Tag Archives: Goals

Life Quickly Moves in Slow Motion

27 Jul

Tanya Harris FranklinWho hasn’t heard the phrase, “Life is too short” or “Time just seems to fly by?”  I’ve even uttered it myself on numerous occasions, but after setting up a dropcam for my baby girl’s nursery (Side note: this is an excellent gadget and can be used for far more than a baby’s nursery. It allows you to a view footage from anywhere on a wifi connection on your iPad, iPod, Android or computer) I have started to become a bit obsessed with watching the footage and question those very statements many of us say repeatedly.  There was one instance in particular when I was watching past footage of my husband and I getting our daughter ready for bedtime.  As he was putting a onesie on her, I was “quickly” straightening up the bathroom and putting her little tub back in its rightful place leaving my husband to fend for himself with our feisty little two month old.  What was actually forty-five seconds to a minute at best seemed like an eternity when I watched the footage. I questioned myself wondering if I was taking too long to straighten things up.  Why does it seem like it was much longer than it was?  I guess that’s why many of these “reality” shows have so much footage edited and removed because watching real life with no edits can be quite slow moving and even boring to some people.

As a result of watching random videos of my life going so quickly in slow motion, I have began pondering over rather life is indeed too short or if time is significantly flying by, or am I just not making every moment of my life count and simply wasting time on unproductive activities?  Why is it that life tends to move more quickly when we are active participants, whereas, it can move at a turtle’s pace when we are mere observers?  I am still figuring out the answers as I compose this blog post, but what I do know is that watching this footage has given me an epiphany: every hour, minute, second and millisecond of not just my life but the lives of those I love and care about matters, and I must sometimes slow down my pace yet be quick on my feet to enjoy life, the people and things that matter the most to me.   Please feel free to share any thoughts you have on one of my random musings.

All the best,

Tanya

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Having Fun Like Squirrels Chasing Each Other Up and Down Trees on a Sunday Morning: Similes and Metaphors Exercise

23 Sep

If a person wants to be a body builder, it’s necessary to not only exercise but to eat healthy and to train properly when it comes to lifting weights.  If you to be a pro at any sport, you need to practice not just playing the game but different techniques and strategies that are going to play a significant role in how well you play the game.  Writing is definitely not an exception to the rule.  One of the exercises my practicum professor suggested that I do is to come up with similes and metaphors.  Even though it was fun, I must admit that I flexed some muscles I have not been using as frequently as I should.  I came up with thirty different similes and metaphors, and would like to share ten of them with you.  They may not all be the best, but it’s all in fun.

  1. Your love is a 366-day-old lottery ticket.
  2. You are the plucked gray hair no one will ever know about.
  3. Caught in your speed trap with an expired license.
  4. His words cut like a knife made out of play dough
  5. Cumbersome like Shaquille O’Neal walking a tightrope backwards in six-inch heels.
  6. I rise like a congratulations balloon escaping the grasp of a proud mother.
  7. Relieved like a rose escaping the snip leading to its wilting death.
  8. Count on me like an abacus.
  9. Hard as thirteen year old gum under high school desks
  10. Sorted out thoughts like a recycling center

If you have a fun simile or metaphor, please feel free to share.

 

All the best,

 

Tanya H. Franklin

 

 

The Ultimate Workshop: Discovering Me!

15 Sep

Tanya Harris Franklin aka AnonomzI just started an MFA program in Creative Writing for poetry, and a main component of one of the courses I am taking is participating in workshops where I provide feedback (I prefer the word feedback to criticism) on the work of my classmates, and they provide feedback, which I try not to take as harsh criticism, on my work.  Having someone look at my work, my heartfelt, overflowing-with-emotions work, has proven to be even more difficult than I expected.  I’ve always struggled with confrontation, shying away from it whenever possible, and in some weird way, I am being confronted about poems on which I have worked so diligently and hard to produce.  Last week, I submitted my first set of poems, and I am pleased to say the feedback was not as severe as I thought it would be; nevertheless, the differing opinions and suggestions and the picking apart of my poems line by line is a lot to process.  It has left me mentally depleted pondering over what feedback I should accept and which ideas I should discard.  Having a support system is wonderful, but how do I not lose my voice as a writer and not simply conform to what others think is best for my work or my writing style?

What’s interesting is that this dilemma has got me thinking about an ultimate workshop: discovering me.  An internal conflict I still struggle with in my everyday life is wanting the approval of others and upholding an image others deem appropriate or noteworthy.  My poems cannot and will not be everything to everybody.  Some people will be quite fond of them, and some people will loathe them.  Therefore, trying to figure out how I should revise my poems or if I should even revise them at all is a pinnacle moment leading to a huge turning point for me.  I am being forced to make decisions on my work, and there is no way around it.  As a result, I am discovering more about me and what I think is best based on other people’s insight.  This line of thinking extends well beyond my poetry, and with each passing day I am finding out a little more about myself, what I like and dislike and trying to figure out how to filter through the beneficial thoughts of others without getting caught up in what they think is best for me.  It will be a lifelong workshop, but I can already sense some growth occurring.

All the best,

Tanya

The Tale of Too Many Goals

8 Sep

Tanya H. FranklinIs there such a thing as having too many goals?  Every year, I contemplate over what I would like to accomplish and what steps I will take to get there, but most recently I’ve started wondering if I have too much on my plate.  Is it best to focus on one goal exclusively or to have a few going on simultaneously that could potentially coincide with one another.  Last year, I found this wonderful app “Habit Factor,” and it focuses on how in order to reach goals in life, you must develop good habits that are in alignment with those goals.

For instance, I want to become fluent in Spanish, so I have been completing Rosetta Stone lessons, listening and repeating the audio on my drive to work or wherever, playing the games, even reading “Love Poems” by Pablo Neruda which has the Spanish on one side and the English on the other along with watching a few shows or movies in Spanish and conversing in Spanish when possible.

Learning Spanish is just one of my goals.  In improving my writing skills I have enrolled in an MFA Creative Writing Program which I just started, and it is certainly intense to say the least.  However, I know I will reap the benefits of blossoming as a writer by the end of the program.  Staying in shape is always at the forefront which involves more than just exercising but eating healthy, meditating regularly and channeling positive energy.

I’ve been married for a year now, and my husband and I moved into our new home a few months ago, and there are several DIY projects I want to tackle.  Starting a family is one of those projects.

Is this all too much while I am in my fifth and last year on the tenure track at my college preparing my portfolio and letter to be presented to the board?  Some people say, “I don’t know how you do it” or “When do you relax?”  I’m not sure if I am taking on too many goals, but I do it all not just for me but my family too, and I am excited about where these goals will take me in life.

I’ll keep you posted on my progress.

All the best,

Tanya

Ten Things I’ve Got Planned for 2011: Mission Completed (January – December)

31 Dec

Tanya Harris' Vision Board1. Rome was not built in a day, and neither was the ideal body.  Therefore, I will keep working out four to five days a week to be nicely toned for the summer of 2011.
Since August, I’ve not only been using the “Perfect Sit-Up” at least six days a week, but I’ve also been completing cardio exercises with Wii Fit as well as “Your Shape Evolved” on Xbox Kinect such as yoga, step aerobics and kick boxing, which is a lot of fun. With the change in weather  (cold and rainy) as well as the days getting shorter, it has presented a bit of a hurdle with consistently  and walking and jogging six to seven days a week outside.  However, the Nike Plus program continues to keep me motivated , so I’ve been walking on the treadmill in the college gym or even walking the halls to cover mile miles which has been quite invigorating.  The app “Lose it” is still beneficial, and as a result of using it, I have become far more cognizant of what I’m eating.  The Active Women time release vitamin and adding flaxseed and wheat germ to my meals to get more nutrients has been helpful too.

2. My intellectual, spiritual and creative journey is essential for my well-being, and I will be sure to submit a blog entry at least once a week.  Stop by when you can to check out my new entries.
This is my 83rd blog submission. and even though I was shooting for at least 100 entries by the end of the year, I am satisfied with my achievement.  I often underestimate how busy I am going to be when the semester begins, and the balancing act begins from August through mid December.  I did, however, surpass my goal of 1500 by the end of the year by getting 2420!

3. I have many gifts, and writing poetry is one of them, so I will relentlessly assert myself to become synonymous with the spoken word and poetry slam circuit.  Who knows, I may complete enough poems to publish a chapbook or have some choice entries in major publications.
 Even though I have not been writing as much as I think I could have, I’ve still been working on ideas and writing down daily musings.  Check out some of my spoken word performances on You Tube.  You can find me under Anonomz.

4. People often say, “It’s a small world,” but many of us have yet to leave our own neighborhood, city, or state, let alone the country or continent for that matter.  I plan to travel more extensively this year and hope to visit outside of the country…perhaps for a destination wedding.  I haven’t done any traveling since getting married in the Dominican Republic; nevertheless, it was a memorable experience, and I’ am looking forward to traveling to a couple of places in the new year.

5. Everybody is busier than ever and cannot spare a moment for family and friends even though vast amounts of technology are supposed to help people get more done and have more time,.  I will make a more conscious effort to reach out to family and friends and demonstrate my appreciation and love for them the” Old fashioned” way: the occasional phone call, letters, visits and tokens of my appreciation.
As previously stated in August,  I’ve been channeling my energy into those whom I spend time with and see regularly and let them know how much they are loved and appreciated, and maybe one day the others will have time to fit me in their schedules.

6. I love writing and refuse to die with my many stories being left untold; as a result, I will begin working on and brainstorming about  other literary ventures such as colorful stories and children’s book ideas and see where it takes me…maybe to the best seller’s list one day!
I love writing, and have been incorporating it into my everyday schedule which has actually been rather busy these past few months.  I have a gratitude journal and occasionally jot down ideas throughout the course of the day.  I also purchased a few books which I’ve been reading to help me with the writing process.  Even though I know this goal will more than likely span into the next couple of years in order to have a completed project, I am fully immersed in the process.

7. Health is necessary for longevity.  To continue  improving my financial, physical and spiritual health, I will conduct research and keep working on the economical game plan, exercise regularly and meditate , and read and apply spiritual and motivational literature on a frequent basis.
Now that the wedding has come and gone, the saving begins with purchasing a house.  My husband and I are doing really well with the monthly contributions towards this goal, and I am hopeful that we will be ready to start looking for a house in the new year.  Also, I’ve paid off my car loan and am in a rally good place financially to get the occasional want, not just needs.   This year, I have been exercising regularly, eating lots of fruits and vegetables and taking vitamin supplements.  I am happy to report that I have not been sick all year, and I think my exercising and eating healthy foods has a lot to do with it.   I’ve also been doing more meditating, specifically transcendental meditation, two times a day for twenty minutes a piece, and I do feel more balanced and relaxed.   The brain exercises have certainly improved my mental acuity.  I’m also on my third set of lessons for Rosetta Stone’s Spanish courses and am enjoying the learning process.  I can honestly say that I feel fantastic!  

8. “You should be an actor!” is what family, friends and even my students tell me.  I used to act when I was younger and loved being on stage, so I will explore my theatrical abilities by taking a college level acting class in the spring 2011 semester staring January 10.  It’s going to be interesting potentially being in class with some of my own students, but it will be fun I’m sure.
My acting class went extremely well, and I finished the course with an “A!”  I learned a great deal from the experience and would love to take another course.  For my final, I actually performed in a scene as a drunk southern belle which is totally out of character for me.  You can check out my scene on You Tube under Anonomz.

9. As a person who  has finicky eating habits, family and friends jokingly say, “A fancy restaurant for her is a place that serves pizza, chicken or turkey burgers.”  I enjoy fine dining and feel guilty that people are limited in their restaurant selections when going out with me. In an attempt to break out of this habit, I will try at least one new food item every other month…once a month if the mood strikes me.
Out of my ten goals, I am extremely proud of achieving this one because it was initially the most difficult.  Interestingly, trying new foods has actually been much easier that I thought it would be.  Once I tried the fried calamari, the shrimp, eggplant, sushi and plantains, to name a few, the rest were no problem.  There’s something liberating about trying different foods.  Maybe it’s the ability to step outside of my comfort zone and to do something daring.  Perhaps trying new foods is just the beginning.  After this, I might feel more comfortable with trying different hobbies or activities that I would normally shy away from.  

10.  Lastly, in recent years I’ve learned that I cannot be everything to everyone, but year after year I still try to make family, friends, students, and colleagues happy sometimes at my own expense: monetarily, physically and emotionally.  To use an analogy, I love filling up their glasses of water, but I have to make sure my pitcher of water remains filled too in 2011.
I’m steadily improving in this area and have found that the more I say “no” or “I’ll think about it” so that I am not overwhelmed, the easier it becomes.  I still have to get over the guilt issues, but I’m happy with my progress..

I’ll keep you posted on my progress.

All the best,

Tanya

What once was “the new year” is almost over in less than 24 hours.  Did you manage to stay on track with the things you had planned for 2011?  Please feel free to share.

My Life Resume: The Career Journey Decade Three (From Age 21 – 30)

13 Oct

What do you think about as your birthday approaches?  Do you think about getting one year older?  Do you think about all of the hopes and dreams you have yet to accomplish.  Yes, I’m guilty of having those thoughts, but I also think about all that I have accomplished and the wisdom that I have attained as a result of getting older.  Presently, I am an English professor, and I enjoy teaching and playing a role in the successful careers of my students.  Also, I take pleasure in writing poetry and short short stories.  One day, I actually hope to publish a book and even a memoir.  So I thought why not use my birthday week to review my life resume by exploring where  I have been on my journey thus far?  

Tanya Harris FranklinThe Career Journey: Decade Three

Sears Credit Card:  I learned so much about the importance of credit from working for Sears.  Also, I became even better at being patient with people as a result of being promoted to a customer relations manager where I only received escalated calls from mainly irate customers.  I worked at Sears Credit for a good portion of my undergraduate academic career.

Maximum Advertising:  After graduating with my bachelor’s degree in English, I was hired for what I thought was my dream job.  I’m sure this company is either going by a different name or no longer in existence.  According to this company, I would have been a millionaire after working for them for a year–that is only after I contributed a portion of my earnings, which were next to nothing, back into the company.  I can’t believe I fail for that scam, but they certainly did teach me a valuable lesson about researching the legitimacy of a company as well as reinforcing the old adage, “If it’s too good to be true, it probably is.”

Careers USA:  I am so grateful to this temp agency.  They kept me working after I graduated from college with my bachelor’s degree and had to quite working for Maximum Advertising after they swindled me out of most of my graduation money I received from family and friends.  What would we do without temp agencies???

Rosemont College:  It surely was a blessing to come full-circle and work for the college that I graduated from.  Being an administrative assistant for the Assistant Academic Dean after receiving my degree was a humbling experience.  I was expecting to jump out into the workforce and land a job in my field immediately.  Nevertheless, I am glad that I took this route.  I met some wonderful people and built some long-lasting rapports and was given the opportunity to pursue my master’s degree in English and Publishing at Rosemont while I was working there which saved me a bundle of money in potential student loans..

TV Guide:  While hoping to transition into publications, I took a part-time call center job at TV Guide while still working full-time and taking classes full-time at Rosemont.  Even though I worked as a customer service rep, I enjoyed my experience and later realize the significance to working at this establishment, albeit for a short period of time.  My manager was actually the son of one of my favorite high school teachers, and a few years after working at TV Guide, I taught a former co worker in an English Composition I course.

School District of Philadelphia:  Finally, I was going to be working with at risk youth who needed individualized tutoring at a local middle school!  Little did I know that I was going to be thrusted in front of the classroom without formal academic training for handling eighth graders with several behavior problems and learning disabilities.  I truly wanted to make a difference, but the time and place was not right for me.  This experience truly caused me to reevaluate my desire to teach.  Teaching has always been my niche, but extreme behavior problems  with lack of support from the administration or parents was too arduous of a task to undertake.

Pindar: After choosing to shift gears with teaching, I landed a position that was going to get my foot in the door with publications as a proofreader with the chance for advancement!  Even though the work could be rather mundane, it was a breath of fresh air which I certainly needed to prepare me for my next position.

Rosemont College:  Thank God for Rosemont!  They gave me my first opportunity to teach a college level course while working second shift at Pindar.  I wonder if they know the role that they have played in my present success???

CCP: Proofreading was just not paying off, and I still had teaching in my hear, so I went on to work as an administrator at a college hoping to transition to teaching.  While working at CCP, a local community college, I met some wonderful people and also some people who may not have been wonderful but helped direct where I am today.  As a fairly young administrator, there were some fund days in the beginning, but there were several days where the stress became unbearable.  Interestingly, I’m glad that it became unbearable because it caused me to step out on faith and leave a secure full-time job for a part time job that would have an integral role in where I am now.

Peirce College:  This college took a chance on me when I had limited teaching experience on the college level.  Also, they kept me working when I decided to leave CCP.

DCCC:  Here I am!  This local community college took a chance on me and not only gave me part-time work but gave me temporary full-time work after only being there for one year.  Now, I am in my fourth year on the tenure track and am absolutely ecstatic.  I truly do love what I’m doing!

In my third decade, something that I already knew was confirmed: hard work and diligence will pay off in the end.  There were times when my faith wavered a bit, and I was not sure if I was headed in the right direction for my career to blossom. But through it all, I always tried to keep a smile on my face and remain positive because I believe that everything happens for a reason.  Any job we have and our performance on the job, regardless of how big or small, dictates where we are headed in the future.  I must say, I like where I am headed!  Do you ever think about how you ended up where you presently are?  Give it some thought. Please feel free to share.
Best regards,  Tanya H. Franklin

My Life Resume: The Career Journey Decade Two (From Age 11 – 20)

12 Oct

What do you think about as your birthday approaches?  Do you think about getting one year older?  Do you think about all of the hopes and dreams you have yet to accomplish.  Yes, I’m guilty of having those thoughts, but I also think about all that I have accomplished and the wisdom that I have attained as a result of getting older.  Presently, I am an English professor, and I enjoy teaching and playing a role in the successful careers of my students.  Also, I take pleasure in writing poetry and short short stories.  One day, I actually hope to publish a book and even a memoir.  So I thought why not use my birthday week to review my life resume by exploring where  I have been on my journey thus far?  

The Career Journey: Decade Two

Tanya H. Franklin

Phila-Job Summers: From eighth through twelfth grade, I participated in a summer job program for youth in Philadelphia, PA called Phila-Jobs.  One of the positions just involved going to Temple University to learn about different careers, the importance of an education and responsibility.  In another position, I cleaned different neighborhoods throughout North Philadelphia by removing graffiti and debris from local parks and recreational facilities.  In my last position, I actually tutored Korean and Vietnamese children in English at a non-profit organization.  As a result of my work, I was selected as the top Phila-Job employee for my neighborhood and attended a ceremony where I was presented with an plaque for my achievements.  I still have that plaque today.

Northeast Boys and Girls Club: Upon graduating from high school, I spent my summer working as a volunteer camp counselor.  It was a memorable experience working with children from as young as six up to thirteen years old.  I was on my way to being a teacher!

Roy Roger’s Restaurant: This was technically my first real job out of high school and one of the most memorable – not for a good reason unfortunately!  This was the first job where I experienced blatant racism and was treated harshly by some of the customers and even some of the people working at the establishment.  It allowed me to see that some people are just filled with hate but not all people.  As a result of enduring such hate, I find that I work harder to build rapports with people and look at each person individually rather that let stereotypes dictate my interactions.

Children’s Village: Not only did I complete my course practicums at Children’s Village, a local Philadelphia preschool, but they also took a chance on me by hiring me as a substitute teacher.  Throughout a good portion of my college career, I worked as a substitute teacher and learned a lot about early childhood education.

McDonald’s: Unlike most people who have worked at McDonald’s I rather enjoyed my experience and looked forward to going to work.  Working the drive thru was my favorite duty because the customers often remarked on how clear my voice was.  Some even thought I was a prerecorded message.

Sneaker Stadium:  I’ll never forget the time I sold sneakers to a cheerleading squad and one time to several Saint Joe’s basketball players.  That was great commission!  But I also had the opportunity to interact with people from all different age groups, ethnicities and nationalities which I really enjoyed.

In my second decade, I had an opportunity to explore and learn from and about different people and professions in fast food, child care and even retail.  They may seem different; nevertheless, the commonality they all share is the interaction and customer service components.  These positions were polishing me for interacting with students as well as colleagues from multiple backgrounds.  Who would have ever thought it???Do you ever think about how you ended up where you presently are?  Give it some thought. Please feel free to share.
Best regards,  Tanya H. Franklin

My Life Resume: The Career Journey Decade One (From Age 0 – 10)

11 Oct

What do you think about as your birthday approaches?  Do you think about getting one year older?  Do you think about all of the hopes and dreams you have yet to accomplish.  Yes, I’m guilty of having those thoughts, but I also think about all that I have accomplished and the wisdom that I have attained as a result of getting older.  Presently, I am an English professor, and I enjoy teaching and playing a role in the successful careers of my students.  Also, I take pleasure in writing poetry and short short stories.  One day, I actually hope to publish a book and even a memoir.  So I thought why not use my birthday week to review my life resume by exploring where  I have been on my journey thus far?

The Career Journey: Decade One

Tanya Harris Franklin

Primary Grade School: By the time I was in second grade, I volunteered to help tutor the younger children.  Even though there was no monetary payment involved, I knew then that I wanted to be a teacher some day.

Primary to Secondary Grade School: From third grade until about sixth grade, I assisted my grandmother with the daily routines, such as setting up snacks, serving food and playing games with children at her family daycare.  During the summer, I was paid $25 a week when I was in third grade, and that was “good” money!

Middle School: Going to school was a necessity, but maintaining straight A’s and B’s was hard work at times. One of the incentives I received for doing well in school was a stipend from the White-Williams Scholar Foundation for $135 – $200 a month.  With each grade level, the amount of money increased.  My hard work was paying off.

What do you know??? I was already on the pathway to being a teacher at a very young age, but the second decade of my life definitely did present some alternative paths that I could have taken.  Do you ever think about how you ended up where you presently are?  Give it some thought. Please feel free to share.
Best regards,  Tanya H. Franklin

Ten Things I’ve Got Planned for 2011: Two-thirds of the way through (January – August)

2 Aug

Tanya Harris' Vision Board1. Rome was not built in a day, and neither was the ideal body.  Therefore, I will keep working out four to five days a week to be nicely toned for the summer of 2011.
Since April, I’ve actually increased my workout regimen and have been using the “Perfect Sit-Up” six days a week and walking and jogging six to seven days a week with an average of three to four miles covered.  I attribute the Nike Plus program for keeping me motivated with different challenges where I compete with people nationally and nationally.  Also, the app “Lose it” has really helped me to keep track of my food intake to ensure that it is healthy and balanced.  I’ve also switched from the Women’s One a Day to the Active Women time release vitamin and have begun adding flaxseed and wheat germ to my meals to get more nutrients. 

2. My intellectual, spiritual and creative journey is essential for my well-being, and I will be sure to submit a blog entry at least once a week.  Stop by when you can to check out my new entries.
This is my 61st blog submission, and I am shooting for at least 100 entries by the end of the year and am confident that I will surpass my goal.  I’m presently at 1222 hits.  Maybe I’ll be able to clear 1500 by the end of the year!

3. I have many gifts, and writing poetry is one of them, so I will relentlessly assert myself to become synonymous with the spoken word and poetry slam circuit.  Who knows, I may complete enough poems to publish a chapbook or have some choice entries in major publications.
 Turns out that this summer has been just as busy as my winter in preparing for my tenure track project for this upcoming semester and my wedding, but I am steadily writing and jotting down ideas.  Check out some of my spoken word performances on You Tube.  You can find me under Anonomz.

4. People often say, “It’s a small world,” but many of us have yet to leave our own neighborhood, city, or state, let alone the country or continent for that matter.  I plan to travel more extensively this year and hope to visit outside of the country…perhaps for a destination wedding.  It is with great pleasure that I am able to say this goal will be met in this month as I get married in the Dominican Republic.

5. Everybody is busier than ever and cannot spare a moment for family and friends even though vast amounts of technology are supposed to help people get more done and have more time,.  I will make a more conscious effort to reach out to family and friends and demonstrate my appreciation and love for them the” Old fashioned” way: the occasional phone call, letters, visits and tokens of my appreciation.
It’s eight months later,  and I’ve learned the hard way that most people are so consumed with their own lives that they simply do not have time or do not want to make time for friends and family unless it’s a quick text or Facebook message with the empty promise of  “We’ll have to get together”uttered though it  is highly unlikely to occur.  The experience of reaching out to people and making an effort to reconnect and not having those actions reciprocated initially left me feeling sad and wondering, “Is it me?  Should I perceive the unreturned phone calls, regularly canceled lunch or dinner dates and emails personally?”  I understand the importance of family and friends so it’s upsetting to drift apart from people I care about.  Have those relationships have ran their course? Time will tell.  I’ll always have love for my family and friends whom I may only see or speak to infrequently, but I’ve decided to modify my current goal.  I need to channel my energy into those whom I spend time with and see regularly and let them know how much they are loved and appreciated, and maybe one day the others will have time to fit me in their schedules.

6. I love writing and refuse to die with my many stories being left untold; as a result, I will begin working on and brainstorming about  other literary ventures such as colorful stories and children’s book ideas and see where it takes me…maybe to the best seller’s list one day!
I love writing, and have been incorporating it into my everyday schedule which has actually been rather busy these past few months.  I have a gratitude journal and occasionally jot down ideas throughout the course of the day.  I also purchased a few books which I’ve been reading to help me with the writing process.  Even though I know this goal will more than likely span into the next couple of years in order to have a completed project, I am fully immersed in the process.

7. Health is necessary for longevity.  To continue  improving my financial, physical and spiritual health, I will conduct research and keep working on the economical game plan, exercise regularly and meditate , and read and apply spiritual and motivational literature on a frequent basis.
It’s difficult to save money when paying for the expenses incurred from a pending wedding, but I am happy to report that I am under budget and will be in a good place financially after the expenses of the wedding have been paid.  I have been exercising six to seven days a week, eating lots of fruits and vegetables and taking vitamin supplements.  I’ve also been doing more meditating to keep me balanced and relaxed and brain exercises to improve my mental acuity.  I’m also on my second set of lessons for Rosetta Stone’s Spanish courses and am enjoying the learning process.  I can honestly say that I feel great!  

8. “You should be an actor!” is what family, friends and even my students tell me.  I used to act when I was younger and loved being on stage, so I will explore my theatrical abilities by taking a college level acting class in the spring 2011 semester staring January 10.  It’s going to be interesting potentially being in class with some of my own students, but it will be fun I’m sure.
My acting class went extremely well, and I finished the course with an “A!”  I learned a great deal from the experience and would love to take another course.  For my final, I actually performed in a scene as a drunk southern belle which is totally out of character for me.  You can check out my scene on You Tube under Anonomz.

9. As a person who  has finicky eating habits, family and friends jokingly say, “A fancy restaurant for her is a place that serves pizza, chicken or turkey burgers.”  I enjoy fine dining and feel guilty that people are limited in their restaurant selections when going out with me. In an attempt to break out of this habit, I will try at least one new food item every other month…once a month if the mood strikes me.
Trying new foods has actually been much easier that I thought it would be.  Once I tried the fried calamari, the shrimp, eggplant and plantains, to name a few, were no problem.  There’s something liberating about trying different foods.  Maybe it’s the ability to step outside of my comfort zone and to do something daring.  Perhaps trying new foods is just the beginning.  After this, I might feel more comfortable with trying different hobbies or activities that I would normally shy away from.  

10.  Lastly, in recent years I’ve learned that I cannot be everything to everyone, but year after year I still try to make family, friends, students, and colleagues happy sometimes at my own expense: monetarily, physically and emotionally.  To use an analogy, I love filling up their glasses of water, but I have to make sure my pitcher of water remains filled too in 2011.
I’m steadily improving in this area and have found that the more I say “no” or “I’ll think about it” so that I am not overwhelmed, the easier it becomes.  I still have to get over the guilt issues, but I’m happy with my progress..

I’ll keep you posted on my progress.

All the best,

Tanya

We’re two-thirds of the way through in the new year.  Are you still on track with the things you had planned for the new year?  Please feel free to share.

He’s More Than Just A “Baby Daddy” Ten Songs Representing Different Fathers

19 Jun

Unfortunately, Father’s Day cannot hold a candle to Mother’s Day!  Father’s Day is comparable to the boy scouts trying to compete with the girl scout cookies by selling tubs of over-priced popcorn. (Side note: I purchased a small tub of popcorn to support the boy scouts for $10, and when I asked the troop leader why the prices were so high, he remarked, “The girl scouts have monopolized cookies and we don’t have a choice but to sell our goods for much higher prices just to make a small profit.)  Whenever I take my mother out for mother’s day, I must book my reservation months in advance and still endure that standing room only crowd at the restaurant’s mother’s day brunch.  Conversely, reservations are not always a necessity.  On one particular father’s day, my fiance, his siblings and I took his father out, and I repeatedly stressed the importance to him about making a reservation well in advance to ensure that we would not have a long wait.  Upon arriving at that restaurant, I was surprised to see so many empty tables and booths.  I thought, “Where are all of the fathers and their families?”

On Mother’s Day, I compiled a list of R & B and rap songs celebrating moms, so it’s only right to put together a list of songs celebrating dads.  There’s only one problem though; most R & B and rap songs I located don’t necessarily celebrate dad but acknowledge his absence and unwillingness to be a father.  Of course, not all dads are “dead beats” who don’t provide for their children.  There are many who are wonderful role models who even become father figures to those children and even adults who are fatherless.  Please be sure to praise your fathers, grandfathers, great grandfathers, father-in-laws, uncles, nephews cousins, best friends, etc. who are exceptional fathers.  Musicians do excellent jobs producing songs that reflect societal and familial issues, and this list of memorable songs representing the plight, journey and love of a father does just that:

  1. Father & SonThe Loving Father: “Dance With My Father” by Luther Vandross“When I and my mother would disagree, to get my way I would run from her to him. He’d make me laugh just to comfort me, yeah yeah. Then finally make me do just what my momma said.”
  2. The Unconditional Love Father: “Daddy” by Beyonce: “Even if my man broke my heart today, no matter how much pain I’m in I will be okay cause I got a man in my life that can’t be replaced. For this love is unconditional it won’t go away.”Father & Son
  3. The Wise Father: “Joy” by Talib Kweli featuring Mos Def“Unless your language is relating to what they going through so busy ignoring them, you can’t see what they showing you.  And you wonder, why we called baby-daddy’s and baby-momma’s when we grow up, we can’t act like adult mothers and fathers, yo. I’m so blessed to have a boy and a girl, everyday they bring joy to my world.”
  4. The Protector Father: “Just the Two of Us” by Will Smith: “From the first time the doctor placed you in my arms I knew I’d meet death before I’d let you meet harm.  Although questions arose in my mind, would I be man enough?  Against wrong, choose right and be standin up.”
  5. The Grateful Father: “The Day” by Baby Face “It was like falling deep in love.  I heard the angels cry above.  I felt a blessing straight from God the day that you gave me a son.” 
  6. The Admirable Father: “Your Joy” by Chrisette Michele: “No one loves me just like you do.  No one knows me just like you do.  No one can compare to the way my eyes fit in yours.  You’ll always be my father.  And I’ll always be your joy.”
  7. Father & DaughterThe Stand-Up Father: “Be a Father to Your Child” by Ed. O.G. & Da the Bulldogs: “Be a father; if not why bother son.  A boy can make ’em but a man can raise one.”
  8. The Cycle Repeater Father: “All for You” by Little Brother:  “So the next time it’s late at night and I’m laid up with the woman I’ma make my wife talking ’bout how we ‘gon make a life, I’m thinking about child support, alimony, visitation rights. Cause that’s the only outcome if you can’t make it right. Pissed off with your children feeling the same pain. So, Pop, how could I blame cause you couldn’t maintain. I did the same thing…The same thing.” 
  9. The Denying Paternity Father: “Billie Jean” by Michael Jackson:   “Billie Jean is not my lover. She’s just a girl who claims that I am the one.  But the kid is not my son.  She says I am the one, but the kid is not my son.”
  10. The No Good Father: “Papa Was a Rolling Stone” by The Temptations:  “Hey Mama, is it true what they say, that Papa never worked a day in his life?  And Mama, bad talk going around town saying that Papa had three outside children and another wife.  And that ain’t right.

What type of father are you, or what type of father do you have?  To all of the positive fathers, Happy Father’s Day to you.  Please enjoy this R & B and rap father’s day playlist, and feel free to share your favorite song representing fathers with me.

All the best,

Anonomz aka Tanya Harris