Category Archives: Home

Poker, life and everything else.

I’ve worked from home since 2014 and hope to never step foot inside an office again.

I’ve only been on social media sporadically the last few years. I’m not sure if it is “this whole lockdown thing” but I recently have had an overwhelming urge to post. My mind has been racing so much. Mostly about what is next once this whole thing is over, but also I started wondering how everyone else was coping with working from home.

I’ve worked from home since 2014 and hope to never step foot inside an office again. Working from home comes easy to me but I know a lot of people have struggled with it.

If I could give those people any advice my top four would be to:

  • Batch your work.
  • Take a mid-day walk.
  • Don’t eat at your computer.
  • If possible, pick your schedule.

One of my favorite things about working from home is having a schedule that works for me.

I know that my busy days are Monday and Thursday. They are the only days I have work calls. That also means those days are my deadlines for getting my tasks ready to handoff. It makes scheduling easy because I’m in control of my time.

Often when I worked in an office my workload was piled up, deadlines were all over the place and everything was followed with “This is a RUSH job.”

Working in an office setting I often felt pigeon-holed. My job was to organize the work for someone else to do it. That became booooooooooring, stressful, and unfulfilling. I had no control in anything that was passing through my desk.

I thought that was the way it had to be. I had to focus on one thing. I needed to become an expert at that and the job would be passed to a different expert to do their part.

This was what my day use to be like:

That looks as boring as it was. I should have been focused on learning as many different skills as I could, instead of being the person that just passes the job to someone else and I was so busy I didn’t have time to learn other skills.

Once I started working from home I’ve been able to make my job what I want it to be. I can work on any skill I want to learn. Here are just some of the skills I’ve worked on over the last few years.

  • Video editing
  • Website admin
  • Design
  • SEO
  • Copywriting
  • Animation
  • HTML
  • Photography
  • Marketing

And because I’ve learned so many different skills, I can pretty much jump into any project and be an asset.

That feeling is motivating and energizing.

Before working from home I was afraid of losing my job, even if I didn’t enjoy my job. I needed that job because without it I didn’t know what I would do.

I was working out of fear.

Working out of fear is horrible for your mindset. It puts you in a fight or flight state all the time. Every time you make a mistake, every time someone isn’t happy with your work, and even if you are perfect your company still might need to lay you off.

That changed for me once I started working from home because it opened up the whole world for employment, not just the places in driving distance.

Is working from home is easy?

No.

There seems to be a huge misconception that working from home is easy. I have to be able to prioritize work and home life. I need to continue to learn and I have to be good with computers. I am my own IT guy/girl and I need to constantly be up-to-date on my skills.

Yet, friends have always been intrigued by the freedom of working remotely. I am constantly asked:

“How can I get a job like yours?”

I’d tell them, “go to upWork.com and create a profile.”

A few months will go by and they will come back.

“I wish I had a job like yours.”

“Did you upload your profile?”

They NEVER do. Most people won’t even take the first step.

People think I don’t have a job.

“Why don’t you meet me at my work for lunch?”
“I have to work, can you do me a favor?”

The truth is they aren’t being disrespectful, they just can’t relate to my situation. I go grocery shopping when most people are working, so it is easy for someone to think I can slip by and do them a favor mid-day. What they don’t get is I put in an hour of work before 8 am or last night after 10pm. Or my creativity peaked on Friday night and was excited to work on a project over the weekend.

“We’re hiring, you should apply.”

Sometimes people think I don’t get paid a lot and are trying to be nice. Some go as far as asking what I make. The answer is enough. I live comfortably, I own my house and car.

Most online workers are highly skilled and self-starters. They need little handholding and are excellent employees. If we wanted to work in an office we would but:

  • I have a better work/life balance.
  • I work when my creativity peaks.
  • I only do meetings twice a week.
  • Can have multiple clients.

If you want to test out working from home or change professions now is the perfect time to learn some new skills and test them out.

-Lesley

Time to play. Starting small in 2018.

Last year I kept wanting to start a poker bankroll challenge and but LIFE kept getting in the way. Sometimes it feels like everytime my life looks like it is falling into place, a curveball hits me and my path completely changes. There are things that I wish I would have done differently but on the whole but last year was a great year of self-discovery for me.

This summer I bought a house in Windsor. I really like it here, it is quiet, people are kind and the cheap cost of living takes away the “money” stress that I was used to when living in Toronto. I plan on staying here for a long time.

This year I want to:

  • Help kids in my community
  • Exercise regularly
  • Eat healthy
  • Make small monthly goals

This month’s small goals:

  1. Restart this blog. [X]
  2. Go to trampoline fitness class ( Jan 9,16, 18, 23, 25, 30)
  3. Focus eating a healthy breakfast every day.
  4. Eye test. (I keep putting this off) I’m outta contacts and I’m not letting myself order any until I get this done.
  5. Start Pokerstars Spin and Go bankroll buildup

The last couple year’s I’ve barely played any poker. I kept saying I was going to start playing but it just kept becoming not as important as the other stuff in my life that was going on. This year I’m going to work towards being a good “rec” player with a goal of 1000 spin and goes a month. Starting with $119.83 US playing $3 spin and goes, let’s see how fast I can move up stakes.

Good luck to everyone in 2018. ❤

 

Goodbye March, hello April

Last months positives: 

My weight loss has been my priority goal this year and I’m really happy with my progress. Last month I lost 7lbs.  I did have one cheat meal and learned that it really wasn’t worth it. I actually felt a bit guilty eating it. I want to lose 3 more pounds before I invest in a trainer or classes to get me to the finish line.

Last months negatives: 

I wanted to start my poker bankroll challenge last month but had a lot on my plate. With friends and family visits on weekends and work it became low on my priority list. So I pushed it to start in April. The last thing I think any poker player should do is play sporadically. Unless you are a genius (which I’m not) or playing just for fun. When your goal while playing poker is to make money you need to put in volume. You need to train your mind and you won’t be able to do that with only an hour or two a week because someone at the table has played and studied 40. Maybe not at the level that I’m going to start at, but my goal is to move up the stakes quickly.

Mental wellness:

I talk a lot about this because I think it is important. I haven’t seen my therapist for two months and am really looking forward to seeing him in April. This week I could feel my emotions turning negative! I’m normally a super patient person and all of the sudden this irritation against everyone for no real reason. No one said anything about it, but I know I was short with people, I could feel it. I normally don’t experience these type of feelings and I definitely didn’t  like being annoyed at people, especially when it isn’t their fault. Luckily it only lasted a few days and I’m back to my kind self.
It is important to have someone that is non-judgemental that you can talk to. An outsider that has nothing invested in how you act or what you do. We often rely on the people closest to us for advice, the problem with that is that they are invested in your actions. Talking to someone outside your circle can really help give you clarity on your life.

April’s goals:

  • 0 Cheat Meals
  • Hire a trainer or CrossFit classes
  • Lose 7-10 pounds
  • Start my poker challenge/Post weekly V-blogs of it
  • Call my parents once a week just to chat

What are your goals for April?

I miss the poker world – My build-up to Vegas/weight loss challenge

So I’ve kept my head down, got my life together and dealt with some depression and anxiety issues and now I feel better than I ever have. Well almost better. Dealing with mental health issues like depression is draining. For me it meant, getting on the right medicine and cognitive-behavioral therapy and disappearing. Whenever I fall into depression I gain a lot of weight. Last year I gained a whopping 42lbs. Crazy I know. My first reaction was to hate myself for doing that to my body, but I don’t. Not even a little bit. I did what was best for my mind and at the time it came with some weight gain. It has given me a goal.

I started my weight loss journey January 1st and I’ve already lost 22 lbs. I’m doing a form of a keto diet + some additional restrictions. Now that I’m in a routine with 0 cheating. I’m adding in my next goal.

A bankroll challenge for myself. Well not really a bankroll challenge, more like a get my ass to Vegas this summer challenge. I’m going to start this with $100 US and play the hero games on partypoker.com .  Why those games? Because they are crazy soft. Throughout my challenge, I am going to be giving myself some tier goals to keep it fun. However, if I don’t lose the rest of the weight I gained (20lbs) by June then I won’t be going to Vegas and that would be a shame.

My first tier goal (I’m calling it the bottom of the barrel tier) is $885 US that would be 7 days/airfare and hotel staying in old Vegas.I’ll be starting this March 1st.

I’ll be starting this March 1st.

My bankroll guidelines will be:

I really just want to bring the reason that I started playing poker back into my life and that is because I loved the game.

I have a lot of other goals that I want to get done this year. I’m adding them in slowly to build up routines but I am pretty sure it is going to be a crazy productive year for me.

The cloud of depression.

If there was one thing in this world, I was afraid of, it was falling back into depression. That fear consumed me, the paranoia of everything that I would lose again. The career that you worked so hard on lost overnight. The people that you shutout vanished. Each time it happened you pulled yourself up and re-invented yourself. A new you, a new place, a new job, new friends, new hair but always something missing.

It took me a long time to understand what was missing. I was so consumed with the fear of losing everything again that it controlled me. What was the point in wanting when if you got it, it could be gone overnight? Then it happened, I fell back into a deep depression, but this story isn’t about that, it is about what happened next.

It was eye opening. I was able to feel excited.

The gray skies in my head started to clear the clouds parted and that cloud of depression changed into a rainbow of hope. Trust in friends and family, excitement for what is to come next, but most importantly, that I’m allowed to want, and that I deserve to want more.

Today is Bell Let’s Talk Day #BellLetsTalk get in the conversation.

For those of you that know someone that deals with depression. It is something that takes a lot of energy to get through, but it can also be a blessing. Surrounded by the right people and by getting the correct help, depression has helped me remove the things that were useless. I said goodbye clutter in my life, like the career I never really wanted or the people that drained me. What I’m left with is a bubble of people that are motivating, they make me a better person and that gives me the worth to want more.

 

Mixing tennis and poker

This guy is putting in some hard work and it is paying off.

spin4living

Well, for few weeks I have been on the “tour” as they call it. This will probably be one of my last tennis trips as a professional tennis player. Feeling kinda sad, but at the same time pretty happy when I am seeing all the players practicing and giving everything they got just to make a living from tennis (which is one of the hardest job to make it, imo).. I just know at this moment I cant do that anymore when I know that the % of people who makes it are slim to none and the work you have to do to get there is HARD and when you just dont have the same passion as you had few years ago. So far I haven’t got any big success in these few tournaments, right now I am playing in Estonia. Got atleast 1 atp point in Estonia, and I will…

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7 lbs to Vegas

That’s a pretty straight forward goal and completely doable. As I see people planning their Vegas vacations, I’m getting in gear. I’ve been on a roll health wise and now that it is sometimes only -3 here in Montreal I’m even more motivated to get in shape.

Also now that it is starting to warm up I’m getting out of the house more, in the daylight. Today I went to see Kingsman, there is something amazing about going to the movies in the middle of the day. We walked in and no one checks your tickets, no line up for the snack bar and no one kicking your seat because there is only 4 people in the theater. It is like they just opened the theater for me.

Sunday, I went to Cabane Panache et Bois Nord. If it is one thing they have right here in Montreal, it is the street festivals.

This year is the first year I’ve been away from my family for Christmas and Easter and to be honest, I’m a tad homesick, but I’m looking forward to seeing them this summer. I’ll be visiting some family and friends in Toronto the last week of May, then off to my favorite place.

Last year I had to skip Vegas for unforeseen circumstances, otherwise known as, I did my own laundry, emptying pockets is for suckers. This year I will be treating my passport like… a passport. Because of my lack of Vegas last year I’m going to have to make my trip count by staying a whole month!

I don’t think I’ve gone to Vegas once without doing something incredibly stupid, so here’s to Vegas!

Oh, how I failed, but succeeded at the same time.

I’ve never been the type of person that spent a long time looking in the mirror. In fact, I pretty much avoided it as much as I can.

In 2010 I was incredibly thin. Thin does not always equal healthy and I wasn’t healthy. My anxiety and depression had made me stop eating for days at a time and I was also constantly sick to my stomach. During this time period I was unable to look in the mirror, so I didn’t even know how thin I was.

When I final tabled the Ladies event in 2012, I remember watching an interview of myself and thinking, that isn’t me. They had to of stretched me. Not long after I was at a wedding and I saw another photo that I didn’t recognize myself in. I couldn’t believe how much weight I had gained. At this point I missed my old workout buddy Tina and my old trainer.

It happens to all of us… We wake up one morning and step on the scale. We look down and our stomach turns. We hit our peak weight. We talk to our closest friends and admit the hard truth, have never weighed this much in our lives. Not sure how it even happened.

I’ve lost over 20lbs since moving to Montreal, I’ve changed my lifestyle completely. My favorite food was Pizza, now it is crab stuffed zucchini.  I use to be able to do 2 dozen shots and be “Everyone Loves Drunk Lesley”. Now I have one drink and am “Everyone Loves a Cheaper Drunk Lesley.” It has taken me until 32 years of age to truly see myself when I look in the mirror, but I can now. It isn’t just about losing the weight I gained, it is way more than that. I’ve forgiven myself for failing.

A few months ago I had a slight breakdown. I had taken a test that was to pinpoint my strengths. My results were in a transition stage.  I have spent so much of my life trying to make the people around me happy that it was impossible for me to be. I had made that mistake before and I was doing it again and again. This test was a wake up call for me.  I still had it in my head that who I use to be, was who I needed to get back to being. That didn’t work for me the first time, so why was I putting so much pressure on myself to be her again?

So how are my posted goals for the year going… supernova with $100 bankroll—FAIL. I busted that $100, Be more social—Double FAIL, I’ve only gone out about 2 or 3 times this year. What I didn’t fail at were the important ones. I’ve been eating healthy, following a workout plan and working on my fears. I’m still working on PLO, and have a few coaching sessions to help put me back on the right track. As for going out more and being more social, I can’t really answer why I want that. It is just one of those things that I feel I am weird because I don’t want to. What I do want to do is spend time on my projects that I had put on hold, so that is what I’m going to do.

Finally, back to my true love. Poker… WPT is back in Montreal, April, so I’ll be hitting up Playground to play one or two side events. I’m also setting up my Vegas trip for June. And for the love of the poker gods, please let me not lose 39bbs per 100 in the next 20000 PLO hands.