Lattes, Leadership, Loss and Love

Lattes, Leadership, Loss and Love

It’s another Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose day and yesterday I spent precious time with two of The Lattes discussing leadership, loss and love.

Service on Purpose/Smart at Work (Professional Life)

Four of us –– three African America and one Caucasian, coffee with a little milk –– became close when we worked together as Leadership Coaches. Though we missed what our Milk brings to the mix, coming together made it a sweet Sweetest Day. Five years ago, I left the agency with the goal of maximizing  the Masters in Leadership and Coaching I’d soon earn. After a few almost but not quite right roles, this week will mark a year as Women’s Center Director – my perfect service on purpose fit! Terri soon earned a coveted spot as the agency’s first minority  Team Leader and Delorise recently came up through the ranks to claim the same title! So much leadership among us and reason to celebrate…

Serene at Home (Personal Life)

Still, our rejoicing was tempered by a D ––  or challenge women face –– the unexpected death of Terri’s beloved husband of nearly  30 years on Labor Day. Heartbreaking. But hopeful. With a family history rife with Ds  –– in the form  of divorce and dysfunctional relationships –– for me their marriage serves a beacon of hope. Their kind of  love is rare but does exist! As Terri deals with her incredible loss, she can often be heard to say, “I go to gratitude”. Having been loved so well, she knows she’s among the blessed and highly favored. And of course, because we were at my Petite Retreat, talk turned to decorating and Shabby Chic style. Terri even laughed about being able to finally put her floral comforter on the bed now!

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The Lattes sans (without) our Milk!                                                                 Delorise, Terri and Me, Pink Collar Coach.

Spirit-Led (Prayer)

Being with my lovely, smart, strong Swan Sisters made me go to gratitude, too. Though I no longer see them on the daily, our hearts are connected and the time brought healing. The Lattes are leaders at work and in their families. In fact, Delorise adopted a toddler four years ago when his mother died of cancer though her two girls were in their preteens and teens… They have capacity for great love and to grieve losses graciously and find reasons to laugh. They are SO Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose. I’m blessed to have spent time with them because they truly demonstrate  how to deal effectively with the Ds to minimize barriers and to maximize beauty and their best lives.  I just pray our Milk, appropriately named Joy, can join us next time for an even more perfect blend of The Lattes!

Be savvy & chic,

~Pink Collar Coach

 

 

 

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Blessed by My BFF

Blessed by My BFF

It’s Day 59 (reset) of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project, and I can’t expressed how blessed I am by my high school BFF.

Serene at Home (Personal)

As I shared in yesterday’s post, ongoing Ds –– challenges women face –– this time in the form of dysfunctional relationships, threatened to throw me into a fit of depression. One of the ways I fought back was calling Josette, my Swan Soul Sister from another mister, for some much needed girl time to celebrate her upcoming birthday and three years cancer free after her double mastectomy and reconstructive surgery. She’d texted that we needed to do lunch. My response –– Tomorrow? Before hanging up, however, she hesitated and then told me about an encounter with a hater of mine who tried to disparage me to her. Ever my champion, Josette graciously shut her down with a smile and sent her on her way frustrated because she got no traction with my high school bestie. Grateful as I felt for her having my back, last night I  felt wounded to be stabbed in it by someone who is supposed to be in my corner…Then today, I teared up when Josette apologized for upsetting me. I’m not upset, I assured her. Just blessed by you!

Sense of Style/Shop the Look (Personal Packaging)

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First day with somewhat fall-like weather in the 70s vs. recent record breaking 90s temps warranted breaking out brown handbag  & booties  paired w/floral top that reminds me of leaves turning, topped by a coral cardigan. All Calvin Klein from TJ Maxx. Maximize fall fashion! : )

Spirit – Led (Putting it Into Practice)

Little did this hater know, but by attempting to malign me, she made herself look so malicious! Rather than doing damage to my reputation, her true colors came shining through without me having to say a word against her. Thus proving God’s promise is true –– If we stay still, He’ll fight our battles (Exodus 14:14, NIV) –– or in my case, let our high school BFFs do it for us!

I pray you’ll be Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose, like my Josette, the next time someone tries to drag you into gossip or rumors. If you are, you may bless another Swan Sister to minimize her barriers and maximize her best life.

Be savvy & chic,

~Pink Collar Coach

Seasons of Her Soul (Publications)

To preview/purchase the print or Kindle version of my debut novel, Seasons of Her Soul, please visit Amazon.com at 
 

 

Book 2 in the Lee’s Legacy series, Hold on Her Heart, is in the works! Stay tuned….

 

 

 

 

Pink Collar Coach’s Positivity Post – August 14, 2019 – Last Day of Summer Break

Pink Collar Coach’s Positivity Post – August 14, 2019 – Last Day of Summer Break

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.

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Kibby & Me. She is lovely in her purple paisley. I’m in my favorite swim suit – pink of course! Calvin Klein hat, suit, towel & flip flops. All from TJ Maxx. 

As summer break winds down for many of us, I pray you’ll be Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on 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.

Be Savvy & Chic,

~Pink Collar Coach

How Wonderful Life Is While You’re In the World

How Wonderful Life Is While You’re In the World

It’s Day 31 (reset) of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project, and as we head toward my daughter’s Sweet 16th birthday this weekend, I’m sentimental about a lot of things, including my high school best friend and how wonderful life is while she’s in the world. My freshman year was so hard. I didn’t start at my college prep high school until freshman year while almost everyone else did 7th grade. They’d already formed their cliques and made it painfully clear there was to be no acceptance of  a black girl who wasn’t “black enough” to fit in with the them. But I wasn’t white which made  admittance to that group a no go as well . Add the fact that my middle school boyfriend dumped me for an upperclassman who went all the way with him right away after I hadn’t in almost three years…I became a social pariah. All of her friends bullied me to the point where there were days when I honestly wanted to die. Then sophomore year, beautiful, popular Josette did more than befriend me. In many ways she saved me. Love and gratitude for our lifelong friendship made us wrap our arms around each other and sing along as we watched Rocketman on the big screen and a young Elton John, masterfully portrayed by Taron Egerton, serenade his best friend Bernie with “How Wonderful Life Is While You’re in the World”

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My BFF Josette and me, Pink Collar Coach, the day after Rocketman opened in theaters. She’s sporting her post-radiation short hair vs. her long locks and is more beautiful than ever.       I’m in a Calvin Klein royal blue jumper with white handbag with cut out details. My royal blue shoes have the same detail but were cut off by the stranger we solicited to take the pic!            All TJ Maxx. 

Life has taken us down different paths and hasn’t always made it easy for us to get together. But when we do, the thirty-four years that have passed since we were sophomores fade away and we’re both Sweet 16 again. Connected at our core. Giggling over guys. Grateful to God for each other. And always singing songs…Part of the reason I wasn’t considered “black enough” is my love of a wide variety of music, including that of Sir Elton John. Josette and I share that and sang throughout. We also shed several tears. You see, my sweet, strong Swan Soul Sister is a recent D –– challenge women face –– survivor. In the form of a breast cancer diagnosis and double mastectomy. With amazing faith, positivity and reconstructive surgery, she’s minimized this barrier and is maximizing beauty and her best life. In doing so, she’s become one of my she-roes. Which makes life even more wonderful while she’s still in the world.

I pray you have a special Swan Sister who’s been in your life as long as Josette’s been in mine. And that even if you aren’t a fan of Elton John and wouldn’t want to see the movie ––- which was weird and wonderful (from my favorite “Benny and the Jets”!) –– with them, you still may want to let them know “How Wonderful Life is While You’re in the World”.

Be savvy & chic,

~Pink Collar Coach 

 

 

50th Bday Get-Together Puts New Take on The 3 Gs

50th Bday Get-Together Puts New Take on The 3 Gs

It’s Day 27 (reset) of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project and last night’s 50th birthday get-together put a new take on The 3 Gs. I’d just turned 26 when I started teaching with Terry and Brenda at a small Christian school. In our 20s, 30s and 40s, we became a tight trio. I dubbed us The 3 Gs –– thinking at the time we were from three different generations. Though I learned they’re both Baby Boomers and I’m Gen X, the name has stuck for two decades. Then last night, after visiting my Petite Retreat –– which Brenda pointed out is HUGE –– we went to her home where she’d prepared dinner. Our place settings had a plate that described her as Shoe Girl –– she has more than me and that’s saying A LOT; Terry as Cafe Girl –– she’s a natural foods guru and a Fresh Thyme manager; and me as Shopping Girl –– Need I say more? With that, the 50th Bday get-together was the last in a month of festivities and one of my favorite because it put a new take on The 3 Gs!

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Me, Shopping Girl and Brenda, Shoe Girl. The plates were found many years ago at TJ Maxx. My floral Calvin Klein dress last Easter at the same.                                                                        
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Me, Shopping Girl and Terry, Cafe Girl.                                                           Calvin Klein Pink cardigan –– my new favorite –– Wait for it –– Burlington! 

Doing nearly half of my life with these beautiful, smart, godly Pink Collar Savvy & Chic Swan Soul Sisters has contributed so significantly to me being able to minimize my Ds –– barriers women face –– in the form of domestic violence, death, divorce, domestic court issues, depression, and the list could go on. They’ve been in it with me faithfully and have loved and supported me well enough that I’ve been able to maximize beauty and my best life. Now I’m looking forward to the next Bday where we’ll officially be in our 50s, 60s and 70s. We’re already planning a trip to celebrate that. Until then, I’ll be forever blessed by my 50th get-together and how it put a new take on The 3 Gs!

I pray you’ll be Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose and get together with those women you’ve done life with. May you talk, pray, laugh and cry like we did last night. And may you continue to help one another minimize your barriers and maximize beauty and your best lives, too.

Be savvy & chic,

~Pink Collar Coach

 

Pink Collar Coach’s Positivity Post – July 13, 2019

Pink Collar Coach’s Positivity Post – July 13, 2019

The cover a book full of inspirational quotes gathered for those facing a diagnosis –– one of the Ds or barriers women face –– and those who love them. It is meant to strengthen their resolve and comfort their souls.

Whatever D –– diagnosis, a death, debt, depression, divorce, domestic court, domestic violence, discouragement, discrimination, dysfunction, etc. –– you are facing right now, may the words and this simple post do that for you.

Given to me by my Swan Sister, Kibby for my 50th Bday, may it especially encourage you today! And Holly, my Kinder Care Sister, may it do that for you because you’re one of my s-heroes! You both got this because ultimately, God’s got you!!!

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Be savvy & chic,

~Pink Collar Coach

High School Sisters by Heart

High School Sisters by Heart

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.

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High School Sisters by Heart –– Josette and Me, Pink Collar Coach.                                           Josette has always had beautiful hair and it’s growing back in that way.                                      I’m in a floral bell sleeve top and black jeggins with shorties. All Calvin Klein from TJ Maxx. 

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.

Be savvy & chic,

~Pink Collar Coach