Little did I know it when one of my most special Swan Soul Sisters, Kibby, and I had our first swim this summer that it might also be our last of the season. Life hit her hard with a family medical emergency while she already splits her time between two states caring for her mother who suffered a stroke last year. Though we normally spend several lazy summer days lounging by the pool, we haven’t made it back since this photo. I didn’t post it originally because of how cooky my hat looks plus the readers on top of my head! Not a good look!. But now that my kiddos head back to school tomorrow and she’ll soon head back to her hometown since the medical emergency is thankfully under control, it makes this moment more memorable ––– cooky hat, glasses and all.
As summer break winds down for many of us, I pray you’ll be Pink Collar Savvy & Chicon Purpose and find ways to mark the meaningful moments. For me it’s posting a pic that I normally may not. Not only as a way to mark the last day of summer break, but to be intentional about expressing gratitude for my many blessings, like time with a special Swan Sister who helps me to minimize my barriers and maximize beauty and my best life.
Last night after teaching Zumba, a student, Sonya and I sat down and talked for the longest. Glad that we’ve gotten to be friends, I was even more grateful for her when my car wouldn’t start. I suspect it’s another D –– personal and professional challenges women face –– in the form of a dead battery. Sonya came to my rescue –– helping me jump it, offering to follow me home to make sure I made it, then taking me home –– with a needed stop at the store first. She got to visit my tiny house –– though she pointed out it’s not so tiny –– and connected on a deep level for a few hours. So thankful for my friend who took so much of her time to care. She has such a serving heart, I suspect she’s an angel unaware.
It’s Day 8 (reset) of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project and my 50th has been full of faith, family and friends with some fashion thrown in. After staying up until midnight to watch the clock strike midnight, I still woke before dawn to spend time worshiping God for letting me live half a century and for being my faithful God through every second of it. Next I woke my precious children and received such heart-melting hugs that they pretty much obliterated any of the painful teen things they’ve put me through lately. We had such a wonderful Fourth of July and long weekend leading up to today –– all the present this mom ever hoped for. With warm and fuzzies out of the way, I went back to curling my hair –– a rare occurrence these days –– to compliment my feminine floral dress. I tend to stay away from both in my role as a Women’s Center Director to up my authority, but as I told our male Director of Operations today, “I’m 50 but always wear a princess dress on my birthday.” At the end of a busy one catching up from being off, I headed to a Zumba class where a Bday routine was added to celebrate my milestone. Next the instructor/dear friend and I met another one, culminating one of my best days ever with the laughter and love that bubbles to the surface whenever true friendship is at the center. Faith, family, fashion and friends…What a full 50th!
Chock full as the day was, it was a good thing I wore the princess dress because the residents and staff had treated me like royalty all day long. Songs, cards, gifts, and food (a fish and chips lunch, two cakes, ice cream and enough Gummi Bears to supply me a while), were just some of the ways they showered me with affection. By this point, I was honestly a bit overwhelmed. But I wasn’t done being shown lavish attention. I received gifts at dinner and arrived home this evening to more!
Not once did anyone crack an over the hill joke or say anything that wasn’t affirming, encouraging or positive. I wasn’t consciously fearing that but realize in hindsight I appreciate this. I woke up this morning feeling so incredibly blessed. Yet I had no idea how much the day held in store. Nor do I take it for granted. I understand that there are women out there, who may be reading this right now, who have never experienced a birthday like mine. My prayer is that your life will be abundantly full of faith, family and friendship. With some fashion thrown in if that’s your thing…Not just for a 50th, but every day.
How can you be Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose and bring some of above to someone else in your personal or professional life?
It’s Day 6 of being back to blogging and I’m still glowing from time spent with one of my BFFS –– we’re high school sisters by heart. In many ways, Josette saved me in the 10th grade. While in junior high I’d tested into a Walnut Hills, a college prep school , but unlike most who did, I didn’t start as a 7th grader, which meant all of the cliques had already been formed by the time I showed up as a freshman. Thirty-five years later, I can honestly say it was one of the worst periods of my life. I was bullied for being a Peppermint Patty –– black on the outside and white on the inside –– and didn’t fit in with either group of kids. Add to that the fact that my junior high boyfriend AKA best friend dumped me for an upperclassman who rallied her friends to bully me too, and there were days when I felt I’d rather die than go another day. Only my faith, family and friends outside school got me through. Beautiful, funny, sweet Josette befriending me the following year remains one of the things for which I’m forever grateful. God knit us together in so many ways that we truly became high school sisters by heart.
Thirty plus years later, though life has not afforded us very many opportunities to spend time hanging out, every interaction feels as though no time has passed. Our discussions no longer center around cute boys, Prince and challenges with our home lives. Now they’re about dealing with the Ds ( the challenges women face like divorce, diagnosis, etc.) but the level of comfort, ease and depth of connection remain the same. This was the case when I treated her to a 50th birthday dinner a few months ago. And the birthday was the best I’ve ever spent with her because she’s conquered a huge D as a one year survivor of stage 4 breast cancer and a double mastectomy. I have ALWAYS loved Josette. Now I absolutely treasure and look up to her more than ever.
The thought of losing my high school BFF has made me more intentional about not letting as much time pass between spending time with my Swan Soul Sister….Hopefully my sharing will inspire you to be Pink Collar Savvy & Chic and do the same with your old friends. After all, you can always make new friends but you can’t make old ones like high school sisters by heart.
It’s Day 242 of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project and I spent my Saturday feeling serene in shades of blue. Following an intense morning of exercise where I opened Zumba class and then taught one in the middle, I put a Christmas gift card from my sweet hubby to use and did lunch and lots of catching up with a sweet soul sister. Being together is like applying a healing balm for any wounds our personal and/or professional worlds have inflicted. Time with other Pink Collar Swans is special, so I always pack something pretty to wear after working out. This week, the long, langourous lunch, and shades of blue left me feeling so serene.
As a Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Maxxinista, I’ve always viewed clothing as a form of self-expression. I use it to enhance my moods or to embrace them. Today, because I got to wake up and do something I absolutely adore, in a setting with supportive women, and then got to spend the afternoon sharing life’s ups and downs with someone who’s consistently there for the highs and lows, I wanted to do both. Life isn’t perfect by any stretch, but I’m so incredibly blessed and thankful that I feel such serenity and peace in my heart. I can’t imagine being a hater who has to live between their own ears. It’s infinitely better to know though I’m not perfect, I’m perfectly accepted and loved by my heavenly Father and can spend my Saturday serene in shades of blue.
How about you? Are you at peace between your ears? If you could assign a color to your feelings today, what would it be? What Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose steps can you take to bring more shades into your personal and professional life? Finding your fitness fit? Owning your sense of style? Time with a friend? Nurturing your faith?
It’s Day 231 of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project, and I was delighted to get a friend fix. Yesterday, I put in a full day working on professional tasks so that I could take a long, leisurely lunch with one of my closest friends today. Balance is such an important part of self-care and for me it means spending time with Pink Collar Soul Sisters. My women’s networking event and her plans prevented us from hanging out last weekend. Now she’s heading out of town on vacation, which means we won’t see each other this weekend or next. That being the case, we strategically scheduled a lunch date to tide us over. By the grace of God, I’ve never been addicted to a substance (nor do I judge anyone who has), but there’s something euphoric about about a good friend fix.
I love that phase! Yesterday was the first time I heard it – when a life coach I used to supervise/now friend – emailed me saying she needed a Tammi fix. Those two little words filled my heart with joy and made me realize how much I miss her too since I moved on from my last director role and she ceased her work with the organization soon thereafter. I will forever more attribute “friend fix” to her and had to smile when I heard her name in a song soon after reading her email. People often comment about some friends being for a season and others for a reason. For a season, this life coach was a close to a right hand as I had in my director role. She was phenomenal and made my job infinitely better. In turn, she often commented on how much I encouraged her and did a great job equipping her to do the work. The reason we remained connected professionally is that we felt an affinity from the beginning and that has translated into being able to communicate freely about our personal lives and shared faith. A temporary season and eternal reason…
As a Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Soul Sister, though I understand the importance of spending time with friends, sometimes it’s a challenge. The list of those I’ve been aiming to meet with since before the holidays are my best friend from high school without whom I wouldn’t have survived it (she’ll be thrilled about my debut novel, Seasons of Her Soul!), a parent of one of my 6th grader students who was killed at age 21 in a car accident, bonding us together forever, a Kinder Care center director sister who is valiantly fighting melanoma and is a shero, a former co-worker and beloved sister in Christ who is now an empty nester, a few dear friends from my last job, the 3Gs (we began teaching in our 20s, 30s, and 40s – now we’re in our 40s, 50s, and 60s), and The Lattes (3 black + one white = coffee with leche/milk)! Considering the length of the list, I need to be very intentional about scheduling get togethers. Because as much as I need a friend fix, I know many of them could use a Tammi fix too.
How can you be Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose about friend fixes? From which friends could you use a fix? Which could use a fix from you?
Be savvy & chic,
~Pink Collar Coach
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