Divided by the Mathematics

9 Nov

math_20funRecently, I was playing an arithmetic game on the Lumosity web site (which I highly recommend to anyone looking to exercise his or her brain).  As the rain drop equations began to fall, forcing me to answer as quickly as possible before they hit the ground, I experienced an “aha moment.”  Though I’ve always been good at math, even placing in calculus when I started college, it takes me a bit longer to process subtracting and dividing than it does adding and multiplying. I tried to recall what I learned how to do first: was it addition or subtraction? Regardless, I am an adult now, and those skills have been ingrained in me, even without a calculator for basic math, yet this small thought-provoking moment caused me to evaluate many aspects of my life.

Many of us have no problem shopping for new clothes, shoes or whatever it is we may want, but when it comes time to get rid of some items already in the closet, it can be difficult and require quite a bit of deliberating on whether or not something should be given away or thrown away because we still might wear that shirt we purchased five years ago that still has the price tag on it.  Then when we have no choice but to pare down our wardrobe we wind up mistakenly getting rid of that one outfit we loved so much because it got lost in the pile.

For those people on social media sites, we all have those friends who might have just been added after an encounter at an event, may just be a friend of a friend, or friend of a family member who we may never see in person again. Interestingly, we may not have a problem adding more of these types of friends to the list.  However, we may struggle to purge those “real life” friends who may be toxic and not have our best interests at heart. Then the new year comes, and we decide it is time to get rid of the remainder of  those “so-called” friends who add nothing to our lives. With haste, we regretfully cut ties with someone whose friendship meant so much to us and cannot get back what was swiftly taken away.

It would be so much more simple if we could all just take pleasure in adding something meaningful to the lives of others. Are some of us often divided because we’re always concerned with adding more than I take away. Am I the only one who is doing this kind of math?

All the best,

Tanya

It’s Hard Out Here for a Mom!

2 Nov

2013-10-26 09.24.14I cannot believe my baby girl will be six months tomorrow.  This past half year has been full of excitement, and I am truly embracing motherhood.  Prior to even becoming pregnant, some people would say with sarcastic tones in their voices , “Wait until you become a mother!” or ask, “Are you sure you want to be a mother?”  Though I thrive on being positive and have never questioned whether or not I made the right decision becoming a mother, there is no denying that it can be hard out here for a mom!  I think about how blessed I am to have a flexible teaching schedule  that allows me to spend most of the week with my daughter.  It saddens me to know that many mothers do not have that luxury.  In order to provide for their children, some mothers must work from very early in the morning until late in the evening only seeing their children for dinner, bath and bedtime, sometimes not even for those daily routines.

Having the support of my husband and extended family makes me have an even greater admiration for mothers who are raising their children alone and doing everything in their power to make it work.  Something that always amazes me is how some single mothers make raising children look so easy and almost effortless.  Kudos to you all, and keep putting in that hard work!  I am sure you will reap what you sow within your children 😉

All the best,

Tanya

My “Not So” Random Acts of Kindness

26 Oct

Not So Random Acts of KindnessI’ve always taken pleasure in doing something kind for a random stranger. It could be holding open a door, letting a person ahead of me in line at the checkout counter, or one of my favorites, giving a coupon to a person so that he or she can save a little money. What has occurred to me in the past few months is that my random acts of kindness are not so random.

It all started at Pep Boys.  I was having my car serviced, so I printed out a twenty percent off coupon for me and an extra one to help some random person save what could be more than a few bucks depending on the repair. Usually, there is just one other person waiting, and I’m able to simply offer the coupon, but this time there were three people.  My random act of kindness turned into an intense deliberation over who could benefit the most from the coupon. Should I give it to the senior citizen, the woman with three children or the young guy who could possibly benefit from the coupon too?  How would the other two people feel watching me offer this coupon to the third “random” person?

I then realized that I do this with restaurant coupons as well and have even got my husband in on the act.  If we have an extra coupon for twenty percent off of the meal, we will both look for a large family to give it to rather than an individual.  Or we will seek out older people who may be on fixed incomes.

Every once in a while, especially in supermarkets, I will simply leave a coupon next to the item for some random stranger to benefit from it. But I must admit that I get far more pleasure being kind to strangers directly and seeing the smiles on their faces.  Being kind lets them know that kind people do still exist,especially when many people believe kind people are anomalies. Whereas, stumbling upon a coupon on a shelf is mere chance and may not be perceived as a kind act.  Too often do I give fate a hand and pinpoint what random person should benefit from my kindness.  I want nothing in return from the person (just maybe for them to pass on the kindness), but I do wonder if it is wrong of me to not be so random.

Please share your thoughts.

All the best,

Tanya

Anonomz: Still Embarking on a Journey!!

19 Oct
Tanya Harris Franklin

Tanya Harris 2010

In 2010, I posted my very first blog entry about finding out who I am.  Three years later, the journey of Anonomz (a moniker I adapted in sixth grade), discovering the unknown within me, continues. Though getting married in August 2011 and having a baby in May 2013 has opened my eyes and given me some insight into who I am and how my life has meaning, I now wonder even more if I am headed on the right path or journey in life.

Though I have my individual journey, I must consider how the pathways I take will impact my immediate family. I still believe one of the best ways to address “finding me” is to utilize the gifts God has blessed me with.  In three short years, so much progress has been made. Overall, I feel more confident, especially in my writing and teaching abilities. I’ve written poetry, commentary and on topics that inspire me, and this experience has not only been cathartic but gotten me steps closer to knowing me.  I feel happier with my life too and have learned to appreciate everything, no matter how small or large it may be.

2013-10-11 11.11.08

Tanya H. Franklin 2013

It truly is amazing how getting to know oneself can be so rewarding.  I thank you for joining me and visiting my page as I continue to embark on this journey with a gracious heart and open mind.

Best regards,

Tanya H.Franklin aka Anonomz

My Guilty Obsession: The Walking Dead

12 Oct
Dead Yourself Tanya Franklin

Me as a Walker

No human is safe: not children, not women and certainly not men.  Everyone has the same “opportunity” to be gutted and eaten alive to come back as a walker, and for some bizarre reason, I love it!  The season premiere of “Walking Dead” is tomorrow, Sunday, October 13 at 9:00 pm, and my anticipation, along with my husband’s, has been building. What I love about this show is not just the terror of feeling like I am at a haunted house but the sociological aspects too which challenge each character’s humanity and will to live.  This show has been a springboard for deep “what would you do” discussions for me, and I often wonder if I would survive if I was a part of this dystopian society.  How do I know I am obsessed with this show?  Here’s a few reasons:

  1. I have the “The Walking Dead” game board.  Sadly, my husband turned me into a walker withing about ten minutes.
  2. My husband has the “The Walking Dead” video game which I became a bit obsessed with playing.  With those of you familiar with the game, I still struggle to get out of the police car and fight off the very first walker of the video game.
  3. I have the “The Walking Dead” compendium which collects the separate comic books into one volume and read it as a bedtime story from time to time.
  4. I planned on being a zombie with my husband for the “Run for Your Lives”, but the only parts available are as humans participating in the obstacle course.  I am not too sure if I could handle people who are playing the roles of zombies chasing me for a 5K obstacle course through a smoke house, maze, and blood blood (of course not real blood, but still…eww).  Maybe next year.
  5. Also, I purchased my husband a Walking Dead t-shirt for our second anniversary since the second one is cotton.

The script is well-written, the costuming is so believable and realistic.  I’ve come to know and root for certain characters and despise others.  I am ready for season four of “The Walking Dead.”  Are you a walker….I mean watcher? 😉

All the best,

Tanya

Is My Birth Just Another Day?

11 Oct
Tanya H Franklin

Celebrating My Birthday in 2012

Today is my birthday.  No, it’s not a national holiday, mail is still delivered, stores are still open, and sorry folks, people are still expected to go to work. Regardless, this is still my special day!  Sometimes I hear people say with a ho hum attitude about their own birthdays, “It’s just another day,” but is it really?

Having a baby has caused me to reevaluate how I view birthdays.  Even though I have always looked forward to my birthday, especially as a child, I am not one of those people who has a week long celebration.  But why not? Better yet, why not celebrate it everyday?  This is not coming from a place of pretentiousness but from the idea of rejoicing and being happy to be here and have the gift of life. There doesn’t have to be cake and ice cream or a party everyday; just taking a few minutes out of each day to be grateful and to think about ways to improve my life is how I want to celebrate.

My birthday symbolizes the day I made a grand entrance into the world and forever changed the lives of my parents. A birth, for me, serves as hope for the future.  As my mother held me in her arms, I am sure she wondered what I would become and prayed that I would make a difference.  I hope I have made her proud and have made the day of my birth have meaning as I make my contributions to society. Five months ago, I held my daughter in my arms and wondered how her birth might impact the world as well, and I look forward to celebrating many birthdays with her.

Even though I am just another face among billions and billions of others, some who actually might share my birthday, I refuse to believe that my birth is just another day, even if no one acknowledges it but me. With absolute certainty, I can say that my mother would not refer to going through labor and giving birth to me or my siblings as just another day, so why would I refer to my birthday as such? I hope you do not view your birth as just another day because without that day we would not have you ;-)!

All the best,

Tanya

Still My Baby Big Girl!

5 Oct

2013-10-03 16.01.51“Ooo, look at the baby!” two women exclaimed with glee while I was in Target doing a little shopping.  I smiled of course but then immediately realized that these two women giddy over seeing a baby were actually referring to another baby, a newborn who was probably just a few weeks old.  They then said, “Oh, there’s another baby too,” referring to Quinn as though she was old news.  Though I know I have a tendency to overly analyze situations and actions, I like how this incident forced me to ponder.

Is Quinn already losing her newness? My little one just turned five months old on Thursday, October 3.  Though she is big for her age, nineteen pounds and a little over 28 inches long, she’s still new to me and has a long way to go with milestones and accomplishments. Even though it is only natural for people to dote over babies less as they get older and to dote over children even far less as they reach adolescence and then adulthood, why should we?  No doubt, I do not want my child growing up thinking the entire world revolves around her.  On the other hand, I definitely do want her to feel special and to know that she is significant and can make a significant impact on the world.

With this in mind, I do vow to not just point out any transgressions that she makes as she gets older but to be sure to recognize her accomplishments and milestones achieved regardless of how large or small they may be.  Who knew that I would already be thinking about these things well before she is a year old?   It’s interesting how one brief interaction had the ability to cause me to think about the importance of keeping the love and support going.

When is the last time you “oohed and aahhed” over something your baby did, regardless if he or she is a newborn or has children of his or her own? We all need a little doting over now and then…don’t we?

All the best,

Tanya

Hi Stranger! Won’t You Be My Neighbor?

28 Sep

IMG_0036Do you speak to strangers? Yes, most of our parents warned us about speaking to them, but I truly believe if more of us spoke to strangers, the world, or just our own neighborhoods would be much more pleasant environments. I know it might sound corny and like something from “Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood,” but I enjoy saying, “Hello,” “Hi” or “Good morning” to people with a smile on my face and in the tone of my voice.  Have you ever noticed how most children, even before they can walk or talk, are so eager to say hi and wave their hands vigorously until the person(s) they are saying hi to responds?  Though that might be kind of creepy if adults did that, the simple gesture of saying hello and being happy to see and greet a person you do not know is cool to me.

Something I have been doing for the past few of years is making a conscious effort to greet people and hopefully brighten up their day for even a millisecond with a cheerful “Good morning!” Interestingly, many people are in such a rush and don’t even look up from texting while walking to say hello, not that friendly and grumble back a response or just prefer not to even be bothered and avoid eye contact so that they do not have to even acknowledge the person attempting to greet them.  Regardless, I am going to keep on saying hello because as Will Rogers said, “A stranger is just a friend I haven’t met yet.”

All the best,

Tanya

6(000) Degrees of Separation and counting…

22 Sep

Tanya Harris FranklinYesterday, I noticed that I was close to 6000 views on my blog and was amused this morning to see that I am at 6000 views exactly.  I started this blog a few years ago, so 6000 may not seem like a lot, but it is to me.  It feels good to know that I am connecting with others and hopefully putting out some positive energy and information people want to read about or just merely peruse.

Something that is awesome is how I can view my statistics and see not just how many people have viewed my blog posts but from where in the world they reside.  Most recently, the post receiving views almost everyday from places all around the globe such as Malaysia, Zimbabwe, United Kingdom, South Africa, Australia, India, the Netherlands, Italy and a few others is my Profound Hip Hop Quote post on A Tribe Called Quest.  It seems that I am not the only one who is hoping they will go on a tour and longing to see Q-Tip and Phife back on stage together.

Who knows, maybe I will reach 10,000 views by the end of the year, but even if I do not receive one more view from this point forward, I am honored that 6000 people, some who I may know and others I may never physically come in contact with or met personally, stopped by to have a glimpse at my daily musings.

All the best,

Tanya

P.S.  Thanks for stopping by 🙂

The Condition: The Bell Tolls for You Dog! Will You Answer?

21 Sep

Pavlovian Conditioning DogsLast week, I talked about the power of creating positive habits, but months, if not years, before I pondered over how easily we are conditioned and wondered if certain stimuli have the power to not only control us but consume our lives. Pavlov used a bell and food to perform his conditioning research with dogs, but many of us live by the bell, the chime, the whistle, or whatever sound we have set up for our phones or gadgets.

As cell phones started to become more prevalent, I vowed not to live by the bell. Even today I still have a pre-paid phone, yes a prepaid! This way I only use my phone for emergencies since I pay by the day. I am not consumed with constantly checking my phone to see if someone called or sent me a text message; as a result,  I have more time on my hands.   For most, the idea of having a pre-paid cell phone or just using it for emergencies is absurd, and I understand that line of thinking.  But I ask you to consider how many minutes or even hours in a day do you devote to responding to that bell which may chime several times a day?

Though I thought I escaped living by the bell, I must admit that I have not.  My iPad has been my vice.  I use a wonderful app called Baby Connect which allows me to set up alarms and timers for when it is time to feed my baby, when her diaper was last changed and even when she last slept.  I have found that I rely heavily on this tool and sometimes allow the bell to dictate when the baby can have her next feeding. Sometimes it is necessary to just use common sense if the baby is crying and showing signs that she is hungry rather than waiting for the bell to chime.  What’s interesting is that I believe the baby is starting to associate the bell chiming on my iPad with feeding time.

Amazingly, many of us, including me, are guilty of stopping in our tracks when the bell chimes to see a Facebook status update or comment, a reminder to complete a task or go to an appointment, a text message or a email message.  Even if there is an intense conversation, a heart to heart moment or just something requiring all of our attention, some of us are controlled by the bell and must stop to see what it is about this time.

I’ve been purposefully reconditioning myself to not necessarily ignore the bell but to not feel the need to immediately jump up and respond to it as soon as it chimes.  Is the ding controlling your life? Will you be able to resist the urge to drop everything and respond the next time the bell tolls for you?

All the best,

Tanya