They said, happy or sad, first times will always be remembered. True enough, I remember my first job as a virtual assistant vividly.

My first job was internet searching. All I have to do is search the internet for specified vacant positions. Copy paste the contact person and the company needing it in my excel file and that’s it. 

Quite easy huh? You are right, it is and it was. But do you know that I got the jitters when I was doing that?

I was already adept with the computer at that time and knew how to search and copy/ paste, but just like a kid in her first day of school, I was a little nervous. No, not a little nervous, but  really nervous.  I was afraid that I might erase some of the data in the excel file given me to update. Although I made a copy of that original file, fear did not leave me entirely. 

It took me more than an hour to do the job that would normally take just 30 minutes. I always pause and look twice on the screen before I copied the data, and look twice again before I pasted it on my excel file. Quite tedious yes, but that meticulousness earned me a good commendation from my first client. 

When I received that ‘job well done’ comment, I felt triumphant. I just made my first step and just like babies who made their first step, no one could stop me from doing more steps. As they said, first steps are the hardest to make but once you made it, that’s it.

Yes, I was literally triumphant. A big smile was pasted on my face the whole of that day. 

Well, to be honest, there were pains too. I was so engrossed with doing my first job and so anxious to do it perfectly that I forgot the hours. 

After hours of sitting in front of my computer, my back and buttocks ached and my hands felt numbed. For some seconds I cannot stand straight because my legs would not follow my command to stand. Indeed, my back ached until the morrow.

Yes, there were aches and there were pains but I persisted. I, however, took precautions not to have them again on my next assignment; I invested on some necessities like:

      A good chair -  I bought a thick cushioned chair, just like the chairs that company executives are using. I figured that since I am now an executive in my own little company, I am entitled to this,

     Exercise        -  I made sure I do some stretching before I sit in front of my computer. This starts both my body engine and my brain muscles too,

     Nutrition      – There must be food in my stomach before I sit in front of my computer and took care that I don’t miss my vitamins. This will give me stamina and to admit, this will keep me from dozing off,

     Fluid            –   I drink water now and then while working. This will neutralize the acids of anxiety,

    Clock           –   This is the most important. I watch the clock…I get up from my chair every 15 minutes or so, to stretch my legs and arms. This will keep my blood running. 

Sometimes, I still have pains in my back but days like these are now few. I have more pains when I was not working yet, besides, what are oldie ointments for? 

Because I am working at home, at my own pace and without a boss, I can select the hours I am most apt. I work around 10 a.m., get lunch around 12 and work again from 1 to 3 p.m. and that’s it, no more than four hours of work a day for me. 

You may have retired rich and may not work, but for oldies, money should not be the main reason to go on working; halting the onset of Alzheimer's is the carrot to go on exercising our brain. Researchers found, (as the article I posted below has shown), that exercising our brain protects it from mental functioning decline,

Let me make this clear, I still believed that Alzheimer's is more than just an aging lazy brain, I talked about this on my memoir of my mother in law, that working it out day and night will never stop its coming. But if by being a VA or being a internet user, I can temporarily hold its attack for a couple of years, that will be great; I will be saving my children a “couple of years” of agony.

If Zumba is for our limbs: reading, writing, and internet using is for our brains.

BTW, here is an excerpt of an article that I would like you to read;

Web Surf to Save Your Aging Brain

MONDAY, Oct. 19 (HealthDay News) -- Surfing the Internet just might be a way to preserve your mental skills as you age.

Researchers found that older adults who started browsing the Web experienced improved brain function after only a few days.

"You can teach an old brain new technology tricks," said Dr. Gary Small, a psychiatry professor at the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior at the University of California, Los Angeles, and the author of iBrain. With people who had little Internet experience, "we found that after just a week of practice, there was a much greater extent of activity particularly in the areas of the brain that make decisions, the thinking brain -- which makes sense because, when you're searching online, you're making a lot of decisions," he said. "It's interactive."

"This makes intuitive sense, that getting on the Internet and exploring and getting new information and learning would help," said Paul Sanberg, director of the University of South Florida Center of Excellence for Aging and Brain Repair in Tampa. "It supports the value of exploring the Internet for the elderly."

Most experts now advocate a "use-it-or-lose-it" approach to mental functioning.

"We found a number of years ago that people who engaged in cognitive activities had better functioning and perspective than those who did not," said Dr. Richard Lipton, a professor of neurology and epidemiology at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City and director of the Einstein Aging Study. "Our study is often referenced as the crossword-puzzle study -- that doing puzzles, writing for pleasure, playing chess and engaging in a broader array of cognitive activities seem to protect against age-related decline in cognitive function and also dementia."

Note ; As of this writing (Dec 2016), author does not do VA works anymore, busy blogging. Goal now is to be able to leave our footprints for the next of our generation to read and admire and ... to smile or  to scowl  -  depends on how our footprints are done.