Friday, January 9, 2015

Book review: Proof of Heaven

Since I'm participating in a book challenge this year but don't want to clutter up my home with a pile of new books (since I'm working so hard at decluttering our home), I decided to install my local library's app on my phone and made a list of the books I want to read.  The first to arrive was Proof of Heaven: A Neurosurgeon's Journey into the Afterlife.

 As someone who considers herself on a spiritual journey, rather than on a physical journey, I wholeheartedly enjoyed this book by Dr. Eben Alexander.  I could so relate to him when he explains throughout the book that although our senses are a wonderful blessing, we are limited by them.  We are also limited by words/language.  (Yes, I hear ya Dr. Alexander, but you still did a great job at describing your experience.)

There were so many parts that made me put down the book for a few minutes to absorb the beauty of its messages.  I'm a big fan of science (yay science!) and technology, and I also believe in evolution.  But I "grasped" many years ago (I'm limited by words here) that consciousness goes beyond the brain.  And in his book, Dr. Alexander attempts to explain just that; that yes, the brain makes us conscious here in the physical realm, but once the brain stops working, it also stops limiting us.  Our consciousness is much bigger than what we can "see" at the moment.

Anyway, I've never been drawn to try to convince people that there is life after (physical) death.  I have other things to do, and, with all due respect, I don't care.  But I do find it exciting and comforting to read stuff like this and realize I'm not alone in my beliefs.  There are others out there who "see" this bigger consciousness too.

Thank you, Dr. Alexander, for sharing your experience.  It was a great way to start the new year and my book challenge.


Saturday, December 20, 2014

Starting my own translation business

Dear friends, this is probably the biggest news I've made on my blog since announcing that we were expecting.  I'm happy to make it official: I'm now a new business owner! Yes, I've taken the big leap!  I've launched my own freelance translation business from home.  How cool is it to say that I'm "self-employed".  (I actually wrote this on a form at my dentist's office today.  Employer: me.) 

This idea has been brewing in my head and heart for awhile, but fear was holding me back.  Y'know...  the regular stuff, like where do I start, what if this and what if that.  Finally, with my husband's encouragement and support, I'm going for it.  And now that the decision has been made, I couldn't be more excited. 

So far, everything has been unfolding perfectly.  Through word of mouth and referrals, I even found a few clients (one that is for potential long-term work) and agencies with whom I'm already establishing work relationships.  This is a great start. 

I think my biggest fear (not sure why) was all the legal implications.  For some reason, I thought it was all super complicated.  It's actually not that bad.  The first step was to find the legal information on how to start a small business in Canada.  Thankfully, the Canada Revenue Agency has a great video series explaining just that.  I also did some research and found other freelance translators who were more than willing to offer helpful information and advice.  I'm even taking part in a workshop this January that will help me build a business plan/goal for 2015.

Another fear of mine was the whole accounting aspect.  I had no idea where to start.  But again, it's really not that complicated.  I started with researching different accounting systems.  I wanted something affordable and user-friendly.  After experimenting with a few different programs using their free trial option, I decided to go with Momenteo.  It's a bilingual accounting system (French and English) designed for freelancers.  I'm still in learning mode at the moment but it's pretty straightforward. The great thing is that it does most of the work for me.  And I love that it has an English and a French interface.  This is great to bill my clients in their language of choice.  Bonus.

I also bought a license/software for Trados which is a translation environment to help manage translation project and organize terminology.  I'm so excited about this new "toy"!  Hubby thinks I'm totally hilarious because of how much fun I'm having with this tool.

Next on my list is a website.  I already have someone lined up to help me with this and I cannot wait to reveal it in the new year

In the meantime, I thought I'd show you my new home office.  Most of the furniture is from Ikea (desk, lamp, filing cabinet, book shelf and cork board).  I had most of this stuff already but recently bought the filing cabinet and board with a new calendar.  I got the chair free from a Frugal Mommy FB group.  As for the gorgeous painting, which is entitled "Dream Big", it's a gift from a good friend of mine who runs her own art boutique and classes.  Check her out on her FB page or at Peaberry Designs.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Book Challenge

I am so excited to be participating in my very first book challenge.  I read about it on Kaity's blog, Beeautiful Blessings, and couldn't resist after reading all the categories.  This is so my thing.  And, since our new home is located *right* across from the library, I should make good use of it. (I'm already making good use of it regularly with playgroups I attend with Kaid.)   

You wouldn't believe the amount of time it took me to choose the books for the challenge.  Hours.  I guess I'm a bit a lot perfectionist when it comes to the books I choose to read.  I no longer have loads of free time on my hands with a young baby at home and managing my home translation business, so I try to make my readings worth it.  That said, I'm quite excited to start (I have to wait until January though!)


You can expect all of these scrupulously chosen books to be reviewed by moi, here on the blog starting in January.

5 points: A book that is at least 200 pages long. – La Vie Intelligente, livre 1 : le Projet Renaissance, by Martin Jackal Neisil (French only)

10 points: A book that begins with the “A”, “An”, or “The”. – The Holy Spirit and the Spirit of Reiki: One Source, One Spirit, by Ruth Mayeux Allen Ph. D.

10 points: Read a book with a two word title. – Pas pleurer, by Lydie Salvayre (the English version is: “Don’t Cry”.)

15 points: Read a book with an animal in the title. – Les yeux jaunes des crocodiles, Katherine Pancol (the English version is: “The Yellow Eyes of Crocodiles”)

20 points: The first letter of your first name – Sulak, by Philippe Jaenada (French only)

20 points: Read a book set in any country in Europe – Celle qui a tous les dons, M. R. Carey (English version is: “The Girl With All The Gifts”)

25 points: Read a book from the NPR’s guide of great books from 2014. – Lila, by Marilynne Robinson

30 points: Read a book by a favourite author that is not a re-read. – Charlotte, by David Foenkinos

30 points: Read a book by a comedian or comedic actor. – Yes Please, by Amy Poehler

35 points: Read a book about science, discovery, or a scientific process. Proof of Heaven: A Neurosurgeon's Journey into the Afterlife, by Eben Alexander

Here's the link to the Facebook book challenge.  This temporarily public FB group will become private once the challenge starts in January.