It had been nearly two months since I’d seen my husband. I was staying with my parents, along with the kids. My husband hadn’t been granted a visa the first or second time we tried. That was while we were in India. The only option left was for me to go ahead and move back to the States with the kids, set up “life” there, and prove that we were planning to stay. Only then could we hope that he would be allowed to join us.
In between putting my daughter in school, trying to get my driver’s license, opening a bank account, and trying to find a job, life was more than a little bit busy. Helping the kids adjust (and trying to adjust myself after living in India for nearly 12 years!) was a challenge. My eighteen-month-old son, who had been potty trained for about half a year, started wetting himself and having accidents every time we went out. My daughter was quieter than a mouse at school. My middle son entered a very whiny stage.
I knew I needed to keep things going on the work-from-home front, so I kept looking for jobs. One project that came through was a transcription job. A man had written a 25,000-word middle grade novel. The only problem was that he wrote it. By hand. He mailed me a thick package of papers and I got to work.
One night, I had just climbed into bed after taking my son for a last trip to the bathroom, when the phone rang. It was my husband. The proof I submitted was accepted. He had already booked a flight and would arrive in a week, the day before Thanksgiving.
I was thrilled. I was also determined to finish my transcription project before he arrived. I began typing every night, trying to finish the project. My wrists began to ache, but I ignored it. Some mornings, my fingers would be tingly and numb. The pain in my wrists traveled up towards my elbows.
I mentioned it to my mom. “Carpal tunnel,” she told me. She had had surgery for carpal tunnel a few years before. “You need to get wrists guards or you’ll need surgery.” The next day, my dad drove me to Walgreens and picked up a pair of supportive wrist guards. I could feel the difference immediately.
I finished the transcription project. The client was very happy and asked if I’d be interested in typing up his 125,000-word novel. Thanks, but no thanks.
My husband arrived, and though jet lag wiped him out, we still had so much to be thankful for that Thanksgiving.
I still wear the wrist supports every single time I type. If I do even a little bit of typing or internet browsing without them, my wrists start to hurt. When I am working more than usual on a writing or editing project, I sometimes have to wear the supports at night as well.
When I was young, I remember my dad telling me (when I would stay up late reading in bad light), “You only have one pair of eyes.” When he insisted on picking up the wrists supports for me, he said something similar about my wrists. He still asks from time to time if I’m being faithful in wearing them. Yes, Dad, I am.
Working from home, I don’t have insurance. I can’t sign up for “worker’s comp.” I have to be careful, because my dad is right. Only one set of wrists. But I still have so much to be thankful for. Concerned family. Supportive wrist guards. And a typing speed that enables me to finish the occasional transcription project in an impressively short amount of time. Life always compensates.
Work-from-Home Lesson Eight:
When you work from home, you need to be mindful of things that those who have full-time employment might not need to worry about to the same extent. Be aware of common issues such as carpal tunnel (if you do a lot of typing or writing), or other health problems. If you love what you do while working from home, you’re probably hoping to do it for a long time. So take care of yourself.
[Why am I writing about working from home? Every Tuesday this summer, I will post about a lesson I have learned from 111 writing and editing projects.]
If you’re looking for an editor or ghostwriter, I’d love to hear from you. I have over ten years of experience in writing and editing and would be happy to work with you to take your project to the next level.