Staying inside

It’s day 1200 of the Covid19 pandemic and people everywhere are feeling the pressure. The pressure to perform at work, to pay the bills on time and to stay alive. Some of us are starting to feel anxious because you have time, but you don’t have the resources you once had. Here’s an example this week I wanted to get a new bike, normally that wouldn’t be an issue. But with the pandemic happening right now, I didn’t realize that Canadian Tire wasn’t essential anymore. We are all experiencing lockdown on many levels, some are working from home, others have been laid off. I’m part of the group of people who has been laid off. I remember hearing the news from my HR Manager and I thought to myself this is happening, I can’t change it this is happening. So, I did what most people did and I applied for unemployment right away, and here I am trying to take it day by day when I’m someone who’s always planning things. Mind you I haven’t even planned for my retirement yet, I’ve taken baby steps and then I had to stop. The goal is to retire but I also want to be able to do things too.

The one thing that’s important to understand is that we can try our best to control things, and that’s all we can do. The Minimalist writer said on one of his videos that we can control when we wake up, when we go to bed and what we can have for breakfast so let’s do that. We can make decisions that are important, but we have to make them at home.

Let’s do the best we can to tackle the important things and the things we can’t control, we will just have to let it go or put it aside for now. As someone who has had a rollercoaster of a ride, this entire event has made me realize that I need to utilize the time I have now. So please if you’re reading this article start that project now, start working on that dream now. Do what it takes because you know what? I let time go, and now I have to focus because I lost time, but I been blessed with time now so I have to take advantage.

I want to thank my two close friends for supporting my dreams, and for never giving up on me. This journey is going to be hard but it will be worth it in the end. We are all creating history and we are doing the best we can, that’s all we can do.

So if you’re trying to make your life easy, sleep on the couch. If not sleep in the comfort of your bed and remember that tomorrow is a new day, and you get to start all over again.

How to cope with Covid19

Based on this chart, it looks like Covid19 is creating new habits for many Canadians and people around the world. Number one, we are definitely drinking more because we are spending more time at home. I haven’t spent this much time inside in a while, last time I did it was because I was sick with the flu. Also, sweat pants and a t-shirt are my wardrobe now and who knows how long. My phone is my tool for everything, all the research I been doing on this pandemic, hell yes! Let’s just Google it pr ask Siri or Hey Google. The iPad I received as a gift last year has been my source for CP24 news updates and music, I love to listen to music but I also like quiet moments don’t you?

Guess what the highlight of my day is? Going for a walk around the neighborhood. I like to go out and check out the side streets, because there are areas I haven’t discovered yet. We have to find ways to release stress because we’ll lose our minds.

I even have an app on my phone now that allows me to track how long my walks are. Wow what a time we are living in. All I want to say is be strong, you can do this. Everyday is a challenge but we can do this.

There are certain things on this chart that are stagnant like coffee. I been drinking less coffee since I don’t have to wake up at 7:30 in the morning. Today was an early start but I was able to take a nap later on in the day which was great. So what can I say about this virus, it will change the way we think and interact with others but it will also make us appreciate things even more.

So in relation to the last article I wrote, I want to highlight that it took me 6 days to reach Service Canada. So if you know anyone in Nova Scotia, Newfoundland or maybe even BC…well that’s three hours… anyone who lives in a Province that’s an hour ahead of Ontario has a better change of speaking to an Agent than those of us in Ontario. So pack on the patience you can do this!

I wanted to give up but I needed to speak to someone, and my friends and family were very helpful. So I am very grateful, thanks to my cousin and her mom, also a friend Halifax!

So…do what you need to do and remember get some air when you can. We are doing this to save the human race because some people didn’t wake up today. So let us be grateful for everything we have now, not everyone has a place to sleep at night… Keep pushing, keep trying to work on whatever it is you’re supposed to do.

Whoa is Me, Service Canada

If you’re like me, you’re one of the many Canadians who have been laid off, and are waiting for the CERB payment, the Canada Emergency Response Benefit. Many Canadians who qualify for this will receive a payment for the amount of $2000 every month for 4 months. The issue is that so many people have been laid off and haven’t received a payment yet. Between March 15th and April 5th many Canadians were only able to apply for EI, which was converted to CERB.

When Justin Trudeau made the announcement that the government would be helping out fellow Canadians, in the first week there were 1 million applicants. Now there are 5 million people who are unemployed, and some people didn’t even qualify. The good news is that there have been some changes for those who make $1000 a month or less, as of April 17th they can now apply for CERB ( Canada Emergency Response Benefit). The issue I have is that there are so many people calling in, and not enough staff so the wait times are a lot longer. Some people haven’t been able to speak to someone for weeks. I have tried for 5 days and still no luck. I have been waking up at 8am and trying everything possible to get through. From what I have heard the best time to reach an Agent is anytime between 8:30 and 9:30 when they first open. So right now it’s the morning wake up to make the continuous calls in hopes of speaking to a live Agent. I hope that one of these days I get through to someone, but I have to be realistic because it’s going to hard. This is not a normal time, people are stressed and they have lost control with many aspects of their lives, so they are relying on this money to buy food.

If you need information regarding the how to apply for the CERB payment you can go to http://www.canada.ca, or you can go on the Twitter Account for Canada Unemployment if you have a general inquiry. If you have been trying to call Service Canada or anyone company during this pandemic, you know how hard it can be. All I can say is that during a pandemic things aren’t the same. There are 3500 people that work at Service Canada, and Justin Trudeau moved another 1300 to help. So in the end we need more help if this is going to last more than 4 months. We needed more employees a week before the announcement. In the end if you’re calling don’t give up, you have to keep trying because at some point there will be less callers, all we can do is keep trying. We have to especially if we need the help. Good luck and remember keep trying!

Saturday! Saturday! Saturday

It was a rainy day in Pizzaville! Love that commercial, makes me laugh everytime. It’s raining now and I have no desire to go for a walk today, not many options though. So here’s what’s open, the grocery store, already went there yesterday and Shoppers Drug Mart. A few restaurants have walk-in service but that’s about it. Oh anything essential is open which is super important right now. It looks like I’m going to be watching Ozark today and a couple other things too. We must be productive right? I mean it’s the weekend so I can be a little lazy but it’s good to get stuff done.

Here’s a list of things we can do at home.

The annual purge, or since it’s Spring, some Spring cleaning. Read a book, lord knows I have tons of those! Do some work on my Resume or Cover Letter. There is always work to be done, regardless of whether we actually want to do it right?

Well I hope you have a great Saturday and I hope it’s a productive one. You just never know what’s going to happen!

Apartment Hunting in Toronto

I have moved alot in the last few years and the task is always very daunting, but I think the one thing I’ve learned is that the pictures posted online doesn’t always prove to be accurate. So here’s some advice….

Always go and see the apartment first, and make sure you create a list of amenities you need. I think the most important things are laundry, close to grocery stores and transit if you’re a commuter, and Air Conditioning. If you drive, is there parking? Is it a good area? Has there been more crime than the norm?. Has there been issues with the apartment in the past.

It’s always good to do your research.

If you can avoid having to pay Utilities that would be great, just get an apartment that only includes hydro, that way there is one less expense.

Things you also need to book or purchase in advance, a moving truck, or if you’re getting help from friends or family let them know you need their help a month or two before the big move. If you’re looking for movers, call more than one company and make sure you call in advance, at least a month before.

Moving boxes, you can get them at Home Depot or at various stores throughout the city, LCBO, Nofrills, and anywhere in a mall that’s getting rid of boxes. I actually bought bins a few years ago from Zellers and they came in very handy, I still have them now!

A few other things to keep in mind…Get rid of as much stuff as possible. Sometimes it’s hard to let go of things you’ve had for years, and for me that’s the biggest issue but every time I’ve had to move I’ve gotten rid of stuff. Furniture is the hardest to let go of that’s for sure.

The last thing I’d like to add is your budget, know how much you want to spend on rent without it being half of your paycheck if you can avoid it.

Having a roommate is cheaper and it can save you money in the end. Make sure you’re very selective when choosing a roommate as well.

Moving can be challenging and hard work, I’ve been to see 20 places sometimes before I decide on one. At the end of the day this is where you come home to, so you want to make sure that it has everything you need. When looking at apartments make sure you check the fridge, and the bathroom, make sure everything is in working order. Find out what the heating system is like as well. I had one apartment where the heat was circulating through the pipes by the hot water, which was a little bit of an ordeal because sometimes it didn’t work.

Make sure you read the lease from top to bottom, and everything that needs to be in writing is there. Always get Renter’s Insurance too, some places won’t allow you to rent the apartment without it. Always know your rights as a tenants, and if necessary read everything on the Landlord Tenant website just so you are aware.

If you’re signing a lease with someone make sure you trust that person, and you know everything about them because once you move in, you learn alot especially things you didn’t know before. Signing a lease with someone is serious business, and a lease for one year so make sure you think about it.

Once you find a place, that’s half the battle but you’re on your way! Good luck!

Covid19

Well, today was one of those days where I planned to do alot and I actually did nothing. Well ..

I made a few calls and got one of my bills sorted, which is better than nothing. I’m thinking tomorrow is Friday and it will be better planned and I’ll get alot done too. You know this Covid19 can really put your mood in all different places. I mean when you watch the news and hear the numbers are slowly getting higher it starts to make you think is everything going to be okay? How long is this going to last? Are we going to be okay when this thing calms down. I mean we definitely need to think of positive things to right? Like this time off is allowing me to focus on things. To think of opportunities to grow and to figure things out because noone is going to do it for us right? Well, here’s my take on this, it makes us closer to our friends and family, and makes us realize all the things we want to do when things change for the better. So here is to YOU and me figuring this out together. We have to take it one day at a time, that’s all we can really do at this point.

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