Working At Home Saved Me From Depression

It is somewhat weird when you have the feeling of not knowing what to do or where to go, especially if you have already reared four kids, retired, and are in your 60’s.
But that is exactly how I felt many months ago, when I don’t know what to do with the remaining years of my life. Call it post-menopausal syndrome or whatever, but I do remember staring at the ceiling of our bedroom every morning, wondering what to do with the next 8 hours of that day.
When you have four kids to raise and is a working mom, 8 hrs a day seems so short, there is so much to do you would wish you could stretch the hours.
Now that my kids are all grown up and have homes of their own, I found myself with plenty of time in my hands with nothing to do except the daily mundane task of cooking, cleaning and gardening.
One day, perhaps sensing my boredom, my youngest daughter Reanne, against our protestations that it is a waste of money, bought my husband and me a desk top computer.
For many days, the computer would sit in the corner, patiently waiting for a user. I would often stare at it and muse on how much money it cost.
Well, until that one lazy afternoon, with my daughter. I asked her if she knew where Maldives is, the place where her cousin Arlene lives. She did not answer me outright, she went to the computer, opened it and taught me how to “google” the answer. The search engine did not only show me where Maldives is, it also told me about its people and its past.
This started my almost daily consultation with the search engine.
I was so fascinated with the ease and the speed of getting answers to my questions that I became adept with the mouse and the keyboard. I soon learned how to email and to chat, to reconnect with my far away relatives and friends.
My daily chat with my virtual company of friends and relatives started to add colour to what was once my drab boring days. Little by little I became knowledgeable with the new technology. Our computer now became my ally, an ally that now brings me money.
It just started with this text;
“Mom, can you please help me post our Company’s ads online? “

To be honest, I really don’t know what ‘posting ads online ’is, and so I texted back,

“What is posting online and how will I do that?”  “See my email.” She replied.

Her email listed the procedures step by step including how to ‘copy / paste’. It took me some time to learn, but with perseverance, I did learn, not only how to do posting but other online jobs as well.

After days of doing small task for her company, my daughter one day asked me;
“Mom, would you like to sign up as a virtual assistant? it could get you work.”

“Do you honestly think I can do it? I mean, will somebody get an oldie like me?” I answered.

“Just try it mom, there is no age limit anyway, and they will not force you to get a task you don’t want to do.”

“Ok, if you said I can do it then I can do it,” was my confident reply.

There and then, we log on to an online site and sign up in their ‘join us’ section.
And that is how I started with my part time virtual assistance job.
Looking back;
I do remember the day I retired. Though sad to leave the camaraderie of my officemates behind, I was also eager and confident that with my big basket of experience I can easily go into business, give work to the unemployed and contribute to my country’s progress. Well, in six months’ time, when I saw my retirement money going down the drain, I hang my white handkerchief. Eagerness turns to fear….fear that we may have to defend on our children for our lifetime support.
I know I am not alone on this boat, many of the seniors and the retirees can empathize with me. Just when you have amassed vast amount of knowledge and experience, you will find yourself with nowhere to apply it. Business is not that easy to start and you can’t go back to employment. Companies look at your age and appearance before they look into your brain.

But I am glad our children did not allow the new technology to bypass us. Glad that just as we painstakingly teach them the alphabet when they were small, they are now teaching us the ABC’s of computers. This new knowledge helped me get work again.

Now, I am starting to earn again, in my own home, and at my own pace. I feel useful again.

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.