The Legacy of a Mentor

The Conception of the Pink Mentor Network: Inspired by Miss Jenny’s “Poor Planning”.

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January 27, 2017

“Hi honey. What’s up?”

“Honey!! I have it!! I have our big idea! This is going to be huge!! I’m so excited! I really can’t make of sense of it all right now. The idea is so good that it literally brought me to tears on the way to work. I’m shaking right now. Honey, this is going to be huge! I am so excited!!!”

“Stop. Slow down. Take a breath. You have to calm down, Sacy.” (Nickname. Not a typo.)

My husband attempted to calm me down. He has tremendous experience with this role. I am known to call him with a “brilliant” business idea about every two months. Lately, more frequently.

But once again excitement of a new idea consumed me. I was flailing about like a decapitated chicken on my phone to my husband… in front of my office… at 7:30 in the morning. Must have been some scene for my coworkers with a window view.

“No, but honey. This is SERIOUSLY. GOING. TO. CHANGE. MY. LIFE. You know how I’m always looking for a mentor? Well, I found her and she is the best idea I’ve ever had.”

“Ok, Hon. Great. Who is she?” he questioned.

“… she was at the Women’s March,” I interrupted.

“Stacy, what are you talking about? You weren’t even at the Women’s March.”

He was getting frustrated by my inability to communicate effectively. But I couldn’t help it. Endorphins and adrenaline had run off with my tongue.

“No, Steve. That energy. All those women. We really do come together. We really do support each other. I’m going to start a community where retired women to share their work experiences. Remember Jenny?!? Seriously. This is going to be huge. Honey, I can’t stop shaking. I know, I know. I’m not really doing a good job right now of explaining it, but remember Jenny?!”

“Yes, Sacy. But I‘m not really sure how she’s going to help. She’s dead.”

Miss Jenny was our neighbor for about a decade. She lived alone because her husband passed after a long marriage and sickness. It was clear she missed him.

She was a graceful, passive-aggressive, southern woman. She used to call other “old” ladies in the neighborhood “Bee-Boppers” because “they can’t stay out of my business” she claimed. She believed they were checking her recyclables and notating how much wine was consumed. “Those Bee-Boppers are so bored with their old lady lives. They want to steal mine. Because I know how to have fun!”

(The Bee-Boppers were at least two decades younger than Miss Jenny.)

I digress. But WOW. That woman was a hoot. I miss her.

“So I was thinking about Jenny on the way into work. Steve, I miss her so much. That lady had such an incredible life. She always knew just what to say… and boy, did she say it! And she could because at 87, she lived through just about everything. Steve, there are more “Jennys” out there. I saw them march. Now I have to find them, interview them, and collect their wisdom. I’m telling you this is going to be huge!! I started working on it before work. www.pinkmentornetwork.com is available. Honey, that’s a sign. I know it is.”

“Ok, Sacy.” A deep breath and sigh were taken on the other end of the phone. “Seriously. Calm Down. Remember Playmate Dates?”

He was throwing one of my “less than thought through” business ideas out there. It was actually Playdate Mates, a friend matching site for mothers looking for playdates for their children. He refers to it as “Playmate Dates” because well, he’s a man, and it’s wishful thinking.

“Steve! No! Stop it. Seriously, this is going to be huge. I promise. Women are looking for mentors. There is no way good way to find them. I’m going to work on the business plan this weekend.”

“Ok, Sacy. Settled down. Get through today. And don’t forget to pick up a pizza for dinner.”

We disconnected. I attempted to pull myself together and return to work. But I couldn’t stop planning how to plan the business plan.

Jenny’s voice, although it’s been years since I heard it, echoed in my head. “All shortcomings in life are due to poor planning. And child, that girl couldn’t plan herself out of a paper bag.”

She blamed everything from national debt to Mike Huckabee’s dimples on “poor planning”. (She had a mad crush on that man.)

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Miss Jenny – 10/29/11

Sorry the picture is blurry.  It was poor planning.

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That weekend I wrote a business plan, laid out a website, planned the Pink Mentor Network’s first event, and coordinated my efforts for the next week.

Thank you, Jenny. This girl can get herself out of a paper bag.

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