Tag Archives: stress

Take That, Murphy!

Murphy’s Law: You drop a piece of toast, and the butter side falls face down, ruining the toast and creating a small mess to clean up. The document you spent the afternoon working on mysteriously saves to a location never to be found again by you or the IT team.  Everyone seems to have forgotten how to drive (seriously – how does this happen?). The definition of a minor annoyance that seems to us like if it can happen, it will. My December seemed to be full of Murphy and his Law, striking much more frequently, all while I’m trying to jam 15 more thing into the day (also why you noticed we went super stealth quiet here on the blog).

As the holiday season turned from busy to frantic and my breaking point was near, I had an experience that made me think about Murphy’s Law, or rather the opposite of Murphy’s Law – whatever that may called. I had a busy day of running errands, planned out as efficiently as I could. Somewhere in the middle was an appointment with my stylist. The line at the post office was shorter than expected (seriously a Christmas miracle), and a couple of other things went timed just right, and I arrived at my appointment about 20 minutes early. At first, I was a bit annoyed, because it wasn’t enough time to do anything else I needed to do, but I didn’t have anything else in that part of town that would take just 20 minutes.  I decided to go in and see if she was running behind, and maybe I could make another quick stop before the appointment.

I walked in and she was open; she had finished her previous client early.  That’s just not a thing. I slipped into the  chair, elated with my newfound time. I was struck by how lucky it was that she could take me right away. Sure, 20 minutes isn’t a huge deal and it would have been fine for me to wait. In fact, I could have probably used the 20 minutes to just sit and breathe for a minute, come to think of it. But at that point in my day, and that point in December, 20 minutes was EVERYTHING. I thought about how much we let the little, unlucky moments stick with us – it’s Murphy’s Law. We name it, and give it power. But what about the opposite? We don’t label the little, lucky moments or allow them to stick with us. We brush them off faster than they appear.  I’m not big into resolutions, but I am into sharing ideas and letting other creative people name things. What should we call these moments? Those times when the stars do align? Two or three things do break in our favor? We happen to hit all the lights just right? What happens when we start to name the fortune things that happen? What happens when we give those things power? Take that, Murphy! We’re naming these things and giving the good fortune the power…we’re just not quite sure what to call them just yet.

– Catherine Wemette

About Catherine

Catherine has been described as relentlessly positive. She doesn’t think it was necessarily meant as a compliment, but dammit, she is going to take it as one, if for no other reason that she’s pretty sure it would irritate the person who said it. Catherine is the founder of Good for Her Soul and you can reach her here.

The Power of Quiet

So it turns out we at Good for Her Soul are a little European. At least that’s the story we’re going with since we kind of disappeared in August, thinking a European August shutdown sounds better than “wow, shit got crazy.” Because of course we’re all busy. But seriously, 2017 has been a lot, and the summer was impressively epic in the amount of shit coming at me. So epic, that our August shutdown has also taken up the majority of September. We’re clearly overachievers. No big deal.

So I’m sorry to have left you for so long – it was never my intention. And while it’s been quiet on the blog, I’ve had to work really hard to carve out the quiet in other places in my life. And in doing so – sometimes really poorly, it turns out – I’ve learned a lot about myself over the past few months. Some were new lessons and some are lessons I think I’ll continue to relearn for as long as I’m on this planet. Like trust my gut. Even when things sound like they should be restorative or in the past it’s been a good idea, if you don’t feel like it at the time, for the love of everything, DON’T DO IT. Sure, there are things we need to do to ensure we have shelter, food and safety. Do those things. But the rest? Fuck it. If you don’t want to, you don’t have to. You truly don’t. And the people who love you and are important to you? They will always be there for you and will understand when you need to bow out to take care of yourself.

I need more time to myself than I used to. This is a hard realization for my extroverted self. When I’m stressed, it is often helpful for me to be around others and refuel off their energy. And that really does help most of the time. But when I get to the point when I feel like I’m holding it all together with scotch tape and a piece of used chewing gum, I need to lean into that feeling and just shut down. Totally and completely shut down and retreat to the solitude of my house. Ignore calls and texts. Sleep. Cry. Make sure the inside of my shower is dry for a couple days in a row. Take a mental health day. Binge watch Parks and Recreation because it’s the television equivalent of a security blanket. Cry again. It’s my own version of an exorcism, I suppose – get all the shit out of my system at once.

It doesn’t happen often, but this sort of overwhelming stress seems to hit me every few years, depending on what’s going on. And I continually try to power through – work out more, see friends more, get more sleep, focus on work, take on new projects, get back into a therapy routine – all the things that often work, but also fill up my calendar and make it hard to find any unscheduled time. But when I find myself taking out the tape and desperately looking around for chewing gum, I hope I’ll remember next time to cut myself some slack, head it off at the pass and prioritize the quiet for myself. Everything I truly care about will be there when I feel stronger and ready to rejoin the world. So thanks for welcoming me back, world. It’s good to be here.

Catherine is grateful for the ability to disappear into her music collection and reconnect with some oldies but goodies. She’s currently reliving her youth through Janet Jackson’s 1993 album, Janet. Man, that album holds up. She is the founder of Good for Her Soul and you can reach her here.

Opening Up

Confession number two of the month – sometimes I forget that people actually read our blog. Now, clearly I mean for it to be read and I love that you all check us out – thank you! But once I hit publish on a piece, it’s on to the next thing for me. I’ve freed up the brain space regarding that particular topic and I forget that only after I’m done with it do other people begin. Earlier this month, I shared that June had been a rough month for me. And while the whole point of the post was to say how much I love my village and how grateful I am for my friends and family around me, I hadn’t anticipated a whole second wave.  I shouldn’t have been at all surprised – you all are amazing.

As usual, once I posted the blog, I moved on. But then the texts and emails started coming in. “I saw your blog post and remembered that I have been meaning to reach out…” “I was thinking about you and then I saw your post…” And many more like those. My village was growing and an amazing thing happened as I started to share more – my village was sharing back with me. And not at all in the misery loves company way – in the thank god we can talk about it kind of way. I’m always amazed at how many similar experiences we share, but don’t know about. Struggles at work. Navigating relationships. Dealing with change. Feelings of insecurity. Not knowing what the hell we’re doing.

Once again, I’m reminded of the power of opening up. When it can seem the hardest to reach out for help or acknowledge that things aren’t going as we’d hoped, simply saying it out loud makes it okay for others to do the same. And wow – is there strength in knowing we’re not alone. So here’s to the power that comes from saying it out loud. Thank you for allowing me to share that my life is messy, complicated and hard sometimes. I hope we can all find the courage to acknowledge that and share with each other. It really helps lighten the load and remind us of the bright, beautiful and lovely parts of our lives.

– Catherine Wemette

About Catherine 

Catherine can’t decide if she’s a dog or cat person and she’s pretty sure she’s not allowed to be both. She is the founder of Good for Her Soul and you can reach her here.

The Power of a Village

Friends. I’m not going to lie to you – June was a shit month. I won’t bore you with all the gory and uninteresting details, but let’s just go with the fact that it was a shit month (and part of the reason things were so quiet here on the blog). Just when I was getting ready to kick June out and send it packing, my wallet was stolen. From a place where it should have been totally safe. And while having your wallet stolen is a pain to be sure, it’s not the end of the world. I was highly aware of my privilege – the cash that was in there wasn’t that a big deal to me. My cards can all be replaced. I can afford to buy another nice new wallet. The amount of money they got from my credit and debit cards will be replaced by my credit union and the several days it took to make that happen didn’t mean financial hardship for me. I didn’t worry about what might happen if I was stopped with my sad paper temporary driving license. I wasn’t scared to call the police and no one questioned my story or my behavior. It’s important to me to recognize and acknowledge those things.

That all said, I totally and completely lost it when I realized what happened. I mean, flat out LOST IT. I just couldn’t handle one more thing. I’ve been feeling physically exhausted and emotionally spent, and I just didn’t have it in me to deal with this, practically or emotionally. There was a lot that needed to happen quickly on the logistical front and I didn’t feel like I could focus enough to do what I needed to do. Fortunately, there are a handful of people who know what a shit month June has been and fully understand what I’ve been going through. And these people circled the wagons faster than anything I’ve ever seen. I know the saying is that it takes a village to raise a child, but I believe it’s bigger than that – I think it takes a village to handle life, regardless of your age and stage.

Last week I saw the power of my village in full force. A friend came and talked me through what I needed to do first and sat with me while I made the calls. She also provided huge hugs and encouraged me not to hold anything back and just let it all out. My husband rearranged plans, stayed home that night and provided foot rubs to go along with the emotional support. I got two sarcastically perfect cards from people letting me know they were thinking about me. A friend who’s been in close touch over the past month was even more in touch over text, checking in to see how I was doing and distracting me with funny tales of fatherhood. And another friend drank with me on Friday night to close out the horrific week and didn’t care that I got a little sloppy (let’s just be honest – that was clearly going to happen).

I value my friendships and prioritize them in my life, so I understand that these people are there for me in some of the same ways that I am here for them. But experiencing so much of their love and support all at once was almost overwhelming. Not in a bad way, just in a way you don’t normally experience (thankfully – because all this love usually only comes all at once when shit goes down and who can handle that on a regular basis?). It’s a reminder to me that as busy as life can be, nurturing these relationships is of the utmost importance to me and I’m so grateful to have them people in my life. As one person responded when I thanked her for everything she’d done, she said “You never have to thank me. You are my friend and that is what friends are for.” I’m so grateful for my village and quite frankly don’t know where I’d be without them. And while June was shit, I wrapped up the month filled with love and gratitude and that’s pretty amazing.

– Catherine Wemette

About Catherine 

As a child of the 1980’s, Catherine can name all the Care Bears and Care Bear Cousins and can’t wait to find out how this will be a valuable life skill. She is the founder of Good for Her Soul and you can reach her here.


Someone on my Facebook feed recently linked to a Psychology Junkie blog on How Each Myers-Briggs Type Reacts to Stress (and How to Help!). I always find these things fascinating and take them with a grain of salt at the same time. Whenever we generalize based on one thing – geographic location, generation, Myers-Briggs-type – we can set ourselves up to miss important pieces of information and make faulty assumptions. That said, I think we can always learn something or find a different way to think about a behavior.

I tend to bounce between ENFP and ENTJ. I was a solid ENFP in my younger years and while many of those same traits are still prevalent, as I get older, I’ve come out as an ENTJ in more recent assessments. However, as I read the stressors and of an ENTJ, many of those resonated with me, though the second to last line stopped me in my tracks.

“They may feel overwhelmed, out of control, unable to sort out priorities, and thus become inflexible.”

I find planning and routine comforting in times of stress, but I’d never thought about it quite in this way. I can find it hard to go with the flow if I’m feeling particularly stressed and I do get irritated when things change, especially last minute. It’s not that I can’t adjust – it’s just that my brain was prepared for one thing and now that’s not happening and it feels like my rusty gears have trouble shifting as quickly as I’d like.That said, I’d seen my need for control and order during times of stress as a positive – a way to buckle down and get things done, but it hadn’t ever occurred to me that it could (and I’m certain does!) come across as being inflexible.

It never hurts to become a little more acquainted with ourselves and learn more about how our actions might be seen by others. I’ll be over here working on my flexibility if anyone needs me…

Catherine’s go-to drink when she’s sick is warm orange juice and she has yet to find anyone who doesn’t think that’s totally disgusting. She is the founder of Good for Her Soul and you can reach her here.