I'll Be Witty Tomorrow, Vol. 4 🤓

eyeglasses, stress, and being well

I own 3 pairs of eyeglasses.

Prescription eyeglasses for seeing far away.

Prescription eyeglasses for reading.

And prescription sunglasses.

Yes, I know they make eyeglasses that do all three of those but I’m just not ready to take that plunge.

Yes, they make contacts now that are like bifocals, for those lucky enough like me to be nearsighted and farsighted. I tried them for a week and felt dizzy the whole time!

I’m pretty sure bifocal eyeglasses will make me feel that way too, plus, as I said, I’m just not ready for that. Yet.

For now, I’ll be the lady juggling three pairs of eyeglasses so I can see all the things in all kinds of conditions.

Can anyone else relate?

I’m learning how to be well

I learned something last month that I never realized before: I unconsciously take on the stress of my environment.

Whether it’s a conversation with a friend or if I’m watching a movie or tv show. Or the day before I’m supposed to travel on an airplane.

I feel it in my body, sometimes for hours after. 

I’m the opposite of a chameleon. They adapt to stressful situations by changing their color to protect themselves.

What’s the opposite of a chameleon? It’s similar to this I think:

It takes me a while to settle down even under the smallest amount of stress. 

I’m not sure when this started for me.

But I recently traveled to Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota for some tests and after spending some time with my doctor there, I finally have a name for it:

Central Sensitization Syndrome (CSS).

He explained it to me that it’s like when a bullfighter enters a bullfighting ring. The bull starts to charge and the bullfighter has a decision to make, fight or flight. The adrenaline kicks in, the bullfighter performs his task (or escapes) and essentially once the bullfighter is safe, the adrenaline starts to lower when you know you are safe.

For someone with CSS, your system doesn’t calm down immediately once your safe. It takes a while, and sometimes it manifests itself in pain. (This infographic helps explain the cycle).

I’m still learning all about this, but now that I know what it is—now that it has a name, I am learning how to cope. (Also, I will be going back to Mayo at the end of April to learn more).

The good news is that stress is not the problem. The problem is that the strategies that deal with stressors have almost no relationship to the strategies that deal with the physiological reactions our bodies have to those stressors. To be “well” is not to live in a state of perpetual safety and calm, but to move fluidly from a state of adversity, risk, adventure, or excitement, back to safety and calm, and out again. Stress is not bad for you; being stuck is bad for you. Wellness happens when your body is a place of safety for you, even when your body is not necessarily in a safe place. You can be well, even during the times when you don’t feel good.

Burnout, by Emily Nagoski & Amelia Nagoski

I am learning how to be well, even when I don’t feel good.


There are some examples in a book I’m currently reading quoted above, Burnout. I’m not going to list them here because it’s a great book! Grab a copy and dig in.

Here are a few things that I am doing:

  • Walk - To be honest, there are some days where moving my body is the last thing I feel like doing either from pain or fatigue but Greg and I have started walking every day. Sometimes it’s just around the block, but if the temperature is between 20 to 85 degrees, we’ll walk.

  • Eat whole foods - I’ve been on a modified AIP for over a year now. I’m slowly introducing foods back into my belly. Some have had favorable results, other’s not so much.

  • Get lost in a good story - Sometimes it’s a book. Sometimes it’s a series binge on Netflix or Prime. Click here for a list of what I’ve been reading and watching.

  • Stop googling my symptoms - trust my health team. It is good to be an advocate for your care, but it isn’t helpful to rely on the internet for my health concerns.

  • Pay attention to how I hold stress in my body - I tend to clench my teeth and tense up my shoulders, it’s involuntary at times. When I notice that I’m doing it, I take a breath, relax, and do a few stretches.

  • Laugh - I’ve said this before, but I tend to take myself too seriously. I get lost in my head, which almost always leads to anxious thoughts, which leads to stress…To break that cycle I watch funny videos, send silly memes to my kids, watch a rerun of Frasier and laugh at Niles, laugh out loud at the antics of The Durrells in Corfu, etc.

  • Keep a list of 2020 Yays - I have a page in my bullet journal where I’m writing down they Yays in our family, slices of gratitude that I want to remember as we go through the year.

What about you? I’d love to hear how you’re learning how to be well.

I realize this newsletter is a little different than the ones I’ve sent out before. I just wanted to share with you what’s been going on and hope to encourage you as well.

We all have things we’re going through. The stress of life surrounds us all and we’re all learning how to be well and cheer for each other.

p.s. there are a few affiliate links in this post, you can find them listed here.

Are you a hope*writer?

join for a week for $1!

My friends at hope*writers closed to new members Friday night.

However, for those who just weren’t sure, who wonder if they’re a writer, who wonder if a writing membership is worth it . . .

They’re offering a one-day, one-dollar, one-week trial.

You can join hope*writers for a week for $1 and see if it’s for you.

If you stay beyond a week you’ll automatically continue as a member at the regular price.

This will give you full access to the entire writer's library, to this week's Tuesday Teaching and to the private member community.

If you don’t want to stay just cancel before 7 days.

It’s a great way to take a step forward in your writing.

Click HERE to learn more and join today.

P.S - this $1 trial is only available until midnight PST tonight! Then hope*writers closes for membership. They only open their doors a few times a year.

I'll Be Witty Tomorrow, Vol. 3

What do you hope for in 2020?

How’s everyone doing?

We’re sixteen days into the final January of this decade. (p.s. How many of you got reprimanded by the fact that this isn’t a new decade?)

Regardless of the math, I’m claiming 2020 to be a year of HOPE.

Greg and I choose a word for the year and then form our goals around that word. We aren’t hard-pressed to that word all year because sometimes it changes as we go through the year.

This year we wrote down our goals with HOPE in mind. Honestly, whenever we write goals, there’s always HOPE in the back of our minds. But this year, we’re being intentional about looking for HOPE.

We all need to do that don’t we?

Hope for healing. Hope for answers. Hope for our children to walk closer to God. Hope for reconciliation. Hope for peace. Hope for the pain to ease. Hope for the work I do to be used by God. Hope for clarity. Hope for peace. Hope for celebration. Hope for _______.

What do you HOPE for in 2020?

Sacred Space by The Irish Jesuits

I have been on the lookout for a devotional for 2020 and earlier this week, Tsh mentioned this book on Twitter. I am glad to make this a part of my daily routine.

And how fitting that the first entry I read for the week of January 12-18 was this quote:

Life is often a desert; it is difficult to walk in life, but if we trust in God it can become beautiful and wide as a highway. Never lose hope, continue to believe, always, in spite of everything. When we are before a child, although we have many problems and many difficulties, a smile comes to us from within, because we see hope in front of us: a child is hope. And in this way, we must be able to discern in life the way of hope which leads us to find God, God who became a child for us. He will make us smile; he will give us everything.

– Pope Francis, On Hope

Look for hope. 🤓

I Wander as I Wander by Future of Forestry

I know it’s a song from a Christmas album, but after my friend Tara told me about this song and the beauty of the music, it takes my breath away every time I listen.

Listen for hope. 🎻

Jennifer Garner on a roller coaster! This wins. Also, this is me on a roller coaster.

News anchors gag on-air over co-worker’s horrible holiday artichoke dip!

Laugh with hope. 😂

Native Bar Soap, the coconut + vanilla scent.

Smell like hope. 🤣 (but seriously, this is important–do you live with teenagers??)

What’s on your list for Read, Laugh, Listen + Can’t Live Without this month? Let me know in the comments and I’ll add it to next month’s newsletter.

p.s. there are a few affiliate links in this post, you can find them listed here.

What I Learned in 2019

Keep writing the words.

You know what’s funny? I spent most of 2019 thinking it was already 2020!

I think it’s my aversion to odd numbers and odd years. I’m a weirdo, I know.

Every year is full of joy, sorrow, grace, forgiveness, difficulties, accomplishments, new friendships and some that you let go, laughter and tears, books you loved and some you couldn’t finish. 2019 had its fair share of all of those, didn’t it?

As we end the odd year of 2019, I spent some time reading through my journal and Instagram captions to pick out a few nuggets that I wanted to remember from this year.

  • Beauty can be found even when the scenery is gray, cold, and harsh.

  • Everyone needs a friend that’s not afraid of the rough beginning and messy middle, and who sticks around for the beautiful ending.

  • What’s more important? To be healed or taught and transformed?

  • Hope for healing and if not that, hope for whatever I can learn along the way.

  • Help your kids chase their dreams and keep supporting them when those dreams change. They will change like the seasons, embrace each one.

  • Learn to persevere in the ordinary.

  • God is good, all the time. Healing takes time.

  • The true test of perseverance comes in the midst of each season and I need the visual reminders of those seasons. It’s how God makes himself real to me.

  • The ability to get along well with others and considering them more important is rooted in kindness and servanthood. Sow it into the DNA of your family. Imagine the benefits that will reap into the next generation.

  • When you persevere through pain and surround yourself with people that love you unconditionally, healing will come.

  • Any type of pain is unwanted but it can be a powerful healer if we allow it. The perseverance that it takes to endure pain yields beauty in our character and exudes hope for tomorrow.

  • God can turn any situation into a new beginning. It may require humility, grace, forgiveness, a steady hand of endurance—or a combination of all the above. The end result? Hope.

For so many writers when the are going through hard seasons, the first things to go are what we’ve convined ourselves are a luxury. But if we let those things go, that often becomes what keeps us stuck.

If we want to get unstuck, the answer is not to let go of the things that make us feel most like ourselves but is to embrace them and move towards them in a way that might be really messy and might just be writing for ourselves only, one line a day.

We’re not saying you have to publish everything you write, but we are saying you have to keep writing the words.” Emily P. Freeman, hope*writers co-founder

Happy New Year, friends!

Let’s bring in 2020 with the thoughtfulness of some of the things we learned in 2019 and keep writing the words!

Disturbing Your Peace

Not your typical Christmas greeting

There are so many things that can disturb your peace.

Loud music. Flashing lights. An argument. An illness. Cousin Eddie showing up unannounced.

Our peace was disrupted when I woke up last Friday and couldn't really get out of bed because of extreme exhaustion. We had plans this week to travel and to spend some time with family in North Carolina. 

We made the decision to stay home.

Plan B became Plan A. My friend Karrie told me that growing up, her mom always told her that life is all about how you handle Plan B.

Is it always a bad thing when your peace is disrupted?

The answer is no.

It’s an opportunity to grow. To change.

The path of peace for us is to hand ourselves over to God and ask Him to search us, not what we think we are, or what other people think we are, or what we persuade ourselves we are or would like to be, but, ‘Search me out, O God, explore me as I really am in Thy sight.’ Oswald Chambers

The peace that passes all understanding comes from Jesus, not from the absence of those things that disturb our peace, but in the midst of them.

True peace is a journey that will be disturbed time and again as we allow Jesus to uncover the areas in our life of misplaced peace.

What’s disturbing your peace this Christmas? Take a closer took and see it as an opportunity to grow.

Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way. The Lord be with all of you. 2 Thessalonians 3:16

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