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

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A Day of Dealing with The Ds (Discrimination, depression, etc., etc.)

A Day of Dealing with The Ds (Discrimination, depression, etc., etc.)

Day 147 of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project was one where my Ds showed up in droves. For those new to my blog or who haven’t read about them yet, I’ve categorized many of the challenges women deal with as Ds: debt, dependency, depression, diagnoses, disabilities, discrimination, divorce, domestic relations court issues, dysfunctional relationships, etc., etc., etc. You get the drift….And even though I’m defining my unique business niche – coaching professional women facing personal barriers to minimize them in order to maximize their beauty and best professional life, today was a day where I needed a bit of coaching myself!

In yesterday’s post I alluded to something I had to face today that caused me to be somewhat fearful. I won’t get into the details, but I’m in a few situations where the truth has become a stranger and the relationships have become toxic. Prior to my divorce from my wasband, D.J. (I always say he’s the worst of my Ds), this wouldn’t have presented a dilemma for me because I would have done whatever was necessary, including negating who I am, to reconcile the relationships. Post divorce? Well, I just refuse to do that anymore.

A few months ago, I read a book by Julie Cantrell, a Christian author, called Into the Free.  The heroine, who was from a background similar to mine, resonated with me. Her grandmother was a Choctaw Indian and explained how a baby is named at birth and that is their given name. As they grow up and their personality develops, they are given a nickname that represents that. But it’s when a person discovers who God created them to be that they have their spirit name. The whole time I was reading, I thought the character, who’d grown up surrounded by lies, was actually Truth. And I wept when that did end up being not only her name but the name I felt the Holy Spirit whisper across my own heart.

That’s my dilemma. I know I’m Truth. Not a perfect woman, wife, mother, employee or person. But as much as it lies within me, I’m a truthful one. So when people want me to own things that aren’t true, everything within me rebels. This doesn’t always set too well with folks! The establishment, employers, even loved ones. So what does one do when the truth has become a stranger and others want you to deny it?

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Pink  Collar Coach – Feeling a little down, but smiling through it. Calvin Klein cold shoulder top, skirt & strappy sandals.

As a Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Chick who’s had a full day of dealing with my Ds, I’m feeling a little down. I try to make my posts positive, but I want to avoid the danger of making my life sound idyllic. It’s not. I just have the Lord, loving family and friends. One of them took time out of her work day to pray for me – thank you for that! Besides, if it helps another woman, another swan out there who feels as if she’s alone in dealing with the dirt she’s been dished, then it’s worth it for me to wear my tattered heart on my sleeve. After all, if a problem shared is half solved, perhaps a D divested is half done…I hope so.

How do you handle situations where someone close to you, personally or professionally,  is blatantly untruthful?

Be savvy & chic,

~Pink Collar Coach

Fall Fashion – Bells and Ruffles

Fall Fashion – Bells and Ruffles

It’s Day 146 of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project, and it feels like fall, which means it’s time for fall fashion, and this season, it’s in the form of bells and ruffles. But it feels like fall in more ways than one. In light of the tragic events in Nevada, and an email that came home today stating that my children’s school had been put on lockdown due to a nearby Kroger store being robbed, my heart was tempted to fear. Add to that the fact that I have to face something tomorrow that makes me trepidatious and I could easily curl up indoors and cower inside my comfortable world.

Thankfully, as it happens so often, a song on my favorite Christian radio station came on and I sang the chorus at the top of my lungs: “You make me brave! You make me brave! You call me out beyond the shore into the waves!” Bolstered by the fact that we are not called to fear, but to step out into the world with courage, I figure we might as well do it in style, right? Hence this lighthearted post on two of the looks I, as a girly-girl, love this season: bell sleeves and ruffled details. But whether you love very feminine looks or not, these pretty pieces can freshen up your fall look.

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Lightweight gray Calvin Klein bell sleeve sweater (TJ Maxx, $30) is perfect for the transition from early mornings, to warm days, and back to cooler nights. I plan to pair it with gray corduroys  and a gray suede skirt. 
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Lightweight fawn colored Calvin Klein sweater with ruffled detail at the shoulder (TJ Maxx, $30). The color is versatile and can be worn as a neutral. I plan to pair with brown slacks & a fawn suede skirt. 

As a Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Chick who is currently working from home as I grown my business, I want to be a good steward of my resources. Besides, there’s no need for me, or you, to necessarily go out and splurge on several new fall pieces. Although we may  love fashion, there’s no need to be a slave to it. It’s more about owning our personal sense of style. That means buying pieces we love and then wearing them whether they are “trending” or from two seasons back. Mixing a few current pieces with oldies but goodies is fun and frugal. And it prevents buyers remorse if you load up on statement pieces that you wouldn’t be caught dead in next year!

So, while we might not want to go for all this season’s bells and whistles, it’s alright to go for a few bells and ruffles!

And I hope you’ll join me in praying for the loved ones of the victims in the latest shooting. God bless you and be safe.

Be savvy & chic,

~Pink Collar Coach

Pink Collar Author Interview: Janet Kassalen, Author of Children’s Stories With A Grown Up Message – Part 1 of 2

Pink Collar Author Interview: Janet Kassalen, Author of Children’s Stories With A Grown Up Message – Part 1 of 2

On  Day 143 of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project, I had the honor of conducting my first interview for the blog. Fiction is usually somewhat autobiographical, so my questions for Janet Kassalen, author of Flip Flap Try: A Cardinal’s Journey, relate to how her journey to finding her career fit inspired this children’s story with a powerful grown up message.

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Janet Kassalen with Flip Flap Try: A Cardinal’s Journey at our                                                            “Kick Up Your Assertiveness Quotient for Maximum Success” workshop this past weekend.

Rainier, the cardinal and main character in your story, has a personal barrier: a wing that is damaged. This makes doing his first job a challenge. What personal barriers have you faced that impacted you professionally? How have you minimized them?

I was always a little shy and it was hard to make friends. It took me longer to do some jobs than it may have taken others and I worked lots of overtime to get work done. I’ve had some setbacks…I used running to minimize my barriers. I ran a lot! I ended up doing a marathon in 2006 and ran 26.2 miles. It helped me be more confident and to try new things. I also go to COMPEER activities. It’s an agency like Big Brothers and Sisters that matches you with someone you can socialize and do activities with. We do group actives like bowling, putt putt, crafts, and outreach to nursing homes. It helps to have friends with similar problems to communicate with, have fun, and build friendships.

Rainer has to go to his parents and tell them he wants to try a new job, and he is brave enough to do it. Many women can relate to this, having gone to school or gained experience in a certain field, but want to go a different direction. Have you had to communicate that you wanted to try something new and how did you get the courage to do it?

I went into the dietetic field and was a dietician. Again, I had some setbacks. My mom told me it didn’t matter what job I had, just as long as it was something I felt good about. Also, people weren’t disappointed in me, so in 2000, I stopped working as a dietician. I did work as a library tech, a job with lots of detail, and I liked that, but it was a little stressful. I ended up no longer in that position and stayed home. That’s when I started volunteering. Now I play in the orchestra, am involved in ladies’ groups at church, and in Toastmasters where I have been Area Governor, Sargent At Arms and President of some clubs. I’m currently a Distinguished Toastmaster. 

Rainier tries different jobs but they are not a good fit for him, yet he persists in his search. What has motivated you to persist in your search for your fit of being an author?

 I remembered the phrase, “Don’t give up the ship”. Though things got difficult, I just kept trying and moving forward. When I joined Toastmasters, I had to write speeches and struggled to come up with topics. I’d read to get information to write about. Even though I’m not organized, I enjoyed giving a speech on organization because I liked Steven Covey’s book, “First Things First”. So I kept working at it. When I got the storytelling manual, I remembered how my dad would tell stories and I still remember their morals. Flip Flap Try started as a Toastmasters project where I had to write an original story with a moral. After writing it and and giving my speech, I got the idea to publish the story.

Ultimately, Rainier finds a job that allows him to use all of the knowledge and skills he’s acquired in his various jobs. How have you been able to maximize all of yours to become an author?

In my jobs I had to learn computer skills and use them now as an author on my website and Facebook. As a dietician, I learned about food and I make sure to get balanced meals as a part of my self-care. I could eat better but I make sure to have fruits and veggies! Volunteering with music, I’ve learned about different instruments and kinds of music which I’m using to write songs to go along with the story. And giving speeches in Toastmasters definitely helped me learn how to tell a story.

Though Rainier didn’t know exactly what he wanted to do, he knew his strengths (singing, playing, being happy). How important is it for women to know their strengths in finding their career fit?

Looking for things we like to do and working in our strengths areas is very important. I like writing more than speaking, so I lean more toward that. In my story, I wanted to tell people my message: That it’s ok to quit along the road and try something new. Other people may hear other messages than what I intended. Some readers like the persistence piece. Others have said that I’m Rainier. With all of my setbacks and quit jobs, I kept trying different things, now my book is an accomplishment. I’m going to write more. I have a story about a penguin that’s already written. Everyone has the ability to help others. Sometimes, you may not know how, but something you say can encourage them to go forward with their dreams. I feel I’ve influenced some along the way. Writing has helped me find my voice.

As a Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Chick, Janet’s journey has inspired mine. I hope it has inspired you as well and that you’ll visit tomorrow to read Part 2 of our interview.

For more information on Janet or her book, please visit http://www.janetkassalenauthor.com

Be savvy & chic,

~Pink Collar Coach

Pink Collar Savvy & Chic Powder Room Gets a Refresh to Welcome Clients/Guests

Pink Collar Savvy & Chic Powder Room Gets a Refresh to Welcome Clients/Guests

Day 129 of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project has been such a great one! After printing the downloadable PDF from http://www.businessboutique.com to accompany my book yesterday, and immersing myself completely in what I’m calling Business Bootcamp, I was us until 2am reading and working on my plan. Then, rather than feeling sleep deprived on a few hours sleep, I woke up refreshed. One reason for my surge of energy is the confirmation I received from the book that those of us women who wish to make money doing what we love just have to jump right in and do it, even when the plan isn’t perfect. My imperfect plan includes using my home not only as my office space for working on all of my portfolio career projects, but as a place to potentially hold meetings. Since my first meeting is tomorrow, the powder room needed a little refresh to welcome coaching and consultation clients (and guests).

This is a stretch for the home because while it’s not small, every inch of the nearly 3,000 foot space is being utilized. The four bedrooms are occupied, hence me working out of the dining room and my She Storage Space (please check out that post if you haven’t). Modern or up-to-date are also not words I’d use to describe my home. It was originally a Home O Rama house, built in the 90s, and many of the original features like wall-to-wall carpet, laminate countertops, and venetian blind are still in place. I’ve Shabby Chic-ed or savvy chic-ed it (whichever way you look at it) the place for seven years, and it’s still a work in progress and will be for a while. Even so, I LOVE the home I’ve created out of love for my family and friends. Now, I want to open it up to welcome others.

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Simply Shabby Chic sampler from Target hangs on the door off the foyer.

The powder room is what I’d call a light maize yellow color. I inherited from the original Tammy, my hubby’s ex, and it is the only room on this ground main level that escaped creamy white paint. This gorgeous painting joined the party today and instantly freshened up the space. The yellow is perfect with the walls and other artwork in the room.

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She looks like a ballerina, but rather than pink, yellows, taupes and grays are so striking, yet Shabby Chic!
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This painting and its pair were two of the first purchases I made when I got a townhouse after being homeless. Eleven years ago! They’ll always hold a special place in my heart for that reason. Love how the colors play together beautifully with those in the painting that just joined the party.
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Monogramed towels from Linens n’ Things, purchased soon after wedding. Though a lowly commode cover, it is made pretty with my collection of Simply Shabby Chic bathroom pieces, SSC candle and picture frame. All from Target.                                                                                                    I added the silk flowers to the toothbrush holder – new purpose since it’s in a guest bath.
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A favorite photo of my hubby and two older stepsons. Another Simply Shabby Chic frame that ties all the colors together – the yellow, taupe and cream are perfect with the new painting.   Green adds interest and runs throughout room, making the look cohesive.

As a Pink Collar Savvy & Chic Chick who is figuring out all of the details of running a business full-time from her home, I’m part excited and part nervous about opening up my imperfect home to host coaching and consultation clients. But as I keep saying in this blog, it doesn’t have to be perfect to be good. If I waited for perfection, I’d never do it. So I’m just going to do what I’m learning in Business Bootcamp – which is to just do it scared. A house, whether perfectly decorated or not, does not a home – or a home office make. It’s the people who live in and visit it that helps the house to fulfill its role. Showing my hardworking house some love and refreshing my powder room so it can function as my Pink Collar Savvy & Chic office to welcome clients (and guests) was a job I was happy to do for it.

Are there any rooms in your home that could support your goals – personal or professional? How can you refresh them? With art or in some other way?

Be savvy & chic,

~Pink Collar Coach

 

Being Homeless Once Gives Me a Heart for Houston

Being Homeless Once Gives Me a Heart for Houston

Day 117 of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project has me thinking about kindness. In the literal wake of Hurricane Harvey and the devastation it has wrought on the Houston, Texas area, I’m taken back to eleven years ago when I was made homeless by some very unkind acts. Most of you know I have a wasband. And what I’m about to share is no secret to many of you who know me personally. But to those who don’t, or with whom I’ve not shared it, I was made homeless when my abusive marriage came to an end. I won’t go into the details, but to say it was devastating can’t begin to describe what I experienced.

With only the clothes on my back, and I’m talking Sunday church clothes that consisted of a camisole, lightweight cardigan, flimsy skirt, flats, and undergarments – I was forced out of my home, in February, never to return. If you’ve read any of my posts, you know I’m a total nest featherer and so can probably imagine the extent to which I’d poured my heart and soul into the house we’d lived in for eight years. At thirty-six, everything I’d ever cherished, collected, earned, made, purchased, been given, had handed down, or inherited was in that house.

As much as the loss of the material possessions was incomprehensible then – imagine having NOTHING at all to function or even survive, like clothes, food, toiletries, medicine,   etc. And that was just the first few days. Later, even after you’re in a shelter or if you’re blessed, a home – someone else’s or your own –  it’s dishes, kitchen utensils, office supplies, small and large appliances, tools. You name it, you need it. I’ve come such a long way from then, but I still feel it, even now. Every once in a while I’ll think of something I once had and realize it was a casualty of what I call “the dastardly deed”. In fact, I just remembered a wall pocket I loved and lost today.

Still, those things mean NOTHING compared to the memories and recollections they evoked. My Aunt Bertie (Birdy to me) and Daddy were the most important people in my WORLD. They died when I was 20 and 30 respectively. I don’t have a single picture of either of them. That’s a hole in my heart that won’t get filled until I see them again in heaven.

The dastardly deed also caused me not to know where my children were for nearly six weeks. Talking about all of the other ways I didn’t have what I needed for them when we were reunited doesn’t bear thinking about or I’ll start crying and won’t be able to write. To this day, when they children need family photos for projects, I can’t produce any. The other stuff is physical, which is brutal. But never can the toll taken by the emotional turmoil be minimized.

All of that to say, to an extent, I get what they’re going through in Houston. My heart is tuned into their heartache. It was only the grace of God and the kindness of a few that got me through my ordeal.

As a Pink Collar Savvy & Chic Chick who still feels a little trepidation sharing my story in such a public way, I was compelled to do it anyway. I don’t have a huge following or large social media platform, but I do have this tiny spot in the blogosphere and want to use it to do good. To be kind. If you’re like me, you may feel overwhelmed and inadequate to make a difference for those in Houston. The bad news is, the needs are so great that any contributions we make will only help a little. The good news is, we all have the power to pray for the people impacted by Hurricane Harvey. That will help more than we’ll ever know this side of heaven. As far as I know, it’s the best way for us to be kind.

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This little Shabby Chic inspired sign sits in my living room as a daily reminder.

Be savvy, chic & kind,

~Pink Collar Coach

 

 

 

It’s Still Summer, Let’s Savor It!

It’s Still Summer, Let’s Savor It!

Day 116 of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project, has me wondering why we are rushing through the season. When I was a child, school started after Labor Day and only opened when the pool closed. Then I became a teacher and things sped up a little. School started midway through the week before. Now that was fun. Not! The children were still in full-on summer mode, and just when we teachers were able to establish some semblance of school year order over the three days we were in session, the students had a three day weekend and we were back to square one. Fast forward, literally, and our school district started August 15th! Why the hurry?

It’s the same with the holidays. In yesterday’s post I shared about turning my tragic cubby under the stairs into beautiful, comfortable, functional She Storage space (Thank you to the great response to the post!). While out shopping for the few items I added, I noticed some garish Halloween decor on display. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not opposed to the dressing up or trick-or-treating, but when did scaring the living daylights out of children with truly frightening items that look demonic become fun? Nevertheless, I was more appalled by the how the retailers have followed the schools’ cue and moved into Halloween before we even get to Labor Day. Not only that, the Thanksgiving decor is fighting for space on the shelves to the degree I felt as if I’d entered some weird time warp where the holidays collide. Christmas decor will be out by Halloween at this rate!

Somewhat disheartened and a little disappointed with my beloved TJMaxx for rushing me through the season (I want to score great deals on holiday decor but don’t appreciate having to think about it this early), I went home and savored summer. That meant putting out my Simply Shabby Chic pillows and rolling out the pretty pink dhurrie rug (Indian flat-woven rug) I’m using in lieu of the plastic floor mats my hubby said were ruining the wood because air couldn’t move beneath them. Happy oops for me since it meant I got to move those to the bedroom deck and found this beauty. Reading and enjoying a cup of coffee in in this outdoor living space beats the living room any day.

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Front porch. The colors in the rug speak to the cement angel kitty and angel, as well as the mosaic rose pots and impatiens. The gazing balls reflect the all of the pink.                                              An elephant with an upturned trunk is a sign of welcome. Cut off in the pic, but not real life!
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My only  gnome. I don’t usually like, but his Shabby Chic patina & love of reading won me over.
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My view  from upstairs on a summer day.

As a Pink Collar Savvy & Chic Chick who was born in the summer of ’69, I love this time of year. God did so good on summer! I don’t want to miss it because of school district decisions or retail marketing strategies. Soon enough, fall, and then winter will be upon us. I hope this Labor Day weekend, with opportunities for biking, barbecues, horseback riding, picnics, sports, swimming, walks, and so many other activities, that you’ll get outside. And that you’ll do it after Labor Day. Even if it means leaving the office a little early, or – wait for it – on time…It’s summer now, and will be for the next three weeks. Let’s be intentional, slow down and savor it.

How do you plan to savor summer?

Be savvy & chic,

~Pink Collar Coach