I only got four hours of sleep last night. Good book, talkative husband, snuggle worthy dogs, all conspired to keep me up too late. I awoke before the sun as I usually do to see my daughter before she’s off to school. After breakfast (Nutella on waffles. Don’t judge) and a packed lunch, the daunting decision of what to wear to 7th grade, and my daily pick up around the house, I looked ahead to a long, busy day. You know those days when the main goal is just to get through it? Got ready and tiptoed out of the house as to not wake my sleeping man only to sit in rush hour traffic on my way to my monthly hair appointment in Buckhead. This is usually a time for me to relax with my book and let my favorite hair people of all time (Perri, Patrick, and Van) transform my limp “I don’t want to be styled” hair into the anchor ‘do I need. But I was strapped uncomfortably in an arm sling to help with a recent health problem. And I was truly exhausted. Next on the agenda was a retirement luncheon to one of Atlanta’s, if not the country’s, most revered and beloved news anchors, Monica Pearson (you may know her as Kaufman) from channel 2. She’s been in the biz a hundred years, she’s spoken at every meeting in the city you can imagine, hosted every event, covered huge stories, national and local, and been a pillar in this community for most of my life. She’s beat cancer, raised a daughter, read to children, shook countless hands and signed countless photos, given advice, interviewed politicians and celebrities, the woman has done it all. And dammit, if she isn’t one of the nicest and warmest people you’ll ever meet too! The lunch for her today stared up at me from my busy calendar and I wondered if it would even matter if I went. Karen Graham and Lisa Rayam from Fox 5 and I were the first to arrive at a swanky room at Neiman Marcus in Lenox Square. We chatted and waited. And waited. Again, I was thinking should I be here? Then the familiar faces started rolling in. It’s the same for me as it is for you. I only know these women from TV and I get excited to see them in person. We took our seats, the iced tea started flowing (this is the South, honey), and a private fashion show had us ooohing and aaaahing over new outfits to wear on the air. Then a funny thing happened. My exhaustion lifted, I forgot who worked where, and we were just a bunch of broadcasting broads who are more alike than different. We started shouting out which outfits would work best for who. Talking about whose kids were doing what. Laughing and sharing hugs over why we’ve never done something like this before. It was such fun. Over too soon as Jovita, Amanda, Jaquitta, and I dashed out to get ready for our respective 4:00 newscasts. Before we left, someone asked Monica for to share some words of wisdom as she retires from television broadcasting. She said simply, “Put your kids first.” “Don’t get caught up in the workplace gossip” (“let it go in one ear and out the other, honey”). And “know when it’s your time and get out!” I laughed through tears. There’s a reason she has such a great reputation. She’s earned it. I left the luncheon buoyed by a kinship with these women to earn mine.