It’s Day 49 (reset) of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project, and this busy weekend has taught me a life lesson from my loads of laundry. For many of us, this week was Back to School. As the mother of an 11th and 10th grader who is divorced –– a D or challenge women face –– from their father, I had them this weekend and a lot of the time went into school-related activities and making sure they were set to return for the first full week tomorrow. Between a trip to the library, running my daughter to a birthday sleepover, feeding my ravenous son and keeping him entertained Friday, I did laundry. Same thing Saturday before and after I picked her up, fought construction to make it to Zumba, did the grocery shopping and banking, then made lunch and finally dinner, all while tossing loads in and pulling them out. This morning, as I listened to Joel Osteen –– I folded and put clothes and linens away prior to taking Liv out for last minute school supplies. (What ever happened to getting the list before classes started?). Though there were moments when I felt like I’d either been put through the wringer or the spin cycle –– this is my first time blogging since Thursday! –– there wasn’t one where I didn’t feel blessed to have these tasks to do for my children and home. That’s the life lesson I’ve learned from my loads of laundry.
You see, though sometimes I look at all of the bath towels and face cloths to be washed, at all the bedding and more clothes than I can keep up with, I’m often reminded of a story I once heard a story about a woman who sat all alone in her immaculate house and longed for it to be cluttered with the chaos of children…Because I don’t have mine all of the time, I can relate. When they’re here, it’s more joy than drudgery doing the mundane things for –– and with –– them. I touch the towels and am thankful they take care of themselves the way I taught them to. I look at the linens and love that they lie in them and sleep luxuriously when living under my roof. And I cuddle the clothes and am conscious of how quickly their time as children will cease. Each time I’m immensely grateful that despite a divorce, the Lord has –– for now –– blessed me to serve them. Yes, on purpose. Focusing on that allows me to minimize my D and to maximize beauty and my best life.
One day, they’ll be grow up and away and my washer and dryer will get a lot less use. Til then, I’m taking my life lesson from the laundry to heart and am determined to be Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose and to treasure the loads.
It’s Day 28 (reset) of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project and a picture taken last Thursday while I was teaching reminds me that I’m working hard as a Director and on the dance floor! Captured toward the end of class with my hair a disaster and make up destroyed, it’s clear I’m a sweaty mess! And so proud of it. Working hard to lead and serve the residents, staff and volunteers of a homeless shelter takes tons of energy. So much so that at times, I wonder where I’ll get the rest to instruct a class afterward. Then, following a mad dash to change my clothes and make the drive, I arrive and see the expectant faces of the students. This kicks my excitement into gear! And to top that, last Thursday the students surprised me with a belated 50th dance celebration and showed up from a few different gyms and YMCAs. That made me so exuberant that I kicked it up another notch, which shows on my face! It speaks to the effort I put in working hard as a Director and on the dance floor!
Women work hard! Being balanced takes intentionality. Far too often, we let our careers, family, other activities, etc. get us out of the habit of doing the things we love for self-care. Yes, I’m a paid Zumba instructor who appreciates the ancillary income, but I also dance to deal with my Ds –– barriers or challenges women face. For me these are mostly manifested in dysfunctional relationships and ongoing issues with being divorced. But oh, do I feel better when I’m dancing! The stress just melts away. Right along with my make up!!! Dance is a positive D and one of the main contributors to me being able to minimize my barriers in order to maximize beauty and my best life. Ugly sweat and all! So glad I was at least wearing my signature pink for the pic!
I pray you will be Pink Collar Savvy & Chicon Purpose and not only work hard on your job but that you’ll set a goal to work hard at a workout routine. Whether you’re getting one going for the first time in awhile or ever… I can attest from personal experience that the positive release of endorphins is worth it. They boost your emotions and can put a positive period on the end of the worst work day. Not to mention the cognitive, physical, social, and even spiritual benefits. No matter the playlist, there’s a part of me that’s connected to God in worship. I’m especially blessed that I receive financial gain from teaching dance classes as well. For me, it literally pays off to work hard as a director and on the dance floor!
As a bookish former school teacher and author who deals with a big D or challenge women face –– in the form of divorce –– the battle to balance all of the electronics and screen time they are permitted when not with me and reading. Still, committed to instilling the love of reading, last week before they left for vacation with their father, we visited the library where they each selected books for the trip. A Face Time session where my daughter informed she is barreling through her stack and my son told me he finished his on the plane and wants the others in the series makes my day! Mommy Mission to raise bookworms –– Accomplished!
All the years of reading good books to them before they were even born and exposing them to good literature over the years is paying off. The power of persistence! So blessed to be able to say I’m being Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose and minimizing this barrier in order to maximize beauty –– in the form of books –– and Lord willing my children’s best lives!
Pray you’ll be Pink Collar Savvy & Chicon Purpose and either raise or be a bookworm today!
There are days when it’s hard to parent teens, especially when there’s been a divorce. Then there are days like yesterday when it’s a pure joy. A day spent relaxing by the pool and watching a movie with my kiddos reminded me we’re still The Three Musketeers. Wherever you are in your parenting journey –– hang in there and hold on to hope.
It’s Day 247 of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project and since I attended her preschool graduation tonight, I’m blogging about Izzy and me. Because Izzy was born only a few years after I married her grandfather (she turned five Monday), and my son was barely eight at the time, I didn’t become grandma but Mimi – short for Tammi. Despite not being ready for grandchildren, my heart leaps with joy every time Izzy – my special name for Adriana Isabella – greats me with “Mimi!” She knows I’ll feed, dance, play and sing with her when all the other adults are watching sports in the Man Cave. Izzy and I have spent many happy hours watching Frozen and Legend of the Guardians more times than I can count and reading stories from her bedtime collection. Swimming and floating around the Lazy River on vacation and even sharing our first Uber ride to the mall are memories we share. Tonight was also a special time. Even though our family took up and entire row at graduation, this precious, precocious little girl’s eyes seemed to find mine and she blew me a kiss – our thing. Then at dinner where we were seated directly across from each other, she reached out and took hold of my fingers. “I love you, Mimi”, she smiled and eyes full, I told her the same. Though the only one at the table not related to her by blood, that doesn’t diminish the tight bond between Izzy and me.
As a Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Mimi, I’m thankful God gave me this little girl when He did. I didn’t know it at the time, but on nights like this – my children’s last day of 7th and 8th grade/middle school – when they’re at their father’s, He knew I needed her love to fill the whole left by them not being here. Divorce causes that…But tonight, sharing a meal with the family who loves her, including my husband’s first wife – Tammy with a “y”/Grammy to Izzy – and my stepson’s in-laws, I remembered there really is hope beyond divorce. My parents made it work…Maybe we can. Celebrating Adriana Isabella together, it felt like my big fat blended family got even bigger. And I didn’t even feel like the only step at the table. I just felt very blessed by the ties that bind us – beginning with Izzy and me.
How are you Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose regarding those surprise relationships in your life? You know the ones you didn’t know you’d need or value – in your personal and or professional life? How can you be?