Thursday, April 26, 2018

DIY Project: Refinish Bedroom Dresser

DIY projects and other outlets for my personal strengths (some of which are; natural creativity, attention to detail, and determination) are some of my favorite ways to relieve any stress that I might be experiencing.

Even when I'm not experiencing stress, I find DIY projects to be FUN and they really give me a strong sense of accomplishment.

My most recent project is still a work in progress, though I will show you what I have accomplished thus far.

Additionally, I will try to describe my long-term plans and what I'd like the end result to resemble.

So..why did I even start this project?

This current project of mine was spurred from the fact that my 3-drawer bedroom dresser was crumbling. Yes, crumbling. From water damage. To the point that I could no longer store mine or my son’s clothes without finding wooden bits and splinters among them.

So...

STEP ONE: Find a new dresser that was structurally sound and functional. I determined ahead of time that my new dresser would need more than just the 3 drawers that I was already working with.

In fact, I decided that I needed at least 6 drawers.

I didn't have to look far.

As I headed out this morning toward my local goodwill thrift shop in search of a dresser luck must have been on my side.
I say this because less than a half of a mile from my home the home of the friend I am currently staying with (have I mentioned I have experienced homelessness?!) I found a perfectly functional, structurally sound, wooden-construction, TWELVE-drawer dresser. That's right; I had double the drawers I needed and for no cost at all.

There was a slight problem though; I had no one available to help me load it into my van. In fact, I was not even sure that this find would FIT into my van.

Just as I was pondering my dilemma, somebody from a home neighbor-ing the one where I'd found the dresser came over and offered to help load, into my van, the piece of furniture I was clearly eyeing up.

It was through conversation with this kind neighbor that I learned that the piece had been sitting out for approximately one week since its former owner had moved.

I also know from this neighbor that the piece had only experienced getting rained on one time.

However; it was clear by the way in which other odds and ends were piled over top of this piece that it had not actually gotten wet. The only area that moisture had touched was the bottom and it was clear that no permanent damage had been done. I believe this is due, in part, to whatever finish was already on the dresser that acted like a seal against moisture. I think too, perhaps the dresser being on the grass was of benefit as the soil must have pulled some of the moisture away from this furniture piece.
Whew! What a relief seeing as I was on this mission to find a dresser due to the last one being water damaged. Moving on, the neighbor helped me load the dresser into the van and, although it stuck out one side of my vehicle, I had a strap with me that I was able to use to secure it from falling.

Though, I must say I wasn't concerned as it was less than half of a mile back to the home of my friend whom I'm currently staying with.

So here I am, planning to spend upwards of $40 on a thrift store dresser and I managed to find one for ABSOLUTELY NOTHING.

Oh, the joys of "treasure hunting" (better known to some as "trash-picking" - for which I have no shame)!

Without further adieu, here's the beauty itself! Alright, alright, already, perhaps it is only beautiful if one has a visionary sense. I do, of course, have a visionary sense. Remember, it doesn't take much to turn from an ugly duckling into a beautiful swan.


Pulling some of my ideas from Pinterest, I imagine that the end-result of my newest project will be stunning. I plan to, after cleaning the piece and fixing its minor blemishes; paint it black. Not just plain black though. No, my design includes varying patterns multiple shades of paint ranging from white through the grey spectrum all the way to black.

Additionally, I imagine brushed nickel hardware. Though, I'm no longer imagining the hardware. I was able to find some at Home Depot today that I love. I used a friend's cordless power drill to add new holes so that I could modify the placement of the drawer pulls.

Here are the results thus far:


This picture shows all the new hardware. As you can see, I have yet to use wood putty to fill in the holes from the old drawer pulls. This will be among my next set of steps.

Speaking of my next steps, they are as follows:

1. Use Krud Kutter (my all-time favorite DIY project cleaner EVER) to clean the surface of the 6 wide drawers.

2. Use Elmer's Color Change Wood Filler to fill in the holes from the old drawer pulls. Use a scraper/straight edge to spread the putty into the holes from BOTH sides of the drawers.

3. Allow time, per the instructions on the container, for the wood putty/filler to dry completely. This step is very important for a clean-looking end result.

4. Smooth the wood putty by gently sanding the area(s) with medium grit, then fine grit, sandpaper.

5. Take a much-needed break!

Please, check back soon for more updates on this project!!! I promise I will post more as I complete this project, step by step. :)

A GLIMPSE INTO MY LIFE: Speech/Toast I Delivered at Baptism


My son and I at my Godson's Baptismal Reception
I've done SO MUCH writing lately in and for other areas of my life that I've neglected this blog a bit.

MY APOLOGIES!

That said; please, enjoy this speech I wrote and delivered earlier today and know that I'll be back to blogging again, soon!

In fact, I've got in front of me, right now; draft(s) for posts to follow-up to the Peer Support-themed editions I've already published!

Like I said, in the meantime; enjoy!

The speech:

I thought I knew of no higher honor than being a mother. When my son, Bobby, needs me – my heart fills with love. When he turns me away, I am proud that he trusts - enough to explore his own independence and autonomy – that I’ll be there when he returns; be his return shortly or after a while.

I still can’t say I have found a higher honor than that of motherhood but, when Suzanne and Rodrigo asked me to be Godmother to their son, Jonathan; I believe I realized a close second, if not outright equal, role to that of motherhood.

The feelings I had when I was asked to take on this role, the ones that I feel as I stand here today; pride, awe, and an absolute surge of love for this little boy come pretty close to what I experienced when I became a new mom.

I’ll say that some higher powers trusted me to be mom to Bobby.

I think we all know I made some…ahem…adult choices which led me to motherhood.

That, I mean knowing that I had no choice in this matter, or rather that it was through Suzanne and Rodrigo’s own free will, trust in me, and ultimately THEIR choosing that I was selected to be Jonathan’s Godmother is what makes this role even more amazing to me. Being Jonathan’s Godmother is an honor and responsibility I take very seriously.

My understanding of being a Godmother is that of role model, and mentor. I am to be an example to Jonathan – just as I am to my own son. I imagine this will go something like learning to drive a car, only with matters of faith, relationships, and love.

In other words, while he’s young I’ll show him how to drive. I’ll be “driving” in my own life and he’ll see how I do this. Then, when he’s grown some, I’ll help him learn to make his own choices. I’ll give him “fuel” in the form of encouragement and, as we all need to do sometimes; I’ll show him how to “pump his brakes” when needed.

Sometimes he’ll want to forge ahead on the road he’s on and other times I’m sure he’ll make the choice to go a different route altogether. I’ll support him in whatever decisions he makes and be there to help him catch himself when he starts “veering off” the road he wants to be on.

I know, too, that part of my role as an important adult in his life, among other important adults such as his parents, grandparents, aunts or uncles, will be to serve him.

I will aim to serve him as an unconditional source of love, as an unyielding strength against people, situations, or other storms he may weather.

Though I wish I could keep him from these inevitable storms I know that they serve their own important lesson – to teach him what he can do when he puts his mind and heart to it and to show him who in his life is there for him when he needs the help, support, and love of others the most.

What children grow up with and experience in their first, most formative years of life sets the tone for what they are comfortable with and seek out in their relationships later in life.

Some of you may know that the foundation provided to the next generation is of utmost importance to me because of my own more-than-rough start in life.

This is not about me, though, and as such I will not go there other than to say that I serve as the evidence that we can do better than our past when we put our minds to it and when we go in the direction of our hearts.

Since I don’t believe in reinventing the wheel and since the words of Dorothy Law Nolte in her poem, “Children Learn What They Live” do more justice to this concept than I am able to right now, I’d like to take a moment to share with you this poem:

Children Learn What They Live by Dorothy Law Nolte

"If children live with criticism, they learn to condemn. If children live with hostility, they learn to fight. If children live with fear, they learn to be apprehensive. If children live with pity, they learn to feel sorry for themselves. If children live with ridicule, they learn to feel shy. If children live with jealousy, they learn to feel envy. If children live with shame, they learn to feel guilty. … If children live with encouragement, they learn confidence. If children live with tolerance, they learn patience. If children live with praise, they learn appreciation. If children live with acceptance, they learn to love. If children live with approval, they learn to like themselves. If children life with recognition, they learn it is good to have a goal. If children live with sharing, they learn generosity. If children life with honesty, they learn truthfulness. If children live with fairness, they learn justice. If children live with kindness and consideration, they learn respect. If children live with security, they learn to have faith in themselves and in those about them. If children live with friendliness, they learn the world is a nice place in which to live.”

Being a parent to the best of my ability, or in my case today; a Godparent requires me to recognize what is my nature and what I learned through nurture (or lack thereof).

Then, I take where I’m at - metaphorically speaking - and I can choose to accept this as my best and settle or I can choose to keep striving for better. I strive to meet the needs of my child and, now my Godchild, and when I can’t - as is sometimes the case with the various imperfections of human nature – I try to find support in doing so.

I read you that poem because it is one tool I use to achieve this goal, of being the best I can be for the kids in my life. I reflect on this poem regularly and ask myself, “what example am I setting?” or “what lesson am I teaching?”

It’s been said that it takes a village to raise a child and from my own experience both having been a child and now raising one I know this to be true.

I ask you, as part of Jonathan’s village to join me.

Please join me, if you will, in being kind, and brave, and strong enough to lead by example, set a tone, and teach lessons of the positive descriptors of the poem I just read to you.

This is not an easy task. It can be beyond difficult to do so; I can speak to this firsthand as I imagine we all can.

That said, Jonathan, as far as I’m concerned – as well as the generation he is a part of - is of enough value and worth to make it worthwhile to try and to keep trying. He and his future are enough motivation, for me, to take on this task regardless of how difficult.

So if you will join me in doing this, or rather; recognizing that our lives set the tone and example for Jonathan (and his future) and striving to set the best example possible, then please raise your ___(whatever cups are present – describe them) ___ and say with me, as a toast to Jonathan, “for Jonathan!”

Friday, April 20, 2018

Are you in Recovery? Then, I dedicate this blog...to YOU!

Searching, earlier today, for some notes I believed I'd find among the files in my filing cabinet I pulled out a particular folder, "My Writing". Although simple in appearance it is a folder of much importance which I've kept tucked away for far too long.

It contains, you guessed it; things I've written and that are all in various stages of revision.

MY WRITINGS

Among these things I've written, I came across this here piece of paper ..



When I look at this paper it is clear to me - and I somewhat vaguely recall - that it is part of a tangible action I took, at one time or another (this particular writing of mine is un-dated), toward my dream.

You'll see, on the paper pictured, that there are 3 horizontal sections.

The first of those sections has a heading, "Dedication Page", while the second is "Title Page" and the third, "Contents Page".

Here, take a closer look.



In pulling that paper out of the abyss that is my filing cabinet I realize I'm inspired. That is, I'm inspired to "dedicate" this blog.

But, first...

Going back to that mention of 'my dream' from above, "what is my dream, you ask?"

Or, rather; I'm hoping you're wondering. ;)

MY DREAM

My dream is to one day have my recovery story told and published in book form. 

I have already published a poetry book:

However, more specifically; I want to imitate the format of the accounts which I have read - written by some of my idols before me - that touch on the various forms of recovery.

I want to acknowledge that the majority of these books were ones I'd read before I truly recognized that I had/still have my own recovery journey to embark on.

WHAT HAVE SOME OF MY INFLUENCES BEEN?!

Among the books I've read, in no particular order, are;

"A Child Called It" by Dave Pelzer 









"Why Am I Up, Why Am I Down?" by Elizabeth Ferber and Roger Granet

Every single entry on this list is a book that I have read and owned at one point in my life or another. Some of these books I have read multiple times over as a source of comfort or inspiration. Additionally, every book, whether it was written about something I have directly experienced, or not, has touched my life in some way.

I'm nearly certain my list, above, is not exhaustive of the works that have influenced me but "ten" seemed like a good number to stop on.

That and, in all honesty; it's the largest quantity of books I am able to recall at this time - even with the help of a Google search to jog my memory of exact titles and authors.

*Haha* I've learned to laugh at my so-called faults. Such as; my strength is certainly NOT my memory. :D

I hope you, too, can laugh at yourself, for I've learned that an ability to laugh at oneself only comes with confidence. Of course, I didn't know this until I developed confidence and that was sometime in my early twenties.

Now that I have these gifts of confidence and an ability to laugh at myself I truly cherish them and wish them for you as well!

Anyway...moving on from that brief chuckle and my wish for everyone to have confidence (and not take it for granted), it was in the moment when I pulled this paper out of the-abyss-that-is-my-filing-cabinet that I realized I'm inspired.

That is, I'm inspired to "dedicate" this blog.

DEDICATION

So now, without further adieu and with similar form to the dedication you see drafted above, let me dedicate this blog:

This blog is lovingly dedicated to "My Little Monkey Man" (my son). It is my hope that I might be, for him, the mother I never had and that my son never doubts my love for him.

Additionally, this blog is dedicated to each and every person in recovery - it matters not what you are recovering from (addiction, mental illness, abuse or other trauma, eating disorders, the list of what one can 'recover' from goes on...)

I am proud of each and every recovering person for the strength, courage, and resiliency they undoubtedly demonstrate.

I am grateful to have the opportunity to have shared this.

Thank you for reading.

Keep it Positive: Just Be Happy to Have a Glass! (for Mike Artim)


One of the tools which has been instrumental for me in my recovery is an ability to keep a positive perspective.

Having a positive mindset, I can easily say; saved my life. As my attitude used to be the exact opposite - negative, hopeless, constantly depressed & anxious - it was a 180 degree change for me.

At 16 years old I was hopeless, hated myself and thought others felt the same about me, thought I wouldn't live past the age of 16 (for no reason in particular other than I was experiencing a symptom I now know is part of my PTSD; a "sense of a foreshortened future"), had lost all motivation and had no goals.

In fact, I'd given up on goals I had once pursued passionately and giving up on goals I once held was more significant of a factor, I feel, than if I'd had no goals to begin with.

This is because, as I lost hope and gave up on my goals my self-esteem only sank lower. My depression and anxiety, too, were only furthered.

Giving up on my goals stemmed from lacking self-esteem, self-efficacy, the overall ability to believe in myself, or the know-how to persevere and follow-through. Finally, it was because I felt all alone.

So, how did all that change?

First, I should mention that it was NOT an easy change or an overnight change. I had - and for the sake of humility I should mention I DO STILL HAVE - set backs, slip-ups, mistakes, areas of improvement, etc. Learning to change a very ingrained, nearly reflexive outlook took time, commitment, and will-power.

I had to put in time and effort - changing every negative thought to a positive each and every time I had a negative thought. But first, I had to recognize when my thoughts were negative and that meant I had to pay better attention to what I was telling myself - inwardly and outwardly. I had to commit to making this change, too. It wasn't easy at first; I did NOT always know what to do with my negative thoughts to turn them around and make them positive. But, I couldn't give up. I had to, just had to, keep trying.

Secondly, and most importantly; I do believe it was Mike, my first mentor, who I can credit for opening my eyes to and causing me to appreciate the power of having a positive perspective. He also helped me learn responsibility, something I'll comment on at another time.

Mike and I met when I was, give or take, 16 years old. He was the lead service dog trainer and founder of C&M Care 9's, a non-profit organization which I sought out when I was seeking my first psychiatric service dog. I'd like to make mention of Carole, as well, as she is the "C" in C&M Care 9's and most importantly, Mike's wife.

There will be more on my journey with a service dog (and how Chance, my service dog, saved my life in more ways than one) later.

For now, what's important are two simple sentences that I will forever remember Mike saying to our group service dog training class. The days on which we always gathered together to learn were Saturdays and this one, as I recall it, was otherwise unremarkable except for Mike's words.

He said,

"When I die I do not want to be remembered as a man who had a glass that was half full or half empty. I simply want to be remembered for being a man who was just happy to have a glass."

I remember that as Mike spoke those words he had a tear twinkling in his eye the way he always did when he spoke deeply and genuinely from his heart.

Instantly, upon hearing this message, I felt intense admiration and awe for this man and for the rest of the day I viewed the world as being a bit brighter, somehow. Mike, a 60+ year old man was, to me - a 16 year old teenage girl - wise and had a truly enlightened view of the world. I also knew, in that moment after he spoke, that I wanted to live the rest of my life so that I embodied those words and in such a way that their essence emanated from me.

I will forever be grateful for what Mike taught me and for the intangible gifts of confidence, learning to trust myself, courage, hope, and too-much-more-to-list that he helped me acquire.

I would say he "gave me" these gifts but in my recovery I have learned the importance of not giving credit away for work that I myself have done to get to the point I am at. I recognize that although Mike was my teacher; I, the student, did the work.

This post is for Mike Artim, the man (the mentor, the legend) who started me on the past that most certainly saved my life.

Thank you, "Uncle Mikey!"

Monday, August 22, 2016

LISTICLE: POSITIVITY & INSPIRATION!


I just sent an email to one of my closest friends, H, that is a listicle of positive and inspiring ideas. Everything on the list is a lesson I've learned somewhere along my own recovery journey. 

I know that, for me, reading positive affirmations, uplifting stories, and motivating quotes always has a beneficial effect so I'd like to share that with you!

I believe it will help this list make sense when you read it if you know that it was inspired by a bag of party favors*.  

See, H has a son who is 8 days younger than my son and both of our kiddos (as we lovingly call them) just turned THREE! 

Additionally, I have MANY left over party favors from my son's party and despite us being on opposite sides of the country, H and I have shared SO MUCH together that it seemed only fitting that I pass onto her and her boy some favors from my boy's party!

Again, these party favors are my inspiration for this list. 

Speaking of inspiration, sharing ideas is certainly a fantastic way to get inspired (and even give inspiration to others, too). So,in the comments, will you (please) share what helps lift your spirits when they're in need of lifting?

And now....drum roll please...my listicle of positivity and inspiration!!!

1. 
rubber, multi-colored bouncy ball

May you always remember your personal resilience and ability to "bounce back." Stay mindful of what challenges you've overcome as well as that which you've accomplished. Let these memories serve as a reminder of all that you CAN do! Never quit, instead forge ahead!!!

2. 
plastic, toy compass

Let your aim always be in the direction that is a balance between your head, your heart, your spirit and your needs/wants/desires. 

Furthermore, may your aim be an amalgamation of your own ideals/morals/ethics, values, and beliefs. 

Reach first toward what you need, then want, and never stop short of what you desire! 

Rather; hold hope that all which is in your wildest dreams is forever attainable.

3. 
tiny, pink, plastic magnifying glass

What we see IS what we get!! It's important to look closely at all situations - from a perspective of objectivity and productivity; both ones we're comfortable with and those in which we feel uncomfortable. 

Keep a positive and open mind so that possibilities and opportunities aren't missed but rather apparently available to be seized!

This reminds me of a meme I saw recently (by an unknown author/designer) which read, "don't let your emotions outweigh your intelligence." 

I say, "balance your emotions with your intelligence." 

4. 
orange & yellow disc flyer (anybody know the right name for this?!) toy

Shoot for what seems out of reach because, as Les Brown said, "shoot for the moon, even if you miss you'll land among the stars"

We never know how far we can or cannot go until WE TRY. 

Then, after we've tried once; we need to KEEP TRYING and STAY DETERMINED!

As I see it, like a bird; our dreams will take flight when we put the wind beneath their wings. I'd know...but...more later. ;)

5. 
purple finger trap toy

Sometimes, when we're in a spot that's uncomfortable or when we feel "trapped" we need to dig in our heels, stick with the discomfort and 'hang in there' until we can get through to the other side. 

It's good practice to learn to recognize that what IS comfortable is NOT necessarily healthy and vice versa that what is UNCOMFORTABLE can sometimes be the best thing for us. Discomfort equals growth, changing roles, and is a sign of forward progress. 

There have been situations in my life when what felt comfortable wasn't good for me (and was in fact toxic/unhealthy) and when what felt uncomfortable turned out to be good and felt as such once I adjusted to it. 

That said; we are OUR OWN EXPERTS on what is and isn't good for us as individuals and it's up to us, and nobody else, to decide what we take on or brush away in our life.

Also, back to that paper finger trap; sometimes the answers to what's challenging us are more simple than they might seem. 

You've heard of "Keep It Simple" right? 

Solutions are often right in front of us and, in my experience, can often require us to step out of our comfort zone and/or try something we didn't think of before. 

That's called a "learning experience" and is a perfect time to lean on our support systems. 

Hence...

6. 

plastic yellow, pink, and blue toy whistle

This whistle represents what Disney's Jiminy Cricket said best, "when you get in trouble.....give a little whistle, give a little whistle". 

You sang that when you read it, right?!

In all seriousness; we ALL need help and/or support sometimes. This is a valid and normal part of the human experience. 

When we do need help or support it's our responsibility to call our support systems' attention (whomever that is or isn't is OUR CHOICE) to whatever it is we need help with. 

It is courageous and brave to ask for help or support because it shows a willingness to be vulnerable, humble, and to put our trust in others!

When seeking support we must never "put all of our eggs in one basket." In other words spreading our support needs amongst many supporters is essential to preventing overload of any one person helping us. 

We must maintain healthy boundaries when seeking support and this means gracefully accepting "no" as a response when somebody is unable to help us, no matter their reason. 

Likewise, it can and often does feel very good to give support. It's important for balanced and healthy, mutual relationships that support goes both ways.

Think, what are my strengths and how might I use them to help another?

Speaking of it being courageous to ask for help,this is a great way for us to take personal responsibility for getting our needs meet. It is also very empowering to find and use our voice in a way that is effective. 

On the subject of using our voice...

7. 
red and blue plastic megaphone toy

Everyone's individual voice is VALUABLE! 

Never hesitate to make it heard and, in fact, please make your voice (or rather, the message you wish to convey) loud, clear, and effective in whatever way works for you and is appropriate to the situation at hand!

Our own voice (or, again; message) may differ from that of somebody else's voice. 

With those differences it's important that we honor and recognize that we all have not just differing voices but also different life paths or journeys. 

What works for one may not work for another. So, take a moment to think, "what works for me?"

More on having and using our voice; when we lend our voice to the greater collective it's important to do so in a way that honors this universal truth: embracing diversity is essential to the common good. 

Different is NOT synonymous with bad! 

Rather; in my life, it has been people, places, or other things which are different from MY normal which have taught me, and enhanced my life, the most!!

What differences do you value among the people with whom you have close relationships?

8. 
small container of bubbles with "happy birthday" printed on the label

Relax and have fun! No, better yet; MAKE fun!

When we are relaxed and having fun we learn and feel our BEST! 

I love having fun and being able to relax! Don't you...?!

Being able to relax and enjoy the moments that make up our lives is part of self-care. 

For somebody (like my 3-year-old and I when I'm with him) this might look like blowing bubbles or squeezing Soy-er dough (a Gluten Free alternative to Play Doh which is beloved in our household). 

Other times; I enjoy writing (I knew you'd never notice if I hadn't pointed this out, right?!..haha) taking pictures, singing, listening to music or being with animals (for me, especially; dogs). 

Taking care of ourselves and making times to unwind/relax is SELF CENTERED - and THIS is a GOOD THING!

It means to focus on our well-being as a WHOLE PERSON and too often, I've seen; has a negative connotation!

When we focus on doing what we need to do to be well as a whole, that is; intellectually/mentally, emotionally, physically, spiritually and/or religiously - then we are doing what we need to do to be there for ourselves. 

More pointedly; we need to become well and maintain a state of well-being in all the facets of our lives - our relationships with our friends, family, work, and all the other self-determined/chosen aspects of the time we spent on this Earth.

This is important because it's THE ONLY WAY we're able to be there for others!

Balance and living a life of caring for oneself FEELS SO GOOD!

That's all for now folks! 

Please tell me you imagined that in Porky Pig voice!

No? 

;) 

Now ya did! :)

I hope this has brought some positive thinking and inspiration to your day!

As always; it will be what YOU, and collectively WE; make it!

So, get off my my blog already and get out there to make it GOOD, would ya?!

;)

Thanks for stopping by!


*All the party favor pictures are my own (novice) photography and are of toys purchased on Amazon.com.

Monday, August 1, 2016

BUSINESS OWNER? REGULARLY TRAVEL FOR WORK? HELPFUL TOOL: MileIQ



As I've been working from home for 4 months now (as of August 2016) I'm always on the lookout for things which will help me operate my business with efficiency and ease. The app I'm about to tell you about helps me run my business AND my home better!

What is this new find of mine?

My most recent find is MileIQ (affiliate link which provides a 20% coupon for YOU and a small referral fee to me).

I simply MUST tell you about this app.

Why?

Because I absolutely love it.

Here's MileIQ on my Samsung Galaxy S7. Thanks, PicMonkey.com for the <3 overlays!
More on my undying love for this app, to come...

First, I would like to add as a side note that, just as I did above in parenthesis, when I am somehow "linked" to a particular product or service I will make this clear to you so that you can take into consideration my connection prior to following any links I might include in my posts. This is because I recognize the importance of being forthcoming and honest when posting affiliate links. You can see the rest of my affiliate link policies here.

For the sake of this post; please know I was not asked to write this blog post nor am I affiliated with MileIQ in any way, shape, or form. I am only a consumer of their services - their WONDERFUL services, I must say!

So, moving on because I TRULY enjoy using this app, have already experienced the benefits of using it and because I really want to share it with you so you reap the benefits too...

Trust me; you need to have this app in your life!

Here's the blurb I just posted to my Facebook page:

"I LOVE this app. I use it to track my mileage for work. It's so easy to use; once downloaded, it simply runs in the background on my phone (which comes EVERYWHERE with me already).

Shortly after arriving somewhere I get a SILENT notification (read: non-distracting and otherwise does not interfere with anything else I'm doing!) that "a drive log is complete."

Then, I swipe left or swipe right (easy enough!) to categorize my drive as being for personal or business reasons."

In my post, I went on to indicate what's so great about this app.

"I can add subcategories within those two general ones ("personal" or "business"). Wahlah, my mileage is logged!"

But, it doesn't stop helping there.

"I can send myself monthly or annual mileage log reports.

And, it AUTOMATICALLY calculates my miles, per category, based on taxable rates.

Seriously, it includes a break-down of current-year IRS reimbursement rates under the "Personalization" menu. "


See...
Screenshot from my phone showing the break-down of current-year IRS reimbursement rates.
So, along with knowing how many miles I've logged...

I get alerts telling me how much $$$ I can be reimbursed for in each category.

I've only used this since July (and I don't fall in-love easily so you KNOW this app is great just based on me raving about it so soon!) and it's already calculated that I am eligible for reimbursement for $54.87 over the course of 25 drives in July. In August I've already racked up $91.46 in reimbursable miles!

Here's what that looks like:
2016 Mileage Reimbursement I Racked Up in 2 Short Months
Me
(small business owner, independent contractor and overall freelancer) = LIKEY!

I KNOW this will simplify my job come tax season. I believe it will help you, too! So, check it out."

Remember my affiliate link (above) and my mention that it's a coupon for you...?

My link gets you 20% off an annual plan of MileIQ.

It's ALREADY at a low price: $59.99.

$59.99 minus 20% (again, remember to use the coupon!) is around $47.99.

I say "around" because I won't be responsible for the math or potential MileIQ price changes!

So.....Can I get you to think about that for a moment?

Not only will this beautiful little app save money but, also; time!

For me, this is time that I'd otherwise spend creating a mileage log, using said log to calculate my mileage, and calculating my reimbursement.

Month. A-f-t-e-r. Month. and Year. A-f-t-e-r. Year.

Also, back to money-talk for a split second; though I don't currently work with an accountant I was considering that, for this purpose alone (business expenses like mileage tracking and reporting), I would need to pay their fees.

I'm not entertaining that thought thought anymore because I know I can rely on MileIQ to act as mileage tracker reimbursement calculator for me (and for my small business that's the only reason I'd need an accountant).

MileIQ provides really simple to understand graphs and other visuals - if you're like me (a visual learner) I pretty much guarantee you'll love it just for this feature!

Can I have just one more moment of your time? Please..?

I want to make sure you understand..this app PAYS FOR ITSELF.

Come tax season this little app is undoubtedly going to be a huge relief!

Want to thank me for sharing this invaluable little tool?

You mustn't...really. I get my kicks (so to speak) JUST from spreading the word about helpful gadgets and apps like this one.

But, since we're on that topic..The BEST THANK YOU You could give me is to use my affiliate link when you sign up to use it yourself!

Here it is again: MileIQ

Still on the fence and undecided about using MileIQ..?

Honestly?! I WAS TOO!

I rarely, if ever, pay for something sight unseen.

I like to TRY before I buy! I know I'm not alone in this....right?!

Anyway; I initially tried this app because it logs the first 40 drives per month 100% free.

I did NOT have to enter payment information prior to using it.

Just my email address and a password were all that was required of me before I started logging my miles!

It was only after I saw the benefit (and had exceeded 40 drives but didn't want to start logging them manually because: tedious) of this tool that I paid for it!

So...what are you waiting for?! Give it a FREE whirl! :)

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Recovery Analogy: People in Recovery are Like Pieces of Sea Glass

Today I came across and thought I'd share, "My Recovery Analogy". I wrote this on July 23, 2008, two days before I graduated from Peer Employment Class. This is the class from which, at 19 years old, I graduated as a Certified Peer Specialist. Looking back I realize how far I have come since that point at which I had *just* started my own personal recovery journey.



MY RECOVERY ANALOGY

*edited and revised from the original version for grammar and punctuation only

In my recovery, I have learned to think of myself as a piece of sea glass.

For those of you who are not familiar with sea glass, I am referring to the bits & pieces of broken bottles and whatnot that end up in the ocean, tossed & tumbled, until finally washed up on the shore, edges smoothed and brilliantly shining.

All pieces of sea glass have the potential to be beautiful, yet some are passed over.

With patience, over time, the beauty of the glass will be discovered.

This is much like my peers and I in our recovery. At a pace that suits each one of us, individually; our strengths will be revealed and our challenges will be overcome.

Like sea glass, no two of my peers and I are identical and we each have our own story to tell that make us beautiful people.

As we start a new year - that is; 2017 - (wow, see how long ago I originally wrote this post?!) with our goals, our hopes, and our dreams; I can think of nothing better to share with you than this analogy. My hope is that this may serve as a reminder to you to recognize your own unique individuality.

So, tell me; what are your strengths? What parts of you make you uniquely you? What do you value most about yourself? Did you know that being able to state your own stengths - that is; MODELING your strengths - can be one of the most powerful ways to help another see THEIR strengths?!