What I Learned This Week from Working as a VA: The Worst and the Best Can Happen to You In the Same Week

Working as a VA 2

It’s a ridiculous notion, a paradox. But I swear to you that it’s 100% true. When you have you own online business, life continues to move on around you. There’s no clear way to compartmentalize your job.

My Week

It began like any other week. Except it didn’t because I’ve never lost my grandfather before.

Swamped with work I love doing, I didn’t hear my cell ringing. The message came through on Facebook. My uncle sent it. My grandfather, who as a child I had affectionately nicknamed The Leprechaun for his notorious greed and petite stature, was on life support after suffering a stroke following three hellish years of dementia.

I’ve been here before. I lost my father-in-law on December 20, 2009, to similar circumstances. Like with my grandpa, I was stuck watching him die after pulling the plug.

Phenomenal Dad: The Book Release

The week ended on a high. Strange, right?

My first ever published book launched today. Its full title is Phenomenal Dad: Ten Lessons on Single Fatherhood from a Tougher-Than-Nails Single Mom

It’s about how single fathers can learn to be better dads post-divorce than they were as married men. It’s my greatest achievement to date. I’ve never done anything so magnificent. Finishing my book felt like I’d given birth! It took a lot out of me to write it.

On the opposite end of a great loss to my entire family, there was a reason for tremendous joy. Literally, what the hell? It made me wonder what I’m supposed to do with that.

What’s ironic is that my grandfather wasn’t the best dad to his kids. Parts of my book are inspired by his mistakes.

My Confession

I’ll admit to feeling a bit stymied by the whole thing. I cried when I lost him. But not like everyone else. I knew there were things to do, and (shamefully) I thought about everything waiting to get done at my home office.

If it makes me a monster, so be it. But I can only tell you the truth.

But losing him stymied me for a few days. I sat in this state of stagnation without hope for absolution. He deserves to have people weep for his loss. He lived a life full of adventure, and we have a lot in common.

He created a family of eight children. I have seven. He crossed great distances to change the course of his life. I’ve done that with the Internet. He was an incredibly stubborn man who was (at times) difficult to love. Yeah, me too…all of it.

But I haven’t really felt it. In my head, I both know he’s gone and think he’ll answer his phone when I call.

In Conclusion

You can’t keep crap from happening any more than you can control the good that comes at you while you grieve. Sometimes you have to walk in it, between emotions, between worlds. There’s just no other way. It’s what I’m doing.

It’s at times like these that your support system is so important. You may remember I’ve talked about that in the beginning. You need to cling on to your why, air out your dirty laundry to someone you trust and move forward. It’s far too important not to.

When you work from home, you bring in everything into on big ole soup. Great, fantastic, life altering things can happen while you’re reeling from painful episodes of loss.

In my case, they happened on opposite ends of the week. It started out with losing my grandfather. And it ended with the launch of my first book. You can’t reconcile the two. Trying to would’ve driven me crazy.

My grandfather was an incredibly intelligent man. Stubborn, vain, and mouthy, but I admired his willingness to adapt and his ability to save for the future. Still, for all the good he did, he never wrote a book. He never ventured off on his own.

Honestly, he’d probably criticize me for doing it. Then, he’d come around, read it, lie about doing so, and tell me he liked it. THAT was the kind of guy he was.

If you’re struggling with hardship and loss while trying hard to hustle and build a business, I’d love to hear from you! What kind of challenges are you facing right now? How are they keeping you from getting ahead?

About Cruz Santana

Cruz Santana is a cancer-fighter, professional writer, editor, and business consultant specializing in web building, content management, bookkeeping, and traffic optimization strategies. A nine-year veteran of the entrepreneurial world, she has a handle on which techniques work and which don't. She isn't afraid to step out of the box to overcome challenges. An alumni of Texas A&M University, she's well-versed in science and medicine. A voracious writer, she's been featured in The Huffington Post and The Write Life. Her VA clients benefit from her experience in content management and bookkeeping. In addition, she is the author of "Phenomenal Dad: Ten Lessons on Single Fatherhood from a Tougher-Than-Nails Single Mom," her first published book! When not developing marketing strategies that flirt with the avant-guard, she loves kicking back on the couch with her small army of seven babies to watch old movies. Hitchcock films are her favorites!
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