Time to put on my grannie panties

Time to put on my grannie panties


When I first heard the former education secretary Margaret Spellings advise incoming White House Press Secretary Dana Perino that it was time to put on her “big girl panties” I was awestruck. I felt no better phrase captured what women often have to go through in the workplace in light of a promotion or just general office politics in a male-dominated field. I have since advised many staff (both men and women, but more so women” to also put on their big-girl panties. It’s my version of a pep talk before a big event.


Before there was the overly widely used “lean in” phrase, there was “big girl panties”.  The phrase has been used to connote a hybrid meaning of “man up” and “just do it” with gusto.  Many times life is unfair but you not only roll with it, you revel in it. On an given Monday, I prefer the phrase “big girl panties” over leaning in. To me its a much more powerful mandate to oneself.


As I woke up this morning feeling a jittery sense of dread about the day ahead in light of the hundred and one things I have to do within a consistently challenging environment, I realized that I do not need my big girl panties. I have put those on and put up a hell of a fight. I have stormed into meetings with bravado and backed up my points with clear concise arguments and knowledge. Everyone knows I put on my big girl panties everyday.


Today is very clear to me, it’s time to put on my grannie panties – perhaps over my big-girl ones.  Let me explain. Grannie panties have been maligned in the past to suggest a sense of not caring or being slovenly. Let me tell you, its far from it. Putting on one’s grannie panties means to bring a calm but knowing demeanor. It means that we reflect on lessons learned and apply those hard-earned information nuggets. It means recognizing that life is at at times more of a marathon than a relay race. It means being comfortable in one’s knowledge and being.



As I head into the workplace I have to remind myself to trust my judgement and instinct. I have earned that. I cannot be distracted by pettiness. I should not be steered from correct measures because others put on a good show.  I wish I had given myself that advice last year right before I embarked on numerous new measures and adventures. I’ve learned much this past year about my inner fortitude but if I had stopped to reflect I would have noted my long-standing, hard-earned reservoir of strength. If I could send a message back to myself a year ago it would have been “trust yourself and put on your grannie panties.”  Let’s kick it!


apple martini


Inspired by life’s and wordpress’ daily challenges

Other wordpress pieces of advice

Nola roots

Suggestion is powerful

If I only I had listened

Powerful suggestion

Chronicles of an anglo swiss





5 replies »

I welcome your thoughts

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s