Day 27 of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project provided an opportunity for me to spend some time with one of my soul sisters. Twenty years ago I started teaching 6th grade at a small private school, and at twenty-nine, I was one of the youngest there. My team teacher, Brenda, who taught 7th and 8th, and the teacher next door, Terry, who taught 4th, had been going to lunch together for a while and invited me. Our first lunch we got on like a house on fire. Though not as frequently, we are still opening and closing restaurants together to this day. We’ve been known to meet for breakfast, talk through lunch, then order dinner and dessert. More than once pointed glances from tired servers have driven us into the parking lot to continue our nonstop flow of conversation. One night we even got into the cars and talked until the wee hours.
Over the years, I’ve made new friends, but the three of us are bound together by time, shared experiences, faith, and love. All three of us lost our fathers and were informed while teaching at Fellowship, which was more than a tight-knit school – it was family. We believe that’s so much more than happenstance…My then husband became my wasband and Terry found true love after too many years as a divorced single mom, only to lose him tragically. But being Terry, she’s at peace and has created a life she loves. Brenda and her college sweetheart have beaten the odds and are still together. When I remarried and stood at the top of the aisle with no father to walk me down, Brenda’s husband rose, escorted me, and moved everyone present to tears. After a long wait for grandchildren, they got four in rapid order and are happy grandparents together. Some of our children have broken our hearts and our friendship has mended them over prayers, tears and so much laughter. Somewhere along the line we became the 3Gs, short for the 3 Generations. That first lunch date we were in our 20s, 30s and 40s. Today its our 40s, 50s, and 60s.
Brenda, couldn’t join us today because she was on a birthday trip with both of her daughters-in-law. While it would have been even better to have her with us, catching up with Terry was like tonic for my soul. No matter how much time passes between visits, it’s as if none has passed and we pick up the conversation like we would have had we just stepped out of our classrooms on a break. We may have started in the classroom, but we didn’t stay there and have had career evolutions that include leadership positions like Brenda becoming a high school principal, me becoming a child care center director and Terry managing a chain of natural food stores. There have been lots of bad bosses, workplace bullies and saboteurs galore. Sharing these problems with my soul sisters has solved them by half. Originally, we started as teachers at Christian schools because we wanted to be in full-time ministry. Now we all understand wherever we work is our ministry. A ministry of serving and encouraging whoever God puts in our paths. We’re imminently grateful that He put us in one another’s.
Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose women need to be intentional about having Pink Collar soul sisters who help maintain balance. Be it a call or lunch while the children are down at home, or a walk away from the office during the work day, taking time to cultivate and nurture new friendships is well worth the effort. Just remember, you can make new friends and not old ones, so keeping and maintaining longtime Pink Collar soul sisters may be even moreso.