At the CAWLM office, we’ve put our legwarmers away for a while and decided to get back to the future. Not so fast, I say. Spending several months reliving the 80s has brought back so many memories and made me think about how much time we spent on our relationships way back then. Okay, I don’t want to be construed as the woman who wouldn’t let go of her “glory days”, but I’m not the only one. Others are thinking back to a less complicated time. I was on Facebook recently and I read a post about someone longing for the times when kids could stay out in the neighborhood playing all day — instead of watching TV or playing video games. Back then, you only knew it was time to go home when the streetlights came on. Neighbors actually hung out together. When I was a kid, my parents were good friends with the couple across the street and on any given night, they would hang out together listening to eight track tapes and talking all night long, while us kids played frozen tag and baseball in the front yard. It was just the thing to do. It made for great relationships and really powerful memories. We’re running so fast these days that we rarely stop to stroll down memory lane. I’m not really complaining that I’m busy— after all I don’t want to think about the alternative. But, I do believe that we need to sometimes slow down and smell the proverbial roses. I’m not talking about the 20 minutes or so that you have between appointments or soccer games. I’m suggesting that time, and our lack of it, has stolen some really great connection points of yesteryear. Maybe we’ll look back on Facebook and Twitter as the playgrounds of the here and now. I think that connecting any way you can is good, but I’m an old fashioned gal who likes to be face to face. And, just like so many years ago, people are now longing again for stronger relationships, people they can trust and those who can be counted on. I know that there are so many of those individuals out there — especially in mid-Michigan, and this month we’re thrilled to share one particular story with all of you. The magazine awarded Shari Murgittroyd the first Caring About Women Locally (CAWL) Award at the CAWLM 80s Flashback fundraiser on Saturday, March 19. She knows just who she is and what she cares about. A woman after my own heart, she continually helps those who have been abused both emotionally and physically. By connecting with them and creating a trusting relationship, Shari counsels women who are suffering. She’s an inspiration to us all. And, I couldn’t be prouder to highlight her efforts. After throwing the totally rad 80s Flashback fundraiser last month, which was a blast on so many levels … and benefited a great cause — the WCA Youth Mural Arts Program, I began thinking about how we all used to meet at the drive in to hang out, the music we danced to, those crazy classic John Hughes movies like Pretty in Pink and the fact that the 80s were the only time my “big” hair was really in style. I truly want to thank the CAWLM team starting with our rock star editor Emily Caswell for leading the charge on getting our big event pulled together. For the first year, I couldn’t have been more thrilled. The whole team worked hard and it showed. Our party-goers were wowed by the details and the excess of it all. The Motion Marketing & Media design and PR team also worked their fingers to the bone to make sure anyone who wanted to go back in time with us — knew about the event. My gosh, the 80s were fun. The clothes were frankly from another world, but as I heard from someone not too long ago, all great things and big causes started in the 80s. Hey, I’ll go with that. So, officially we’ve put our neon jewelry away and are gearing up for golf club weather. CAWLM Lady Classic anyone? It’s spring! Spend some time outside building strong relationships. Hey, invite your neighbors for a BBQ and lock up the house from the kids and force a friendly game of tag. Hopefully you don’t have to explain what it is…
Tiffany Dowling is the Founder and President of M3 Group, a full-service branding agency located in downtown Lansing, Mich. She is also owner and publisher of Capital Area Women’s LifeStyle Magazine and the Greater Lansing Business Monthly. Dowling has helped businesses and organizations with branding needs for more than a decade. Learn more at www.m3group.biz.