Have you ever reminded yourself to do something, but kept putting it off? Yeah, that’s what blogging has been like for the past two months.... I just realized that I never posted at all in August or September! Whoops!
Okay, maybe that seems like a super obvious statement, but sometimes I forget that I need to do something in order to have a topic for a blog post. In the year of the never-ending pandemic, I'm not doing much that's worth the time it takes to write.
For months I feel like all I've done is sit at home and go to the grocery store once a week. Why would I write a post about that? No one cares that I came home and washed down each banana and box of cereal before putting the groceries away. Boring!
Then suddenly, I had so much to write about that I didn't have the time to sit and write! September brought about some chaos and I have not stopped going in weeks. I'm literally up until 2:00, 3:00, or even 4:00 in the morning most nights because my brain just doesn't stop! So tonight, I finally had the chance to sit down and catch everyone up on what's been going on, because today was a game-changer for me.
In September, I started my second year of school as I complete my Master's program. Since I have been on furlough from my job at Disney since April (and haven't worked since March), I figured that I might as well put my time to good use and take extra classes.
When I first started the program, I was taking a single class at a time because I was also working. My fourth semester, I took a deep breath and jumped into two classes since I was home. This time, I pushed myself to take three classes.
Three classes, what's the big deal, right? I get it. I really do. Hey, back in my undergrad years, I was taking the maximum number of credits per semester because I had a double major and a minor and wanted to graduate within four years. So three classes shouldn't seem like that big of a deal. The difference is that I'm home now and have my side projects to keep me busy. I've been helping my mom with virtual school for my littlest sisters (I'm the math teacher) and then I usually can't get my own work done until nighttime because the house is so loud during the day. Still, I'm in the fourth week of a ten-week semester, and I'm pushing ahead because I know that this will be worth it when I can go back down to only one class per semester for the rest of the year!
This week has been especially busy for me because I'm running a virtual vendor sale for small businesses like mine, The Write Creations. I've probably posted about it before (or maybe you've seen it on my business page on Facebook), but I typically take part in different vendor sales throughout the year with my products. Especially leading up to the holiday season, these events are a great way to connect with customers and sell a lot of the pieces I've made.
Unfortunately, due to the pandemic, I've lost out on a ton of sales because all of these vendor events were cancelled. I knew that tons of other people had lost out as well, so I decided to hold virtual events! We held one in July and now we're in the middle of our Fall event which runs through the end of the week. There's a lot of behind the scenes work going on here, but it's totally worth it to see everyone reaching a wider customer base.
If you're interested in taking a look at what vendors have to offer, please feel free to check out our event on Facebook: Shop to Support! We have small business owners, furloughed Cast Members, and hopeful adoptive parents (and some people who are all three, like me) who are selling their products, so it's a great way to get some one-stop shopping done from the comfort of your home!
So, since I don't have enough going on in my life (note the sarcasm), I also decided to start a new business! I am so proud of how far Enhanced Edits has come in just a couple of weeks.
I have always loved writing, but I've also always had an eye for editing too. Some people hate spelling and grammar, but I love to comb through a paper to spot errors. So I decided that I've been editing for long enough that I could turn the service into a little business...
After a long round of discussions with my mom to eventually settle on a name, I created a website and social media accounts for Enhanced Edits. I began reaching out to other authors through social media and began taking in my first few paying clients. It has been such fun being able to read through these manuscripts and help authors enhance their work so that they can publish the best possible versions of their books.
I even expanded the business after a week because when I started, I was only focusing on manuscripts. Now, I've helped edit an entire website for a small business and I'm offering services to bloggers and even hopeful adoptive parents who are creating profile books and sites too!
Oh man, my heart aches whenever I discuss this. I actually haven't even put this online yet, so here it goes...
I'm at a complete standstill.
Wait just a minute.
That's right, I cannot move forward with the adoption process right now. Why? Well, because as I've mentioned 27 times already, I'm still on furlough. We cannot finish the home study until we can verify my employment, so I'm just sitting and waiting to be back at work.
That brings me to my next point...
Everyone around the world knows what's going on with Disney. I mean, unless you've been living under a rock during this pandemic, there's no way that you've missed the fact that Disney was closed, then Cast Members were furloughed, and then the company announced that layoffs were coming.
I have spent the past week or so worried out of my mind about these layoffs.
First of all, Disney is not just my job. Being at Disney is like being at my second home. There's so much Magic there, whether I'm working or going as a Guest. As Cast Members, we're a family there, even when we're cranky at the end of a long night and getting on each other's nerves. Even just being on furlough is hard, but layoffs would mean a completely unknown future for everyone.
Of course there's an issue of losing money if you get laid off, but that wasn't the big concern for me. Luckily, there has been a huge support system for Cast Members. Local businesses have offered to hire Cast who are furloughed or laid off, so it has been a huge blessing to see the community come together like this.
My biggest concern was actually the adoption and my degree though.
Disney is the reason why I started moving forward with my adoption plan. They're going to cover a lot of the cost of adopting. Not everything, of course, but enough that I wasn't worried about fundraising to come up with the rest of it. Without those benefits, I wasn't sure if I'd be able to move forward with the process, even if I got another job.
In addition, Disney pays my tuition. I wouldn't have been able to go for my Master's if it wasn't for Disney. So if I got laid off, then I would literally be three semesters short of getting my degree and wouldn't be able to finish.
Today though... whew... today was the day that I started absolutely bawling at the dining room table when I got the text from the union with a letter stating that negotiations between the union and the company had finished and no full-time union Cast Members would be pushed into layoffs.
My heart breaks for my friends because over 8,000 part-time union Cast Members are being let go, but I sincerely hope that they'll be able to come back to the company as soon as this pandemic ends. At the same time, I felt such enormous relief for myself and my future.
I will finish my degree. I will start a family. I will be a Cast Member for years to come.
I don't know if I'll be back at work in time to celebrate my five year anniversary on December 1st, but even if I'm home, I'll still be a Cast Member. I am so incredibly grateful to work for a company that is looking out for us and doing as much as they can to help us in these difficult times.
So what next?
Well, I think we all know that I'm pretty busy. I can't promise that I'll be back with another post tomorrow or next week, but when something significant happens, I'll definitely be blogging with the news.
Oh, and speaking of something significant... you might want to stay tuned, because that big news might be coming sooner than you think. You know I always have something up my sleeve!
Thanks for reading!