My name is Donna Strother Highfill. It’s not hyphenated, and I’m no longer married to the giver of the Highfill moniker. However, we shared two amazing children who share that name and I had built a consulting business on it. Plus, it’s a lot easier to say than my maiden name of Strother (pronounced, Struther, Struthers, Strawberry, etc.).

I wear orange ray-bans, and have no shoulders

I love to laugh as often as possible, and was nominated “Wittiest in my Senior class.”. My daughter is SO tired of that story, but I needed proof that I was considered funny by OTHER people.

I have two amazing, wonderful, grown-up kids who love to laugh as much as I do.

Last, but not least, is my husband who is the official guardian of our family beast – a Boxer named Riggins

I was born and remained a preacher’s kid, and spent 18 years as the center of attention in our church community. That can work both for and against you. Luckily, my parents were very cool . . . even when my brother wore a t-shirt to take up the offering that said, “Drummers Do It In Rhythm.”

I went to Wake Forest University, getting a phenomenal education while frightening a majority of the students. I wore sweats and jeans while other women wore skirts and add-a-beads.

I decided against law school so that I could be a bartender. Well, at least it involved a bar. I went on to be a Country Western D.J. – it’s like I was chasing clichés.

I breastfed the wrong baby, raised two kids, and joined Corporate America as a trainer, sales consultant, and change agent. One day I was offered a chance to be an independent consultant, and I went for it.

I enjoyed helping organizations move through change. Then I changed. Literally.

Menopause is not the best suitor I’ve ever had. I think years of sacrificing sanity and career moves for kids should result in something better than hot flashes, thin skin and forgetfulness. For a couple of years I became the most boring person on earth.

I made myself get out of bed and go to work, but mostly I longed to watch House Hunters on HGTV. Did you know that rooms with a lot of natural light are great for entertaining?

But jokes about closet size didn’t make me laugh, and I missed laughter. It’s always been my favorite life companion.

So, I started Real Dames and found other fantastic Dames who keep me honest and laughing.

I think women are more powerful than we will ever know, but sometimes I just want to say, “Why so serious?”

I think in laughter lies tremendous strength. Lucille Ball once said, “I’m not funny. I’m brave.” I agree with her.

This is my gift to women. A place where we can come, strengthen our spirit, and have fun while we’re doing it.