in my world simply because of all the restrictions. We couldn’t have a proper funeral so immediate family was present while everyone else was given the option to watch the live feed on Facebook. When restrictions were lifted slightly we couldn’t rent a venue for a memorial get-together, so we had family and friends get together in my yard after the inurnment at the cemetery.

And as of today, lockdown is happening once again so Christmas will be a very quiet one. Yes I’m bitter, but at the same time I have to be grateful for what I do have. I have kids that call or text me every day, friends who check in from time to time, and in-laws who are close in case I need anything.

There are good days and bad days, and having someone to talk to is important. When you suffer a loss you never know just where the most support is going to come from. You may think it should be your family or close friends, but sometimes it comes from someone who is a little further out of the circle. I learned that first-hand, and am forever grateful.

This is the first thing of any length I have written since May 5, aside from pages and pages in my journal (which has also been neglected lately). Life dealt me cards I didn’t like, but it’s up to me to make them work. I have chosen to play them through rather than fold so whatever comes will have to be taken in stride.

Now before I bore you completely I will close, but not before I say this: If you find yourself in a situation you have no control over, do what you can to make the best of it. Life isn’t always fair. That’s just a given. Do what you have to so you come out on top. It may take weeks, months, or years…but don’t give up on yourself.

Grief Sucks

Eight weeks ago today I received the most terrible news of my entire life. It has changed who I am, who I will be, and well, pretty much everything about my life after (his) death.

Losing Ross was sudden; something we didn’t anticipate. It was a shock to say the least, and in some ways it still doesn’t seem real. We’ve gone through the funeral, the inurnment is to follow in just over two weeks’ time, and then I will continue to try moving forward.

I have neglected my blogs, my websites, and a few other things. Grief is not an easy thing to get through. In all honesty, I don’t think we ever really “get through” it at all. I know for me it has hit me like a ton of bricks.

With that said, I will be getting back to writing in more than just my journal. The posts here may be about life, and death, and the things they both bring, but it is all part of the healing process. He was my world, and I miss him more than words can say.

I’m not ashamed to say I cry – a lot. As a writer I can put my feelings down on paper. And there are so many mixed feelings that come with grief. In the same token, I know I need to move forward and continue with my writing for clients and myself.

Ross was my biggest fan and supporter of my writing, and I feel I would be letting him down if I stopped. My second novella in my new series was dedicated to him (I started it a year ago) and it will stay dedicated to him. Now I just have to finish it so you, my readers, can enjoy it as well.

Thank you for being patient while I got life sort of figured out. I know I’ll have my okay days and my not-okay days, but one day at a time is all I can do.

Grief sucks. Who’s with me on that?

Cherish those you love.

I feel as if 2020 has been unfair to so many, and it has really hit me hard this week.

On Tuesday May 5 I lost the love of my life to cardiac arrest; that’s a call no one ever wants to get. My heart is broken.

It has been a rough week, with more rough times to come. I just wanted you to know that’s the reason my posts will most likely be few and far between (sparser than usual) for the next while.

I have so many things to deal with, and am thankful I have the support of family and friends to get through it all.

Cherish every moment with your loved ones: you never know how long you really have with anyone. He and I were supposed to grow old together.

Stay healthy, and stay safe.