Never underestimate the power to adapt

One thing that I hope continues after self-quarantine is over is birthday parades. Watching oodles of people parade down the street with balloons and stuffed animals and birthday signs all over their vehicles with a steady stream of honks and waves and strangers screaming ‘Happy Birthday’ just to put a smile on neighbours faces, to celebrate kids birthday’s who cannot have a party, to make loved ones smile, that is a true indication of the human spirit.

In a local town there’s actually a ‘Parade Group’ online. For people that have wanted birthday parades the past couple of months, if they posted on the local community webpage, not just the friends and family show up, but sometimes 20 or 30 extra cars of people show up with their cars decorated to the max. It’s just been a past time for some people to deck out their cars and take part in birthday parades. All you have to do is post the date, time and location of the parade and everyone shows up to make the parade that much longer and that much louder.

I love that.

Oh chocolate, how could you do this?

Yesterday I was cleaning out a desk that belonged to my brother before he moved to Denmark in 2009. This desk was filled with old homework from his university days, pictures of his friends, some random bits and bobs (including a pocket knife, some drill bits, etc) and a stash of chocolate.

I got scared when I found the chocolate.

I needed to clean out this desk so that my parents could sell it. I genuinely don’t believe anyone has touched it since my brother left for Denmark.

There was a stash of chocolate in the desk that included Kit Kat Bars. The wrappers of one of the Kit Kat Bars was open as though he’d taken a bite out of it and then never finished it. The wrapper said that the expiry for the Kit Kat was November 2010.

There was no a speck of mould on this chocolate bar. It wasn’t even dried out. I touched it thinking that it would be rock hard because of how long the package had been open. Nope. I held my fingers against it and it started to melt from the warmth of my fingers, but otherwise, it was pretty much just a regular chocolate bar, even though it had expired ten years ago.

Nothing was wrong with it.

It looked like a brand new, perfectly good chocolate bar.

I could have broken off a piece and given it to one of my family members and they could’ve easily believed I’d just gone to the store and bought it.

10 years expired and looks brand new. Think about that next time you eat chocolate.

P.s. I showed a piece of it on my Instagram story if you want to see it. lol

Testing medium.com

Recently I’ve done some research about medium.com. If you haven’t heard of it, it’s an online publishing platform created by the founders of Twitter as a way for people to share their thoughts, outlooks, perspectives and views when they aren’t bound by 140 characters.

Medium has a partner program in which people can sign up, for free, and submit their writing to the website giving them the opportunity to earn money for their contribution.

Medium operates much like a subscription service. Hundreds of thousands of people have signed up for the website to have access to the content of all of these individual creators submitting their written work. Each subscriber pays $5 a month to have access to unlimited content. If a paid subscriber reads an article that was submitted by one of the partner writers, the writer gets a portion of the subscriber’s monthly fee. From what I’ve read, this translates to different amounts depending on the how many articles a subscriber reads in a month.

For example: If a subscriber reads only two articles in a single month, $2.50 will go towards each article. If a subscriber reads 100 articles in a month then 5 cents will go towards each article written.

People are using Medium as a side-hustle to earn hundreds, and in some cases, thousands of extra dollars each month by sharing their writing with the platform.

If you’ve been around #MillennialLifeCrisis for any length of time, you know that I’m an advocate for the notion that if you write good content, people will find your content. So, when I started learning about Medium I thought that this sounded like the ultimate test. Can the simple act of writing great content be enough to make you money on Medium? Or, are you a small fish in a big pond of thousands of talented writers. I want to know.

I’ve told myself that I’m going to test out this website for two months. I published my first piece to Medium a little over 36 hours ago and it’s been met with mediocre stats so far. Definitely nothing to write home about (pun intended)! That being said, I’m committed to testing this for at least two months. I really want to contribute genuine effort to this and find out what are the possibilities with a little extra effort put towards it.

If anything happens along the way, I’ll be sure to update this blog. I know that many people who read my blog are, themselves, looking for ways to make money from home. So, if there are any interesting revelations, I will be sure to share. Otherwise, I’ll post an update as to how it went in two months time. I’m sharing this here as a measure to hold myself accountable to stick with it.

As of right now, all I that can report is that it’s EXTREMELY easy to sign up and that it seems to be an extremely organized and well thought out platform. Oh, that and that I really suck at editing my own work so posting to Medium will be good for me because I’m going to have to spend a lot more time editing.

Is there room for a girl like me over on Medium? I guess we’ll find out over the next two months.

It’s almost Friday (a random assortment of thoughts)

As I write this I am watching three black bears across the road, down about three hundred feet from our yard, picking through the neighbours garbage.

You would think that living in a place this remote, people would know by this point that there are bears… that bears are awake during spring and summer and that their garbage should be kept behind their fence. Perhaps the neighbours just enjoy cleaning garbage that’s been torn up and tossed around their front yard. Yeah, that’s probably it.

Silly neighbours…

For lack of a smoother transition, British Columbia now has an official plan of action to reopen the economy, send kids back to school and define our new normal. The plan, slated to take place over the next eighteen months, is filled with holes, leaving people with more questions than answers, but at least it’s a plan at this point. The government isn’t haphazardly saying ‘open back up and pretend as though COVID never happened’. Because I know that’s definitely happening in a lot of places around the world.

What does that mean for travel?

I don’t know.

My brother invited me to Norway for Christmas. Does it make me a negative person if I don’t believe that international travel for leisure will be a thing by then? British Columbia isn’t planning for our tourism industry to reopen for a long time.

I have ALWAYS wanted to see Stavanger and the truly breathtaking surrounding region. But, I don’t think it’s worthwhile for my brother to sink his money into plane tickets for me when a trip like that is anything but certain in a COVID world.

I was talking about it with MarlaOnTheMove (she’s a fellow British Columbian) and honestly, the way I figure, we’re going to be in this province for the forseeable future. And, hearing how much she’s dealing with in trying to get refunds for her trips, I really don’t know if it’s worth it.

I’m so negative tonight. I know. I’m trying not to be. I just keep telling myself that I’m being realistic. And realistic, in a 2020 world is important right now.

On the subject of travel, did anyone else see the Axl Rose/Steve Mnuchin twitter spat? I know ya’ll are tired of hearing my opinions about politics, so I’ll just say that 2020 is whoah.

My anxiety has been pretty high this week. I’m doing what I can to cope but it’s been difficult. There’s just so much uncertainty that it’s hard to keep a calm frame of mind. I’m trying. But I’m also having troubles getting out of bed each day. I won’t lie about that.

Alright, that’s enough word vomit for tonight.

If you’ve read this, I hope you’re safe, healthy and sane. Sending best wishes from me and the bear sleuth.

Guest post: The monster that is anxiety

The following is a guest post written by Tiffany from the blog Ethereal Empathy.


When I was little I made friends with a monster.  She kept me company wherever I went, stayed with me as I grew, and often showed up when I needed a friend the most.  Even though she validated my feelings, was reliable, and was always there for me… it wasn’t healthy.  The truth of the matter was, this monster wanted to keep me for herself.  The only feelings she confirmed were those of fear, and her company never made me feel good about myself.

My monster friend kept me awake at night with her chatter, and convinced me to stay home when other friends invited me out.  She stripped me of my self-worth and confidence, and reminded me of how different I was from everyone else.  In that loneliness I accepted this monster, which we refer to as Anxiety.  After all, she appeared to know me so well. 

Perhaps I clung to Anxiety because she was familiar, or maybe it was because she wasn’t all bad, all the time.  This little monster helped me see potential threats and kept me aware.  The deep understanding of fear, that I had developed, helped me to relate with individuals who suffered similar stress. Still, I had become a prisoner of fear with no boundaries to keep my monster at bay.

“Without darkness nothing comes to birth, as without light nothing flowers.” – May Sarton

It was in my self-doubt that Anxiety held me captive.  I had trained my brain to jump to worse case scenarios and to see the prospective negatives of any given situation. Overwhelmed by uncertainty, and my lack of ability to concentrate, relax, or find calm, I struggled with each day.

My body had turned on me, with symptoms of illness, without ever having been truly sick.  Unexplainable pains and tension would come and go as they pleased.  There was no balance or predictability in the waves that rose and fell, and often times came upon me with no warning or explanation. 

Having a panic attack is much like swimming in deep waters during a storm.  It takes everything you are to keep your head above water, and sometime you get hit by the turbulent ocean which pulls you under.  It is a fight for air, for continued existence. 

I could not see what it looked like to thrive when my constant state of panic made basic survival a challenge.  The very thought of working as a productive member of society seemed impossible.  I looked into the dark chasm of the unknown, unable to find the light.  I saw consequence of failure instead of the potential growth that comes with experience.

Instead of trusting in my own capabilities I sought out healers and trusted individuals to fix me, but there was no cure for this.  No instant solution to repair the broken parts of myself.  Medication only numbed my soul, taking more away without giving enough of myself back.  Therapists were a constant reminder that to be whole I needed to dig deep to find answers within. 

How could I mend the fragmented pieces of me when I was incapable of believing in my own worth?  I couldn’t.  My monster never lied, exactly.  We all have a balance of light and dark inside of ourselves.  Where there is the potential for disaster there is also the potential for success.  What I hadn’t been able to see was the strength in both.

I would be naïve to believe that there are those out there without flaws. Everyone makes mistakes from time to time.  When dark times are upon us, and it feels as if they might destroy everything, we find that we are more resilient than we might think.  Living in the shadows of fear makes it hard to see.  Feeling as if we are alone is an illusion.     

Turns out the cost of not taking risks, and not believing in our own natural gifts, is much higher than the upward climb of facing the monster.  If the choice is to succumb to a life of worry and suffer a stagnant existence, or to battle a life gripped by fear for the chance of actually living…  I choose to face the unknown. 

Anxiety is not a true friend, but it is not my enemy either.  This alter ego, my anxious self, is debilitating but only has power if I give it.  I can use it as a crutch or I can learn her moods and motives, triggers and tastes, in order to respond appropriately.  What is so easy to forget is that we have the power to change the world, starting with our own being.

So I learned to consistently make course corrections along an unpredictable path.  Staying ahead of the waves when possible and bringing along a life preserve just in case the waters get the best of me.  Most importantly I discovered the importance of second guessing my own self-doubt. 

“If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.” ― Martin Luther King Jr.

The path is hard.  There are times I slip and fall, get scraped up along the way, have setbacks and face detours… but I keep moving forward.  That steep cliff edge that I started on has gotten easier, the journey less rocky.  Somewhere along the way I learned to trust myself and accept that I am capable and deserving of so much more.

Anxiety is still with me, she is my twin who is just looking out for my well-being and here to protect me.  Although misguided her intentions are good.  I accept her for what she is even though she cannot see the error of her ways.  It is my job to not let her define me or keep me from the life I deserve.

It is through this understanding that the light began to seep through and point me in a direction of confidence.  I found my balance and overcame obstacles I never thought possible before.  Instead of struggling each day to survive I learned how to thrive, to have a life that is mine, and meet my fears wisely. 

Anxiety is a sheep in wolf’s clothing, an innocent wearing the mask of a monster.  Although frightening she doesn’t decide your fate.  Her power over you is limited and only exasperated by your own insecurity.  Believe in yourself, trust your own intuition, and the gray clouds looming over will clear. 

There is hope, I am proof of that. 

“On particularly rough days, I like to remind myself that my track record for getting through bad days so far is 100%, and that’s pretty good.”  – Unknown


Thank you to Tiffany from Ethereal Empathy for contributing such a thoughtful and honest post to #MillennialLifeCrisis. If you have the opportunity, I strongly recommend checking out Tiffany’s Blog. She is a ray of kindness and honesty in this crazy world and she brings a unique perspective to the blogging community that is the truest definition of one-of-a-kind.

Blog Monetization Options

Photo from iheartradio.ca

Have you ever wondered how people make money from their blog? This post will break down some of the more common options (not every option) that people use to monetize their sites and earn income from blogging, as well as share some of my personal insights as to the positives/negatives to each of the options.

I will also provide some links to other resources that might help if you’re considering any of the options for your blog.

Disclaimer: I do not recommend any one option over another. If you’re looking to monetize your blog, please do research before you go ahead.

AFFILIATE MARKETING

One of the easiest options to use as a means to monetize your site, affiliate marketing is when you share an affiliate link (a link generated by said company to track useage) to a product online. If someone purchases that product using the link that you have provided you will receive a small commission from their purchasing of that good.

The biggest player in affiliate marketing in 2020 is Amazon. Read more about the Amazon affiliate program here >

You can also get affiliate links from platforms such as Uber, Hello Fresh, AirBnB and Sephora if you do some digging and contacting of companies. Affiliate marketing is something that works really well if you already use and speak of the products prior to getting an affiliate link. You’ve built a rapport with your readers, so to speak, so when you begin providing them links, they trust you’re being honest with them. Nobody wants to buy dog food from someone who’s recommending it even though they don’t own a dog.

Please note that all affiliate programs only works if people purchase the goods that you’re linking. You do not get money just for linking an item. So, you’re peddling products and giving companies free advertising without a guarantee that you’ll earn anything from it.

SELL SOMETHING

You can use your blog to sell just about anything your little heart could dream up. Whether it books, blogging courses, crafts, consultations, copywriting services, voiceover work or whatever it is that you are good at, if you think that you could turn that into income, then do so.

You will be responsible for ensuring the consumer is happy with the product(s) being provided to them, so there is some… due care required in the process.

It’s also worth noting that you do not need to purchase the premium/business WordPress account in order to sell things. You can purchase the premium/business account, but you can also use E-Transfer, Paypal or Venmo as long as you make arrangements to guarantee delivery of product or service to the consumer. Some bloggers even have their books available on Amazon and simply link to Amazon from their blog.

Please note that just because you put something for sale does not mean that it’s going to be purchased. A lot of people believe that all they have to do is acknowledge their product or service is for sale and people will run to buy it. This isn’t always the case. You should be doing market research on any product or service you’re offering prior to offering.

ADVERTISE

With respect to WordPress, if you have purchased the premium account, or higher, you have the opportunity to earn income from the ads on your website. This is not available for people who use the platform for free, nor is this available for the people who’ve purchased the personal account.

Please note that considerable traffic is required in order to even make a small amount of money using advertisements for monetization. (I used to run a corporate blog that had 50,000 hits per week, on average, and we made roughly 70 cents per day in ad revenue) Pay per click requires people to see advertisements in order to click them, and if you don’t have sizable traffic viewing your blog each day, earnings from advertisements might not even be enough to cover the fee you paid for the premium WordPress account.

PRINT ON DEMAND

Websites such as TeeSpring and Bonfire offer a service known as print-on-demand. Print-on-demand involves creators designing merchandise and marketing said merchandise to their readers/viewers. Each print-on-demand company takes a base fee off the sale of any items that are sold and will create each singular item as they are sold… hence the phrase print on demand. The company will then ship it to whomever made a purchase of said item, thus ensuring creators are not on the hook for holding stock of said items, or investing any real money into the sale of the items whatsoever.

A great Youtube channel to learn more about print-on-demand is Wholesale Ted. Sarah is a seasoned vet with print on demand creation, promotion and sales who shares her wisdom with the internet, for free, as a means to try and help others find success using the very services she makes her living from.

Please note that print-on-demand services have slowed considerably due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and a lot of warehouses needing to close down to protect the employees who work for them.

SPONSORSHIP

Sponsorship looks different for every blogger. It’s dependent on companies, your traffic, your followers, your engagement and your earning potential. It’s also dependent on you reaching out to a company that you’d be interested in working with and asking them if they would be willing to sponsor a post, or a series of posts, for your blog. You have to make the first step, which is why a lot of bloggers stray away from this route.

If this is an avenue that you would like to take, networking is very important to gaining sponsorship from various companies. Introdue yourself to companies through email or LinkedIn means. Don’t just say ‘Hey, can you sponsor me?’ Wine and dine them, so to speak. Let them know what you do and what you’re good at so that when you approach the subject they’re already aware of the benefit that could be had from sponsoring content on your blog.

*Sponsorship can be monetary, or they can come in the form of being gifted products in exchange for speaking about them on your blog.

Please note that if you’re gifted any product, or being paid to talk about any products on your blog you are required to follow the guidelines of the FTC (in the United States) and/or the equivalent in your country of residence.

CEATE A PATREON ACCOUNT

Patreon is a membership platform based in the United States that provides business tools for creators to run a subscription content service. It allows creators and artists to earn a monthly income by providing exclusive rewards and perks to their subscribers, or “patrons”.

Whereas you are required to have a certain amount of subscribers to set up memberships on Youtube, you can set up a Patreon for free with any amount of followers on your blog, whether it’s 2 or 2 million, and ask for your blog readers to support you through becoming a Patron.

Patreon Website >

Patreon then takes a small fraction of your earnings from each month to pay their fees (staff salaries, money transfers, etc) and the remainder you can transfer out as you please.

I have a Patreon account actually introduced myself on there to people who support me through Patreon. The people who support my Patreon at the $5 level are actually listed on the ‘Supporters’ page in my blog menu.

Please note that a Patreon account might be difficult for people to contribute to during the present pandemic state the world is living in. A lot of people who might have considered supporting you and your blog prior to COVID-19 now have a much tighter hold on their spending to ensure that they make it through the next few months of not working. So, if you create a Patreon account, please keep that in mind. Everyone is struggling right now… unless you’re Bill Gates.

CHARGE FOR GUEST POSTS

If your blog is in high demand and you’re looking for a means to take advantage of that, offer people the ability to write guest posts for your blog for a small fee. It could be as little as one, two or three dollars per post. They’re getting advertisement out of being able to share their writing on your blog and you’re getting content and earning that fee.

Please note that you cannot guarantee any person a certain amount of views or followers will be gained by writing a guest post for your blog. So, if you’re charging people for guest posts, you need to ensure you’re not making false promises (that I see a lot of people make). Be real, reasonable and honest with anyone who wants to purchase a guest post for your blog – it’s an opportunity for further reach, not a guarantee.


As with any information that I provide on this blog, please do your research before taking a deep-dive into any one of these categories. Be responsible, be smart and invest your time and energy wisely to ensure that if you are going to monetize your blog, it’s going to be worthwhile.

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to monetization, so please adjust any and all strategies according to you and your blog. If you have questions, leave them in the comments below and I will try to answer, or direct you to someone who can answer.

The purest kind of love

I’m a firm believer in the power of the universe. I believe that the people, the places, the things we have in our lives are a part of our lives for a reason. Pets are no exception to this. They come into our lives and teach us the purest meaning of unconditional love, what it is like to truly see the best side of every day, and that even the little victories are always worth acknowledging. They rescue us. They make us better. Calmer. They fill a void that we didn’t even know we had.

You know what they say… “sometimes the smallest things take up the most space in your heart”. Yeah, ain’t that the dang truth.

Please don’t be rude.

I’ve been thinking…

There is no reason, rhyme or explanation as to why anyone should be leaving a rude or mean comment on someone’s blog. You can be open, honest and respectful towards someone that you completely disagree with in every sense of your being and maintain a completely cordial discourse, interaction or relationship.

And yes, there is a way of perhaps letting someone know they might be wrong whilst still being polite about it. So if you disagree with someone and would like to share your perspective, be polite. Don’t be an asshole.

Please don’t be an asshole. If you read a blog post and you get the urge to leave a rude comment or to be mean to the person who wrote the post, just move on. Your comment is not going to serve any positive purpose. You’re not going to open any discussion, change any minds or allow them to see another perspective if you’re being an asshole.

Quarantine Day 5,000

Dear Patrice,

I know that it feels like just yesterday that I was writing we were on day 3,000 and something. What can I say? When you’re in the middle of an International Health Pandemic, you really lose all sense of time.

My mom has this ‘schtick’ that she does where she pretends she doesn’t know how to use technology. Part of me thinks she does it because she thinks it’s charming to be the grandma who doesn’t know how to use technology, but mostly, I think she just does it as an excuse to not have to do things for herself.

Thinking I was being smart, I bought her a tablet of her own. Reasons for this were many, but most importantly because she could keep all of her accounts logged into, so all she had to do was open an App.

Today, I was informed that she broke her tablet.

Her response to not being able to check her bank balance? Not to use the computer, no. She’s just going to get in her car and go to the bank. Because… there’s no Pandemic ongoing. She’s not less than a year in remission. Who gives a fuck?

I told her that she needs to use the computer and not go out unless she has to. She told me that she has to because she doesn’t know how to use the computer. This started a twenty minute argument about how poorly I treat her and try to force technology on her that she just doesn’t understand and that she’s a grown woman and if she wants to go to the bank, she can go to the bank.

Yeah, you bat-shit crazy old woman, on any normal day feel free and go to the bank, I wouldn’t give a fuck. But today there’s a deadly disease sweeping the globe. I think you can handle logging in a computer rather than your tablet.

I got the computer out.

I opened up the website.

I said ‘Input your card number where it says card number, then input your password where it says password’.

All she had to do was input her information.

‘I don’t know how to do that!’ She yelled at me.

Feeling like she was just fucking with me to purposefully to make me angry at this point, I said: ‘You don’t know how to use a fucking keyboard?’

‘I don’t need your abuse’, she said, knowing that she was swinging low when she said that.

I took her card, I typed the card number into the computer. Then she proclaims she doesn’t have a password.

You literally cannot have online banking services without a password, but OHHHHHHHHHKAY.

This started another argument about how I always think I know more than her about things and that she genuinely doesn’t have a password. OOOOOOOHKAY. I left. I went downstairs to cool off.

10 minutes later she comes downstairs to:

  1. Tell me that she could have been to the bank and back already by now.
  2. Tell me that she now remembers her password so I need to log in for her.

Knowing she was trying to bait me to start another argument, I didn’t bite. I silently followed her up the stairs, sat down in front of the computer and waited for her to tell me the password.

She tells me that her password is her first and last name.

I told her that’s not possible, banks require at least one number to be used.

She told me that it’s her first and last name and that I need to type that in.

I typed it in.

It obviously didn’t work

Then she yelled at me because, and I quote, ‘Your attitude is appalling’.

You’re right. Stupid me, the stupid little Millennial trying to teach her mother how to sign into online banking on a computer so that she doesn’t go out, unnecessarily, in the middle of a health pandemic. You being less than a year in remission, you’re right, my attitude is awful.

She walks away, presumably to go stick pins in my voodoo doll. Upon returning she’s had an epiphany. She now knows what her password is and it’s not her first and last name.

She also now knows how to use the keyboard because she reaches overtop of me and types it into the computer herself.

MIRACULOUS!

She even knows how to hit the ‘Sign In’ button. When did that happen?

Being now signed in, after the longest twenty minutes of my life, she tells me to leave because she doesn’t want me to see her banking information.

No arguments from me. I left and came back downstairs.

Less than five minutes later she comes back downstairs to bring my my computer. Instead of saying thank you, or I am sorry, or even just saying ‘Here’s your computer!’ she opens the door and sticks the computer in the doorway and says ‘Come get it. And next time you want to force technology on me that I don’t understand, just mind your own business’.

This…

This is why we don’t get along.

This is why I don’t like being around her.

I love her. She’s my mother and that will always be the case, but we’re cut from a different cloth. The two of us in the same room is like mixing mixing vinegar into the jar of baking soda.

I’m the stupid spoiled millennial who abuses her and has a horrible attitude and she is the world’s smartest grandma who can do no wrong.

Quarantine day 5,000 has been a long one. And it’s only 2:30 pm.