40 Things I've Learned -- Advice from a Chronic Pain Warrior

One of life's milestones has knocked on the door and I have opened it willingly. I turned 40 last week and while some regard 40 with a sense of dread, I'm excited.

I don't toot my own horn often but I look damn good.

I don't look 40.

I would like to thank my mom for telling me how to use moisturizer (specifically Roc), and Botox. If you want to look like this then I say start moisturizing heavily in your 20s, morning and night, wear sunscreen religiously and start with small Botox sessions maybe once a year in your 30s.

I am grateful that I don't look 40.

I started this list when I turned 30 on Facebook. I like to add to it every few years or so...with the brilliant information I have been forced to learn, usually the hard way...LMAO.

The last time I updated this I was 36. That means I haven't updated this list since I learned I herniated my L4/L5 the summer of 2015.

I hadn't my life-altering medical procedures of lumbar myelogram or back surgeries, plural.

My life was, hindsight is 20/20, less complicated and less painful (physically, emotionally, spiritually) than it is now. Oh how much I've grown and realized my trivial issues in the past are child's play with what I have to deal with now, physically and emotionally. HA! Let's just say No. 16 is so beyond true.

40 Things I've Learned -- Advice from a Chronic Pain Warrior

1. Moisturize
2. Mom's always right
3. When you're in your 30s don't dress like you did in your 20s
4. Go to college, it's waaay better than high school.
5. Learn something new every day, every week, every month, every year
6. Laughing is better than crying, but sometimes you do need to cry
7. Make mistakes, but learn something from them
8. Don't be passive aggressive with your friends
9. See the red flags and actually heed them
10. Use your power for good, not for evil
11. 100%, 100% with your significant other and...
12. Never be too tired for your significant other
13. Protect your brain: don't do drugs
14. Go outside, get some nature
15. Failing lets you appreciate your success
16. Life is hard; kick you in the teeth hard.
17. Say you can do it, believe it in your body and soul, and you can
18. Sleep
19. Me time
20. Call your family or "family"
21. Get a hobby, your kids don't count.
22. Thank God, literally, that it didn't work out
23. When there's nothing left have faith
24. Everyone has problems, be understanding
25. Get to know your parents as an adult, as a peer
26. Don't put yourself in a situation (if you can avoid it).
27. Don't let it fester but don't beat a dead horse
28. Dry your wet head in the winter
29. Fight for the one, no regrets
30. Go to the doctor
31. Watch what you put online
32. Wash your face before bed
33. Say I love you to the people you do love as often as possible. You never know when could be your last.
34. Get back on the horse. Who cares if you fell?
35. Be okay with letting go of the negative people in your life. Frienemies aren't worth your time and frustration--no matter if you have known them forever or not.
36. It is good to be hopeful and expectant but ALWAYS have a backup plan.

My new pearls of wisdom...

37. God is not a superhero who is going to fix your problems but He will mourn with you.
38. Iyengar Yoga is one of the most powerful, beneficial, and transforming things you can do for your body.
39. Get a dog.
40. Don't throw in the towel on your life until you've exhausted every single possible option.

2020 Bullet Journal

The long, or not so long-awaited 2020 Bullet Journal Layout!


To tell the truth, I'm not nearly where I'd usually like to be in my bullet journal...having the entire front section done along with the first month. However, I've got January done and most of the important things laid out.

So boom!


I got a beautiful bright orange bujo this year as a nod to my awesome new job VIPKid. I'm going with a grayscale theme inside to complement the outside. I'm also getting back to my early roots using some Zentangles and Tangram sketches.
I'm loving it so far because I can just pick it up and Zentangle when the moment strikes or when I'm waiting at the DMV...which I might be doing right now. Good times!

I'm also not going to track every damn little thing this year. I need to focus on what's important and as it turns out not everything is as important as I think. Just the basics:

Where is my pain at?
How do I feel?
What am I grateful for?
What do I need to do today? this week?
and...when the hell is my period going to start?

There you have it. I'll migrate the rest over when I get the chance but its low priority. Now back to today's To-Do List!


Word of the Year 2020 - Renaissance

Hope. Love. Happiness. Peace.

These are the type of things I want to feel in 2020.

Dear Reader, you are probably wondering why I didn't pick these words to be my Word of the Year. Well, it's simple really.

To achieve the above buzz words of emotional goals, I first have to rebuild...recreate...rebirth myself, my habits, and my idea of daily life.

So it's a rebirth, or a renaissance because I'm bourgeoisie.

Word of the Year 2020 - Renaissance

My inspiration for my word of the year came from one of #leohusband and my favorite YouTube Channels, Extra Credits

They had this video out a couple of months ago called A Rebuilding Year. It gave me hope that I could turn my burnout around and take a year to basically FIFO (Figure It the F&#$ Out).

I had so many astonishing but life-altering things happen in such a short time. I got a new diagnosis, a new job, a puppy, and switched from the yoga studio to a gym membership.

My schedule now has an additional day of physical therapy, my mornings start unbelievably early for my job, my puppy is basically a baby that needs to learn everything, and if I'm spending the money, I better get my happy ass to the gym. LOL!

I need to figure out how all this applies to my life and what that looks like now. If you would like to hear more about Word of the Year, check out my awesome podcast with Rebekah Svensson, Chronic Warrior Women.

In fact, Dear Reader, if you are wondering how I am able to make a blog post with all of this and a puppy...I'm at Starbucks and the puppy is taking his post-breakfast nap in his house. Then I'm going to do my normal Friday grocery store run. My Starbucks is right next to two of my favorite grocery stores. Boom. Two birds. One Stone.

If I have extra time, I'm going to get a little reading time in for my peace of mind and my soul. I hate to admit it but I started Daring Greatly by Brene Brown in November and I still haven't finished it. I may even get a little bullet journaling in.

Speaking of bullet journaling, I'm doing something different this year but you will have to wait until next Friday to see.

Which brings me to this Dear Reader, I'd love to post every day, but let's be honest...that ain't gonna happen. LOL! So I'm shooting for Friday's.

Wish me luck this year in my Renaissance while I FIFO! WooHoo!!!