A Mom on Memes and Messes

A Mom on Memes and Messes

It’s Day 186 of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project and as a mom, I’d love to just post a meme instead of talking about the messes in my life. I confess I’d never heard the word meme until a Christian DJ mentioned it on the radio. With my love of words, of course I looked it up. According to Wikipedia “A meme (/ˈmm/ MEEM) is an idea, behavior, or style that spreads from person to person within a culture — often with the aim of conveying a particular phenomenon, theme, or meaning represented by the meme.” The DJ referenced the popularity of images with a person standing on a mountaintop, arms outstretched high to depict the Christian life. He intimated this meme conveys if you have faith your life will always be a perfect mountaintop experience. As a faith-filled mom who is divorced from my children’s father, being a mother doesn’t doesn’t always look like the meme or feel like mountaintop. Much of the time, it’s more like a mess. 

But I feel it’s taboo to admit that. I agree with the DJ’s assessment of that mountaintop meme. It makes people of faith feel we have to always sound, look and even feel like we’re standing on top of the world. We don’t want to talk about the valleys. It got me thinking about social media. Most of the images we post on Facebook, Instagram, or LinkedIn are the picturesque ones. Those that look like we have our personal and professional lives all together. We post the memes. And for bloggers? We often post the best pictures of our children, clothes, events and homes. Not for the first time, I wonder how this makes others feel. When I rush around picking up books, papers, toys, and take several shots to make sure my hair, makeup and outfit are just right, am I sending out the message that my life is perfect? That I’m living the meme?

That’s the last thing I want to do. The whole reason I started my blog was to coach, encourage and inspire women to live their best personal and professional lives. Over time, that has evolved to include dealing with the Ds – the Pink Collar challenges women face, be it on the home front or in the workplace – and minimizing them to maximize your beauty and best life. I never intended for minimizing to promote depicting a pretty, perfect meme. Living your best life doesn’t mean it won’t be messy. Like my life as a mom is right now.

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Me, Pink Collar Coach after a hard mommy conversation. For once I didn’t straighten up the room and just asked my sweet hubby to catch the moment as it was. Messy bun, rumpled slipcover, toys under the table, electric chords, and all.                                                                 Calvin Klein trumpet sleeve sweater, leggings, socks with boots, and handbag. 

As a Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Cygnet (I’m still growing into the fullness of who I was created to be), sometimes I long to live the meme… My Ds – divorce, domestic relations court, and DJ (not the disc jockey but my wasband) make my life as a mom so messy. I wish I could always stand on the mountaintop, looking pretty (pre-hysterectomy), with my house perfect (white painted stone wall, wood plank tiles, marble counter tops, etc.), my professional life on track for success, and my personal relationship with my children what I dreamed for us once upon a time…Then I remember. The Lord is the God of the hills and the valleys. He sees me  and is over my life. He remains the same when it looks like the meme and He still blesses when it’s a mess. I’ll take those messy times because it’s in them I can hear Him whisper across the surface of my heart, Beautiful the mess you are.

What about you? Do you wish you were living the meme but feel you’re more of a mess? Remember you are loved and if you hang in there, you can be blessed – even in the mess.

Be savvy & chic,

~Pink Collar Coach

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Giving Thanks to the Lord for Good Test Results and Looking Forward to Getting Back to Life and Reality

Giving Thanks to the Lord for Good Test Results and Looking Forward to Getting Back to Life and Reality

Day 180 of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project was one spent having procedures to determine why I’ve been so sick for the past month and giving thanks to the Lord for good test results! Now I’m looking forward to getting back to life and reality. And while the doctor’s orders were that today be a lazy day, I wanted to take a moment to thank all of you who have read about my medical challenges/Ds and reached out with well wishes and prayers. You readers are part of my resilience strategy and the blog has helped me bounce back. Both have played a role in me getting better because I didn’t want to renege on my promise to post daily (I did miss a few…). Nor did I want to lose those of you who have been kind enough to stick with me while I’ve been sick, even if you were sick of hearing about it!

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Shabby Chic inspired Thanksgiving decor from TJMaxx – last season.

As a Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Cygnet, I’m sick and tired of being sick and tired! So while I’m thankful for today’s test results and hopeful the rest of them will come back good, I’m ready for a new day. I’m not 100%, but I’m laying claim to the verse in a song I used to teach in Kids Club:

And now let the sick say I am healed

Because of what the Lord has done for us!

That being the case, tomorrow, I plan to get back to life and back to reality. Completing revisions for my debut novel, Seasons of Her Soul in order for it to be released in January, focusing on my business, including rescheduling and scheduling coaching sessions, returning to Zumba and starting to teach (yes!), and planning for my next workshops are only a few of the things while I was down. Excited as I am about all that, being able to get out and about to post pictures to accompany what content I hope you love is what motivates me. That and glorifying  the Lord to whom I owe, and give, so much thanks.

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Give Thanks to the Lord pumpkins flank front porch stairs.                                                         Not only are they pretty and welcoming, they remind others to have grateful hearts.

What situation have you come through, medical, personal, professional or otherwise, for which you are thankful? How can you be savvy & chic on purpose about expressing that thanks?

 

Feeling Grateful for First Full Day Out with Family, Food, and Fun

Feeling Grateful for First Full Day Out with Family, Food, and Fun

Day 178 of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project is my first full day out and about since I got sick nearly a month ago, so I looked forward to spending it with family, eating good food, and having fun. After reading several articles in the newest edition of Artful Blogging and a chapter of my latest novel last night, I slept relatively well and awakened feeling more like myself than I have for weeks. So much so that I did some juege-ing in the laundry room to make it more inviting (will post pics when I pull it together), then did a little holiday/ gift shopping. By the time I needed to head over to the family birthday party, I still had plenty of energy. And though I ate a bit of pizza, I was cautious and didn’t add my usual peppers or peppercorns. My hubby and I also split a nice salad. It was so fun celebrating my youngest sister-in-law’s birthday, especially since I’ve had very little socialization as of late.

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Family, Food and Fun. Pink Collar Coach in the middle.                                                               Calvin Klein peacock trumpet sleeve sweater, jeggings, & brown wedge boots with a peacock handbag. Hubby and his sister were the photographers and are not pictured.

One of the articles in Artful Blogging was about developing an attitude of gratitude. It reminded me of an old saying I used to hear around the church where I grow up, that went something like “You don’t know how good it feels to be well until you’ve been sick.” This isn’t the first time in my life I’ve been really sick, but because of my blog, I’m more mindful of the experience. And I believe I’m more grateful to be feeling better than I may have been in the past.

Not only was I more mindful of that, but I was keenly aware of the season my husband’s niece is in. Like mine, her girl and boy are close in age. I’ve always referred to my daughter and son, who are only nineteen months apart, as my Irish twins. Because of a divorce and changes with parenting time, they aren’t around for many family get-togethers, but I vividly remember the days when I was exhausted and overwhelmed with mothering very young children. This made me intentional asking how mom is doing and offering to lend a hand any time she needs it. My prayer is that this sweet young couple and their children never experience the ravages of divorce. But even if they remain as tightly knit together as they are right now, I hope they can see past the fog of exhaustion and being overwhelmed to hold on to the memories that make up the threads of this precious, fleeting time. The late nights, the chaotic days, and all the mess makes up the beautiful tapestry of their lives.

As a Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Chic who is dealing with medical challenges, I’m thankful for them because they bring gratitude. And clarity. They also make me want to capture it all in a way that I, my children and my family can look back and remember. Writing about my first full day out and about with family, food, and fun may not sound blog-worthy, but maybe, just maybe, someone will read my words and see the pictures I’ve included and it will encourage or inspire them. Somehow, it may even point someone to God. If that happens, then it’s worthy after all.

Be savvy & chic,

~Pink Collar Coach

 

 

 

Adding a Diverticulitis Diagnosis to the Ds

Adding a Diverticulitis Diagnosis to the Ds

It’s Day 162 of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project and I’m adding a diverticulitis diagnosis to my Ds. Some of you regular readers know I haven’t been feeling well for a few weeks. Yesterday and last night were so bad I finally broke down and went to the doctor today. Many of you also know that the Ds refers to the various barriers we Pink Collar women face like diagnosis, depression, dysfunctional relationships, discrimination, divorce, death, etc., etc. So when my doctor examined me and diagnosed me with diverticulitis, or infection in the intestines that can develop  as we near our fifties, I laughed to myself and thought, Another D!

As much as I didn’t like this diagnosis, I’m relieved that it’s something that’s easily treated with antibiotics. While I waited on the two she prescribed, I grabbed a green tea chai latte. Apparently, I looked a little green too because the barista handed me my cup with the below message scribbled on it. The soothing tea and the smiley face with no nose made my day…Some of you may  be thinking, why is she sharing all of this? TMI! Well, as much as I want to encourage women, I also want to be transparent enough that women who are dealing with diagnosis and other Ds know you are not alone.

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As a Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Chick who has so many things going on, it’s frustrating to have yet another D cause me to miss things like an important meeting today, Zumba yesterday and today when I’m supposed to be preparing to teach my first full class at the Y this weekend, and working on revisions to meet my debut novel book deadline. Still, I’m thankful that I’ve learned to listen to my body and take a break when I need it, even when it means letting some other things go undone for a while. I’m also thankful for my Pink Collar Savvy & Chic barista who took a moment to wish me well. And I’m especially thankful for my Pink Collar Savvy & Chic doctor who made time in her busy schedule for a sick visit to diagnose me. Even though it added another D to the list!

How about you? Are you dealing with any diagnoses that have you down? Yet another D? If so, listen to your body and practice good self care. I pray you encounter small acts of kindness that heal your body and spirit.

Be savvy & chic,

~Pink Collar Coach

Collaborating and Creating My Selling Style in Coral Calvin Klein

Collaborating and Creating My Selling Style in Coral Calvin Klein

Day 155 of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project got off to a slow start. For the past few days I haven’t felt the greatest, so today I slept in until after 9:00. Once up, I was productive, however, and responded to a pleasantly surprising number of likes and comments on whether I should offer Mary Kay products as part of my image coaching. Thank you to everyone who weighed in! Next, I buckled down and located some of the passages in my novel that have been slated for revision. After procrastinating on this task for days, I got so engrossed in it that I had to rush when I realized it was time to get ready for an H7 Evolve meeting. That being the case, I grabbed an easy care shirt dress out of the dryer and rushed out for Coffee and Collaborate and “Create Your Selling Style” wearing coral Calvin Klein.

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Coral shirt dress, gold lame cardigan, taupe sling backs and floral bag. All oldies. All Calvin Klein from TJMaxx. My photographer didn’t catch that my dress was gaping. Oops!

Brenda Aveyard, a speaker, trainer, and coach facilitated the meeting, which offered an opportunity to collaborate around a challenge being faced in our business. The other women in the group listened and suggested action steps, as well as providing some resources to complete them. Multiple perspectives were helpful in gaining clarity around goals for my coaching business and it felt great to support other likeminded entrepreneurs.

Following Coffee and Collaborate, Brenda presented a short workshop on “Creating Your Selling Style”. During the introduction, as she told the story of how she came to be a Sales Coach, I was thrilled to hear that she is a former top Sales Director for Mary Kay! That felt like confirmation. Then she went on to explain how she doesn’t coach on anything she hasn’t lived through, and I knew I was in the right place. For the last few weeks, ever since I started reading Christy Wright’s Business Boutique, I’ve been honing in on my target audience/market. Brenda called it my avatar client. Recently I realized it’s professional women who are facing the Ds, all of which I’ve lived through. More confirmation.

Brenda spent the remainder of the time providing valuable insight and information on how to deal with our internal barriers in order to get what we have to offer our prospective clients to them. I so needed to hear that! After all, my coaching services are no good if I don’t have coachees, so I need to get over myself and go coach! Brenda proceeded to give practical tips on how to do that. This will also help if I move forward and carry Mary Kay…I got so much from her presentation in such a short time that I’d like to share the info on an upcoming event below:

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As a Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Chick who understands the power of collaboration and multiple perspectives, I’m taking advantage of every opportunity I can to learn and develop professionally and surround myself with women who are where I want to go. And I won’t lie. I’m loving it. Today, as I rushed from the above meeting to Zumba and was late due to horrendous traffic, I was thankful not to have the 45 minute to an hour commute I had before. In that moment, I was truly grateful to be living the professional life I am right now. Don’t get me wrong, starting a business and making a go of it is not all meetings where I get to dress up, meet at a nice venue and listen to a dynamic speaker. But when it is, life feels pretty sweet collaborating and creating my selling style – all while wearing coral Calvin Klein.

What about you? How could collaboration help you with your personal or professional challenges or goals? What about your selling style? You may not classify yourself as in sales, but if you work with people, you’re a salesperson!

Be savvy & chic,

~Pink Collar Coach

 

Make New Friends But Don’t Lose The Old

Make New Friends But Don’t Lose The Old

Yesterday, Day 151 of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project started off rough. I had plans for the weekend to dance with my Zumba tribe Friday night and to do lunch with a dear friend from my teaching days today. Thursday night, however, I developed a sore throat. When I woke up yesterday morning after a fitful night’s sleep with what felt like the beginning of a cold, my first thought was, No, tonight’s Zumba for the Cure! My second was, And I’m supposed to have lunch with Terri tomorrow! Considering the week I’ve had dealing with my Ds, I desperately needed the time with my new Zumba friends and my old friend of nearly twenty years.

Desperate may sound like an exaggeration, but I knew I was in a desperate time when I turned to DayQuil as first resort! Next, I decided to give the networking meeting I’d planned to attend a miss. I’d been looking forward to it, and brunch with a member afterward, but felt lousy enough that I knew I needed to rest if I had any hope of being up for two hours of dancing. I spent the day doing nothing more taxing than responding to emails and by 6PM felt as if I could at least get to the Zumbathon, even if I didn’t last the duration.

It shouldn’t have come as a surprise that as soon as I arrived, the palpable positive energy of all in attendance rejuvenated me. Back in 2014, following an emergency hysterectomy and a second surgery a few months prior, I experienced a breast cancer scare of my own, one where the doctors thought I was at stage four right up until the biopsy results. The benign tumor was large enough that it had to be removed anyway. It was a nightmare, but nothing compared to what the brave women fighting cancer actually live through. Dancing with the new friends I’ve made since I started doing Zumba to regain my health after my female diagnoses was and is such good medicine for me! I truly feel better when I’m dancing, especially when it’s For The Cure.

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Pink Collar Coach and new friends from Lakota YMCA Zumba.                                                           Even my athletic wear is Calvin Klein. LOL! Shoes are New Balance. 

Thankfully, this morning, Day 152 of the Project, there was no trace of a sore throat. I got an uninterrupted night’s sleep and woke up ready to dance again and to do my lunch date. Terri and I go back twenty years. Although we rarely see one another because of, well, life, whenever we do, it’s like we just pushed pause on our last conversation. At one point, when I was a Leadership Coach at 4C for Children, I told her about a vacancy and she came to work in the same department as my dear friend, Kibby. The three of us had a ball at Cracker Barrel just bonding over our personal and professional lives. Good food; good friends! As much was we all talked, Terri and Kibby made sure I got to talk about my troubles. Being able to openly share what I’ve been going through lifted the weight a bit, and it was so obvious that they were willing to help me bear it (Galatians 6:2). In addition, Terri had some personal (and hilarious) insight into the situation because she was around when I was married to my wasband! Laughter is also good medicine!

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Terri & me. Old Friends. Love this woman! My dear new friend of five years, Kibby, took the pic. Love her too. Calvin Klein cold shoulder w/ grommets and tie sleeves, maxi skirt, perforated bag. 

As a Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Chick who understands that some of life’s greatest lessons are those we learn as children, though I wasn’t a Girl Scout, I’ll use their admonition: Make new friends, but keep the old. One is silver, the other is gold. The Bible tells us that someone who has one true friend is rich. I have many. Some silver. Some gold. All invaluable. All treasured.

How about you? When was the last time you connected with that old friend – not just on Facebook but in real time?

Be savvy & chic,

~Pink Collar Coach

May I Mention My Mentors?

May I Mention My Mentors?

I’m not going to lie. Day 148 of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project was one of the hardest I’ve had in a long time. The Ds that I was dealing with yesterday sent me plummeting emotionally today and at one point, I was close to despair, feeling as if the change of hearts I am waiting on will never come.  But often times, it’s in the our darkest hours that God’s love for us shines through and illuminates just what we need. The Daily Dose from The Smile Jar reminded me that a new day brings new strength. Then, the verse in my daily devotional was “They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength.” (Isaiah 40:31). I needed the reminder. And may I mention my Zumba mentors?

Usually, I only see two of the instructors who have been instrumental in me becoming one myself on Wednesday nights. This week, however, because our local Zumba for the Cure is this Friday night, our Monday night instructor danced with us so we can represent well when we party in pink to fight breast cancer. The energy this trio puts out is amazing and dancing with them lifted my burden to the degree that the smile on my face was probably the first heartfelt one all day. Each of them is Pink Collar Savvy & Chic in her own unique way, so when they began mentoring me almost two years ago, I dubbed them all with names that depict how I see them.

Beauty and Brains – Jodi 

This playful, sassy wife and mamma of two has a serious side. She’s a rocket scientist.

Beauty and 3x a Lady – Kara

Not only does this multitasking mom of triplets teach Zumba, she teaches school all day.

Beauty and Strength – Angelique

Graceful as a ballerina & fierce on the dance floor, she lifts weights & wins competitions.

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Beauty and Brains, Pink Collar Coach, Beauty & 3x a Lady, Beauty and Strength.

As a Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Chick who knows that women taking the time to invest in one another makes a world of difference, not only in us making our dreams come true, but in dealing with our Ds, I want to express my heartfelt thanks to my mentors. If you’ve had days where coming to teach wasn’t as appealing as it sometimes is, please know, if I was there, you made a difference. Just by coming to dance with us. I’m not the only one who feels this way. In fact, one of our newer regulars and I had a conversation tonight after class extolling al the positive benefits of dancing. Burning the calories, getting the heart rate up, dancing our stress and sadness away. Finding community, friends and our tribe. Not to mention, mentors…

Oh, and if you’ve never given Zumba a try, October is breast cancer awareness month. Zumbathons for The Cure are being held in various locations…You may just find your fit!

Be savvy & chic,

~Pink Collar Coach