117. Beyond The Grind Life with Tess Wittler

Many people believe they have a dream lifestyle – the perfect house, the perfect job or business, the perfect family and social cycle, just everything perfect.

Some create checklists or vision boards so they can visualize it and align their thoughts and actions toward having it for themselves.

But what if you think you’ve achieved it, but it turns out you’ve veered way off course?

Tess Wittler was raised in central Pennsylvania as part of a tight-knit family. Growing up, it was annoying to visit grandparents, uncles and aunts, cousins who were much younger than she was – it made her eyes roll. As an adult, she came to appreciate family as she created a life with her husband.

Then, a cascade of events happened. Both her parents, her mother-in-law, and both grandparents died within a span of just 30 months. This was right around the time COVID happened, and also right around the time Tess and her husband, Jason, bought what they believed was their dream house in Richmond, VA to be close to Jason’s job. They bought a boat and looked forward to hiking.

Then they noticed they weren’t hiking, they weren’t fishing, and they weren’t boating – even though this was supposed to be their dream lifestyle.

Up until this point, everything seemed fine – but Fine is a 4-Letter Word.

In January 2022, Jason lost his job. Between that, and so many of Tess’ family having passed away, they began to question their choices.

It occurred to them that perhaps they had not created their dream lifestyle after all – but then what was the next step?

In a moment, when you meet Tess, you’ll discover the journey she and her husband embarked upon that has taken them to somewhere they hadn’t considered before – Washington State, where Jason was born and raised but had left after high school.

There were so many questions. Would they find a house they liked? How would Tess get along with her husband’s family, who she had not really had a chance to get to know except through occasional visits? Would they find the hobbies and the social circle they were looking for?

They were so focused on asking “what if it doesn’t work?” that they didn’t think to ask an even more powerful question.

Tess’ hype song is “The Pretender” by Foo Fighters.

Resources:

Invitation From Lori:

Like Tess, you may think everything is “fine” and have no reason to ask questions or continue a path of self-discovery. Just follow the course and you’ll reach the destination.

But is that because you’re certain you’re on the right path, or afraid that if you take a step back and look from a distance, you might find out you’re not?

In which case you might be left questioning whether you can ever manage to find your right path, overcome the feelings of overwhelm, and the impossible to live up to expectations.

The first step is to go to https://zenrabbit.com right now and download the 5 Easy Ways to Start Living The Sabbatical Life guide.

Once you read it, you’ll understand how the beliefs you’ve been programmed with since birth are holding you back and keeping you stuck. It’s only 7 pages, so it won’t take you long to get through. And the five tactics are pretty simple, but once you follow even ONE of them, you’re in for a profound change.

When you’re ready to say F*ck Being Fine, then this guide is the place to start. It’s time to blaze a new trail and chart a new course!

Transcript

Lori: Hello and welcome to FINE is a 4-Letter Word. My guest today is someone I’ve known for a very long time, and then we kind of lost connection, and then we’ve reconnected. Tess Wittler, welcome to the show.

Tess: Hey, Lori. So good to be here.

Lori: Yeah. We originally connected because we were both in a mastermind with Jim Palmer, right?

Tess: That is correct.

Lori: Jim Palmer, the newsletter guru, not Jim Palmer, the baseball player.

Tess: Correct. Yeah, he was really instrumental in connecting us. Gosh, what, probably 12 years ago, at least a decade ago.

Lori: At least, yeah.

Tess: It was good.

Lori: So much has happened in both of our lives since then, obviously. I mean, as you would expect. Because if you’re not growing, you’re dying. And both of us have been doing a lot of growing in that time. We’re going to get into that. So, let’s start off with the question of what were the values and beliefs that you were raised with that contributed to you becoming who you’ve become?

Tess: This is such an interesting question. I was raised very traditionally. My dad worked; my mom stayed at home with the kids, and was a house maker. I grew up in central Pennsylvania. But my parents didn’t really have a lot. But what we did have, we made the most of, both my parents, actually, were very into family and connections and staying. We had these crazy Sunday afternoon visits where we’d have to go visit some family member. And as a teenager, that was the thing I absolutely despise the most.

Lori: I can imagine.

Tess: I thought, “Are you kidding me, Dad? We have to go visit aunt and uncle whomever.” It wasn’t just his siblings or my grandparents. It was the great aunt and uncle that we hadn’t seen or a cousin, a second cousin. He was really big into that. My mom was, too. My mom was from New Hampshire, my dad was from Pennsylvania, they met when he was in the service. So, of course, when we were in New Hampshire, we did the same thing. But most of my upbringing was in Pennsylvania. I think that that really instilled an awful lot of importance of connection and community. Of course, as a teenager, I certainly did not appreciate it, especially as being the oldest cousin. I didn’t want to deal with my toddler cousins when I was a teenager.

But as I got older … We lived in Pennsylvania for quite a while, probably, I would say, until my early 40s. So we would still go back home to my grandmother’s. My grandmother always had Thanksgiving. And all the cousins would come together, and our spouses were there, and then their kids were there. So it became an incredibly important part of who I am, that connection.

Yes, absolutely family connection. But I think it’s deeper than that. I think it was just that sense of home, that sense of belonging, a sense of community, it was really instilled in me. And my husband, I know we’re not talking about him, but my husband had the same upbringing here in Washington. So when we were living in Pennsylvania, that was equally important to him to make sure that we got together with my dad for brunch, or got to see my grandparents, those types of things.

Lori: I would imagine that that’s an important piece of your relationship, is that you have that same value of family is important.

Tess: Absolutely, absolutely. That whole piece of connection and community and being a part of that bigger family unit, that was something that all of us, all of us cousins, we probably all didn’t care for it as a teen or even a young adult. But when my grandmother passed away and it was taken away, we all have commented about how much we missed that, and missed that piece of always going to Grandma’s for a gathering or always spending Thanksgiving there. That was such a big part, I think, of who we are.

Lori: So no one else in the family took over that responsibility?

Tess: No. This is kind of where I’ll tell you a little bit of the background of what transpired in a short period of time in my life. I lost my dad. We lost three parents in 30 months. I lost my dad, then I lost my mom, and then we lost Jason’s mom in 30 months. And then in between that, we lost both grandmothers. So I lost my mom and my grandmother the same week. I’m on the phone with my mom’s hospital trying to figure out what’s going on with her because she was in New Hampshire, and my cousins are trying to call me from Pennsylvania because my grandmother had passed. So it was just a really dark time in our lives.

To answer your question, no, the family unit is different now. I’m not saying it’s different for all the cousins, but it’s definitely different for me and my brother. And we were living in Virginia at the time, so it was still a six- or seven-hour drive to go “home” for the holidays. I would certainly be welcome. I have seen in invitations with my aunts and my uncles, absolutely. But it’s just different when you lose … My dad and my grandmother were such an instrumental part of my life, of our lives, that it’s different when you lose them back to back.

Lori: Right. In any circumstance, when a parent passes or a grandparent or family members that you’ve been close to, and you have to readjust or adjust in the first place like, “What is my life now?” and even questioning like, “Who am I now?” Because your identity is tied to them, and when they’re not still here in physical form, now what?

Tess: Right. And no one can prepare you for that loss, right?

Lori: No, not at all.

Tess: You look back and you’re like, “Oh, well.” You had friends, really close friends, or even a cousin or someone who has lost one of their parents. I was really close to a couple, to my uncle and my aunt, super close to them. But they were still my uncle and my aunt. So no one can prepare you for that. So it really does, it makes you kind of sit back. I’m sure I’m not the only person who’s ever dealt with losses back to back to back. But it felt like one gut punch after another after another. And then when we lost Jason’s mom, I was just like, “You got to be shitting me?” Like, really?

Lori: “How much do you think, Universe, God, whatever, can I handle?”

Tess: No disrespect to our grandmothers, but they had lived really full and long lives. And they were to the point where they couldn’t really enjoy life. So you expect that. You don’t expect that when all three of the folks were unexpected. I don’t want to dwell on it too much, but it was just no can prepare you for that until you’ve gone through that. And everyone tells you that, and you’ll hear that. You’ll hear this on this podcast if you’ve not gone through that. But it is. It’s a very different look at your life after you’re faced with mortality. Like you’re faced with, “I’m going to die someday. What does that look like? And how do I want to live the rest of my life?” So that was one of the big questions that we faced losing our folks.

Lori: What years was that? Or what was the last year that the last one was? How long ago?

Tess: Sure. We lost Jason’s mom, July 2020.

Lori: Okay. So only three years?

Tess: Yeah.

Lori: Then, as you mentioned it and as I’ve mentioned many times on the show from my perspective of after my mom passed away, “Do I want to live the next 20 years the same way I lived the last 20?” And you just brought up that same question like, “Now what? Where do I go from here? What do I want to change?” So what is it? What did you go through? What was your thought process? Or what was the process—I don’t even know what the word I’m looking for is—but what did you go through to reevaluate? What did that look like for you?

Tess: Sure. It was during COVID. Of course, we were locked down.

Lori: You have an extra layer of complexity to it.

Tess: Right. And at the time, a life had taken us to Richmond, Virginia. We were there for Jason’s job. He was in the horse racing industry, the business side of horse racing. So we were there for that, and we’re still six or seven hours away from Pennsylvania. I think after we came up for air from all of that grief, then we were able to actually do things because COVID allowed us, the pandemic slowly allowed us to do a few things, I think we really just looked at it as we’re going to enjoy life to the absolute fullest.

The other big thing for us is we know that we only have one body, and so we want to take care of it as best as we can. So we’re super vigilant at strength training and working out and keeping care of our body, eating healthy, being outside as much as possible. All those things have always been important to us. But after watching our parents be sick and then passed, that became even more of an important factor of our lives.

So shortly after we came up from air from grieving, we adopted a dog, we got our dog, and we finally decided to pull the trigger on buying a boat and go fishing, and we went hiking more. So we started doing the things that we hadn’t been doing for whatever reason, trying to be outside and trying to just enjoy life a little bit more. I’m big into hobby photography and artsy-fartsy pictures, so as my family calls them. So I get that from my dad. My dad, he taught me everything I know about photography. My brothers are really good photographer, too. I can’t compete with their level, but I can certainly try my little artsy-fartsy stuff. We have our own gifts. It’s not a competition.

Lori: Since you’re mentioning that, I just want to jump in and ask if you have a place, like is there a website? Do you have an Etsy site? Do just do them for yourself?

Tess: I just do them for myself and share them on social media. Eventually, we’ll get into it. But I have a second website, beyondthegrindlife.com, where we’re trying to share more of these types of adventures. It’s not a travel blog. It’s more of trying to live beyond the grind life and what does that look like. For us, it looks like taking advantage of the outdoors and doing the things that we love.

Lori: Cool. Back to your story. I didn’t want to—

Tess: Yeah, that’s fine.

Lori: It’s easy to fall into complacency where you’re just like, “Oh, I’ll do that next weekend,” or “We can do that next month or next year. We don’t have to do that this holiday, we could do it next holiday.” And then it becomes, “Well, how long?” Who knows if they’ll be a next?

Tess: One of the things that—fast forwarding a little bit. I haven’t asked the question, but I will tell you exactly when did things stop being so fine. We went along, and we did this. And then January 2022, Jason was laid off. We were expecting it, but we weren’t expecting it as early as it happened. We like the outdoors. We like to go fishing and hiking and do that all this other stuff, but we weren’t really doing it. I mean, we made this initial push. Then we weren’t really doing it. We were in Virginia simply for that job.

So after the crap storm settled a little bit, and we kind of were able to digest, okay, this happened, we weren’t really sad about it, to be honest with you. He always tells the stories, like the next day he felt like the sense of relief. Like, “I didn’t have to deal with what I was dealing with.”

Lori: The Universe served up what he wasn’t able to do himself.

Tess: Yeah, yeah. So we weren’t really sad about that change of events. It just kind of threw us to the side for a little bit. But I really started asking some really deep questions about our lives. Knowing that we had lost three parents and two grandmothers in a really short period of time, and our grandmothers were incredibly influential in our lives. They were super influential in who we were as human beings, and so to lose those folks … And then on top of that, I started asking myself the question, “Well, if I could live anywhere in the world, would I stay in Richmond, Virginia?”

We had just bought our house. We bought our house February 2020. It was a beautiful house. It was gorgeous. It was, by every definition, our dream home. As soon as we saw it, we’re like, “This is the house.” It was on two and a half acres of wooded lot. It was gorgeous. It was serene. Our neighbors on either side of us, we couldn’t even see the houses. It was absolutely the perfect house for us, and we loved it.

But I started asking some really deep questions. And so then we would go for walks several times a day. We’d go out to the end of the lane because it was basically the only walk we could do in our development. Towards the end of the lane, which was half a mile out and a half mile back, and we’d have these really deep questions about life. One of the days I was like, “Why are we staying here?” He’s like, “Well, because we have this house, this house.” I said, “Okay.” I said, “We have this beautiful house. But what else?” and we couldn’t answer that question. So we just let that sit and marinate.

Then I asked the question again like a month later. I was like, “Why are we staying here?” and he’s like, “I don’t know.” It changed. Here’s where things weren’t fine. So while we had this beautiful house and we lived in a beautiful part of Virginia, and it was just okay, but truth of the matter is it was falling short. You start asking questions, “Well, why don’t we go fishing more often?” and the answer is, well, it’s bass fishing, and we don’t really enjoy bass fishing. We prefer cold water fishing. So to go cold water fishing, we had to go further away, which wasn’t just an afternoon trip. It became a whole day or a whole weekend trip to be able to accomplish that.

Why were we not going hiking more often? Well, because if you’ve ever been in Virginia in the summer, it’s oppressive. It’s not hazy like D.C. and Harrisburg where we lived in Pennsylvania, but it’s hot and humid. And it’s buggy. There are a lot of bugs. Yep. And there are a lot of snakes. And there are some poisonous snakes. I’ve stepped over several of those going hiking before. So not even realizing I was like, “Oh crap.” Someone’s like, “Hey, miss, you just stepped over a Copperhead.” I’m like, “Oh, okay.” and I looked back and it was right there.

Lori: Did you see it? You saw it was a snake but you didn’t know it was a Copperhead?

Tess: No, I did not even see the snake.

Lori: Oh, wow. Okay.

Tess: Yeah. And it happened twice. Twice. I was like, “My goodness.” So you start asking those tough questions. It’s like, “Okay, so we’re not going hiking more because it’s hot, humid, buggy. The times we’ve done it, we’ve not enjoyed it.” There have been times where literally, we’ve been speed walking through the trail because we have a swarm of mosquitoes behind us. That’s not fun for us. So we started asking the question, “If we could live someplace, where would we live? And what would that look like?”

The other issue that I dealt with was, because I work from home and I have for a number of years, is the lack of community and the lack of getting to know people. It’s really hard to do when you move to a new area. And it’s not that we didn’t have friends but COVID really put a kibosh on a lot of those connections. I wasn’t going home for the holidays anymore because my dad and my grandmother had passed. So it was that whole piece of community and what does that look like now that we’ve lost my folks?

So we got really quiet. At least I did, I can’t speak for him, but I got really, really quiet and just sat with these really hard questions for quite a while. I was like, “I think we need to move.” Like, “I don’t know where but I think we need to move.” Virginia was good. It was fine, right?

Lori: It was fine. But it wasn’t really your place.

Tess: It wasn’t.

Lori: When you started examining all of the things that you really liked to do and the connections that you didn’t have, that wasn’t your place. You’ve always been somebody who’s very introspective. Yes, that’s the word.

Tess: Thank you.

Lori: You’re a wordsmith, too. So yeah, you can fill in those words for me. And it seems like you and Jason have a really good relationship where you can talk about all of these things. Because I’m betting a lot of people, maybe a lot of people who are listening, their relationship isn’t to the place where they could … They may be having these questions, but not being able to have the discussion with their partner.

Tess: Yeah. I certainly can’t advise on that. I am. We’re very lucky, we’ve worked really, really hard on communication. He was in the army for 24 years, I was part of that life for 16 of those years. We were geographically separated several times for deployments or training missions or wherever they needed him. So I think that’s just something that we’re certainly not a perfect couple. But we worked really, really hard to be able to have those communication skills. And then of course, we’ve pretty much always been on the same page about how we want our lives to be. That happened from dating, dating forward. So we’ve grown together with that and supporting each other with how we wanted our lives to look.

Lori: Yeah, that’s awesome.

Tess: Yeah. And of course, the deeper conversations that come with grief, too. When you’re talking about how do you want your life to be from this point forward?

Lori: Right. So what conclusions did you come to? Because you’re not still in Virginia.

Tess: Oh no. We decided to move 2900 miles across the country, again, to his home state of Washington. So where he grew up, we had been visiting for a number of years, for probably 24-25 years at that point. So he has family out here, his siblings, his dad and stepmom, and his aunt and uncle, and then cousins and stuff like that, too. So we had a little bit of a community. It’s not like we all knew each other very well because we’ve never lived here. He left when he was in his early 20s. So it was before he started dating me. So it’s been a process of getting to know each other more than just that one day a year where you sit, something like that.

Lori: Which is kind of cool. You chose to go there to reestablish a relationship with family that didn’t exist. I mean, the family existed, but the relationship didn’t really exist.

Tess: Sure. Not on a deep level, right? And here’s the thing. So we started looking at the things we do enjoy. Obviously, the community piece was an important aspect of that, having holidays or birthdays, or being able to go to walk and go on a hike or go out to dinner. You had a little bit of that already. You don’t want to make any assumptions but we just kind of like, you know.

Lori: You have to start somewhere.

Tess: Right. And from there, it was, okay, well, there’s cold water fishing, not just lake fishing, but there’s stream fishing and saltwater fishing for salmon, which he and I love to do. I am not a passive person in the boat. I am out there fishing with him. I love it. Hiking—you can’t find a better place than hiking here. There’s no—I don’t want to say there’s no bugs. But there’s not the bugs like there is back in the South. As far as poisonous snakes, at least on this side in the mountains, there aren’t any. So there were so many things. We’ve always had a very happy and enjoyable experience when we’ve come out here to visit as far as the outdoor life goes, and so we just started looking at it more closely. It was like, “This just makes sense.”

Lori: It’s interesting to me—and I have a feeling that some people who are listening are going to go, “Yeah, sure. Okay, that was easy for you because…” and start making all the reasons why it wouldn’t be easy for them or why they couldn’t do it. It comes down to when you want something badly enough or when the reasons are strong enough, then the reasons not to fall away.

Tess: Yes. This was not a life decision. It wasn’t like it was a light switch. And we’re just like, “Yeah, we’re going to move to Washington.” I mean, we sat with this decision for, I would say, probably a good month to six weeks before we even told family, and then it was just a few family like, “Hey, we’re thinking of doing this.” And then we sat in Virginia. We sat waiting for jobs. So then he stopped applying for jobs in Virginia and started applying for jobs out here. We sat for probably, I don’t know, two or three months. I’m starting to lose my timeframes. But it was quite a while.

Lori: It was some time.

Tess: So every single day, you had that choice of questioning that decision. And you’re absolutely right, what it comes down to. And maybe this is part of my wiring, but it was a huge leap of faith. Huge leap of faith. Like you said, the thinking of where you want your life to be in the enjoyable years that you have left, the mobile years that you have left, and how you want that to look. For us, for me, specifically, it wasn’t Virginia.

Lori: We all go through this, especially when you get into your 40s and 50s and you’re looking at all the things that we just talked about, what is the payoff for waiting?

Tess: That is the question. Yes. It’s not a light decision. Since we’ve known each other, I’ve moved back and forth across the country. This was our third across the country move. We moved to Tucson for him to go to school. And then we moved back to Virginia because that’s where the job was. We were both super excited about being back on the east coast. It wasn’t just me, he was really excited, too. Of course, my dad was still alive then. He was just like, “Oh, this is wonderful.” Then to make the decision to move back across the country yet again to a market that has more traffic, has higher cost of living, significantly more, we really weighed this one, but it came down to what do you want your life to look like?

I’m starting to get a little philosophical here, but no one knows how much longer you have or how many more healthy years you have left. So for us, we really just wanted to be able to enjoy life. And to do that, the outdoor element was a huge piece of that along with community. So we just decided, “Screw it. We’re going to take this one more leap of faith and really hope that it works.” It’s scary, it’s crap.

Lori: It is scary. Whether you had a partner to do it with, I think makes it a little bit easier. But regardless, when you trust and have faith and you take the leap, then you see. If, for some reason, in a couple of years, you decide that this isn’t the place that you want, that’s the beauty of living in this country or many other free countries is that you can choose something different.

Tess: So luckily, so far we have a house we have a roof over our head. He has an amazing job that is totally up his geek zone, and he is the happiest he has ever been, ever. He spends his entire day in schedules and spreadsheets, and he loves it.

Lori: Good for him because that sounds like hell to me.

Tess: Yeah, that is certainly not for me either. But if I have a problem with Excel formula, he could help me. But he goes much deeper than that. But that is totally up as geek zone. It’s like he didn’t even realize a job like that existed. So we’re making it work.

Lori: Something you just said, as he didn’t even know it existed, until you step out of that comfort zone, you don’t even know what amazing things are available until you take that leap of faith.

Tess: You’re right. And that’s something I hadn’t thought of from that perspective. But you’re absolutely right. So it does, it takes a big gut, as you know.

Lori: You had to go internally. We already mentioned about being introspective, but listening to your own inner voice and what is it telling you to do? And asking. It wasn’t necessarily just like, “Hey, move.” It was giving you questions to think about because I think that comes from your inner voice as well. It’s not just telling you which direction to go. It’s giving you the questions to really think about it and be able to work through the answers to get to the ultimate answer.

Tess: Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. For me, it’s getting really quiet. So, of course, I did a lot of walking. Not even listening to a podcast or music, just walking and thinking about things, or when we’re doing strength training, a lot of times you’re in your own zone. So it was. It was really thinking about how do I want my life to look like and where is it falling short? And why am I not taking advantage of the things that I love to do? Why am I not doing more artsy-fartsy photos with my fancy-dancy camera? Why am I not doing that? Why am I not strapping on my hiking boots more often? We saved and saved and saved and we have this boat, why are we not using it more often? We had just bought it. But it’s all of those things.

Then thankfully, we love to travel. We’ve traveled a lot inside the U.S. So we had a lot of places where we knew we didn’t want to live. So we had some experience from that perspective of, okay, not that I ever lived there, but he was stationed in Louisiana back in his military days, and he was like, “We’re never…” So we just knew.

Lori: You were making the comment, asking the question, “Why am I not doing these things?” and I think that’s a great question. And then the similar question is, “Why am I not allowing myself to do these things?” For a lot of people I’ve talked to, myself included, it comes back to feeling that you are allowed to. I don’t want to say that, that you’re worthy of taking that time off. I mean, what are you doing? It’s time away from work, maybe. But it’s time in your life, like you said. Like, “I’m not allowing myself to have my life, basically.”

Tess: Yeah. Another good question, I’ll share this with you, too. Another good question is, of course, I was having heart palpitations and anxiety. This was not easy. And I kept saying, “We love this house. What if we can’t find another house that we like as much? What if this? And what if this?” All the negative stuff. One of my friends said to me, we were on a Zoom call, and she’s like, “But what if it does work out?”

Lori: Yes. That is the question that we get so caught up in “what if” on the negative side instead of “what if” on the positive. What if everything works out amazing? What if we find a equally fantastic or better house? What if all of these things lined up? And like you said, Jason ended up getting a job that was something he didn’t even know existed.

Tess: Right. And he is so happy. His military career, you’re on call 24/7. And then his last job, he literally worked 362 days a year, seven days a week, because he had to do payroll every single day. So even if for his team, and his team fluctuated from 50 employees to a high of like 120 employees for seasonal work. So even we were on vacation, he had to log in and do payroll. He had to log in on Christmas day and do payroll. And he got the next day off because they were close on Christmas.

So now he has a job that they insist he only worked 40 hours a week. And if he has meetings, and he does have meetings, like international meetings would require him for a call at 5: 00 at night or whatever for an hour, he just takes an hour off on Friday. It’s just like night and day, and we just never knew that this world existed. We never lived this before.

Lori: Until you step out in faith, you don’t know what the Universe could be bringing for you or what is even out there for you. That’s cool.

Okay. You’ve got extra energy now that you have all this good stuff in your life. Speaking of energy, what’s the hype song or the song you listen to when you need an extra boost of energy?

Tess: Sure. It’s basically anything Foo Fighters, but I’m going to narrow it down to the Pretender. A great song, nice beat. The lyrics kind of make a lot of sense, too. But yeah, it’s Foo all the way and Dave Grohl.

Lori: We were talking before we started recording about Dave Grohl and what a magnificent human he is. If you haven’t read his book, The Storyteller, I highly recommend. We were talking about it, we both read it. Dave Grohl grew up in Northern Virginia.

Tess: I also listened to it on Audible, and he narrates it. So I did the splice. So I read it and also listened to it on my walks. Fantastic story.

Lori: All right. So we’ll put a link to your hype song in the show notes. And then if somebody wants to continue the conversation with you, where do they find you?

Tess: Yeah. So, tesswittler.com. Also, I have a side little project that I’m working on, it’s called Beyond the Grind Life, so beyondthegrindlife.com. It’s basically just talking about similar things to FINE is a 4-Letter Word, right? It’s about finding that life and that joy and sharing those stories. We share personal stories, and then eventually, I want to share other people’s stories about how they’re living beyond the grind life.

Lori: I love that. Because that is not really life. I mean, it’s some people’s life, but it’s not anybody’s ideal life.

Tess: No, and it looks different for everybody, which I think is important to share that, too. So what works for me being outside and doing camera stuff is completely different for someone else, and that’s completely okay. But it’ll still be on the grind.

Lori: Right. Exactly. I’m so happy that we reconnected, that you’re able to join me on here. Thanks for showing up for FINE is a 4-Letter Word.

Tess: Oh, thank you so much for having me, Lori. It’s been a real joy.

Lori: All right.

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