Tag Archives: Musings

Driving Me Away!

15 Mar

Tanya Harris aka AnonomzMost of us are excited when we purchase a new car or even a used car. We make sure it’s always polished and clean inside and out. The maintenance is done without delay, and we’re overly conscientious making sure there are no scratches or dings on its exterior. The car takes care of us, and we take care of it. As time goes by, however, regular wear and tear occurs, and no matter how much effort we put into maintaining our vehicles, problems, some unforeseen and some imminent, drive a wedge between us and the car we once loved.

I’ve had my present vehicle for a little over eight years and am grateful for all of the many places it’s allowed me to go. It took me on my interview at the college where I now work six years ago. It took me to the hospital to give birth to my daughter almost a year ago. Without it, I would have missed some of the best moments of my life. For a good while, I’ve been driving without a car note which has been wonderful. Unfortunately, within the past year, my car has had one problem after another causing me to put  a substantial amount of money into it as though I’m paying a car note. Lately, I’ve begun to question if it is worth it and if I am better off getting a new vehicle.

The more I deliberate over this decision, the more I connect it to relationships. Most start off where everything is wonderful, just like a smooth ride. We’re happy, do what we need to do to maintain those relationships, yet regular wear and tear occurs. This is typically where some of us are ready to “trade in” the relationship while others are willing to invest a little more time since the relationship has had good moments. Then there are instances where some major problems occur that require much more than basic maintenance.  Some problems may be so costly that they’re not even be worth fixing. Nevertheless, we hold onto some relationships for longer than we should because of the wonderful moments we had in the past,  they are convenient, we’ve invested a lot of time or even money or we are just hesitant to start new ones. Of course, people are not cars and have more value, but I do wonder how many of us keep relationships going when so many issues in them are driving us away. I know I’m guilty of doing this. Are you?

All the best,

Tanya

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The Frozen Door of Opportunity Just Won’t Open!

14 Dec

Frozen Car DoorWho hasn’t heard the phrase, “When opportunity knocks, answer the door?” or “When the door of opportunity opens, be ready to walk through it?”  Not many people talk about what to do when the door is “technically” open yet frozen shut making it difficult to open. Well, I now have first-hand knowledge with this experience and can offer a couple of tips.

This past Tuesday, it not only snowed in Philadelphia, PA and the surrounding areas, but the temperature has been well below freezing throughout the course of this week.  With this being said, even with keyless entry, my frozen car doors have not been opening with ease. So what do I do; most would answer, pull a little harder on the door handle. Initially, this may seem logical, but it is not always the best choice.  I tugged a little harder, and the door did not budge, so I yanked a bit more forcibly.  If you are heavy-handed like me, I definitely do not suggest this method as I managed to break off my rear door passenger handle pulling so hard.  Needless to say, this upset me quite a bit.  Why wasn’t I more patient?  Why didn’t I ask someone for advice on what to do to open a frozen car door or look for a Youtube video on it?  Though this is an experience I wish I didn’t have, I have been thinking about what I can learn from it.

  1. Even when a door “should” be open, you need to be mindful of your own strength.  If you break off the door handle, you will make it even more difficult to open that door of opportunity or may need to find another method to get to that opportunity.
  2. Sometimes, when we are extremely passionate about something or allow it to consume us, (I would not rest until I got the door open instead of giving a few tugs then walking away) it may bring about unexpected problems and detours on the road to opportunity.
  3. Don’t allow being ashamed if you break off the handle trying to open the door to deter you from opening other doors. Since I was younger, I’ve always been known as heavy-handed and as a bit of a klutz.  I was so embarrassed when I broke off the handle and still am, but I am grateful it was not the driver side door nor the front passenger side door. Also,m I can still get to my destinations.

I am glad that I was able to take this experience and apply a life-lesson and hope that it may help others who are trying to open up those frozen doors.

All the best,

Tanya

Baby “Say” My Name….Please

30 Nov

Quinn Victoria FranklinWatching my baby reach her milestones is thrilling, especially the imminent  uttering of her first words. To prep Quinn for this moment to say “my name” first, I’ve been speaking in third person, pointing in the mirror or at pictures letting her know I am Mama. When I use the American Sign Language sign for mother and say “mama,” she often smiles as though she knows what I am saying.  So when she started babbling, I just knew Quinn was going to be an anomaly and in her high pitch voice bellow out that sweet sound I’ve been longing to hear, “Mama.”

Sadly, all of my hard work hasn’t paid off yet, and Quinn has decided to follow the masses of babies who follow tradition driving mommies around the world nuts  with the easier phonetic sound “da da da da da da.” Every day all day it’s “da da da da da da da da.” I grimace trying to put on a real smile and encourage her since I know  at this stage it is indiscriminate, and she is just trying out sounds. Of course, I am grateful that Quinn has such a wonderful, loving and present father who is her sole caretaker when I teach on Tuesdays and Thursdays, but it’s hard sometimes to not cajole her into saying “ma ma ma ma ma ma” instead of “da da da da da da.”

Yesterday, she started saying “na na na na na,” which her Nana will be proud to hear, so “mama” should be on the way soon.  As much as I want her to say my name, I have a feeling that there may come a time when I may be driven nuts because Quinn won’t stop saying, “mama, mama, mama.” Regardless, I can’t wait!

All the best,

Tanya

Life: What My Baby Senses…

23 Nov

Tanya Franklin & Baby QuinnMy baby girl gazes at me, touches my face, strokes my hair or grabs anything else within reach.  She savors her sweet potatoes, apples or bananas grasping the spoon to get more. Listening intently, she responds to her name and other stimuli. The smell of her poopy diapers and gas (which can smell like a grown man) does not faze her at all. Though I’m in awe at how quickly she’s growing in her first half year, I’m amazed at how she is able to operate at a level where she can take everything in slowly and become immersed in what she is doing. Observing Quinn makes me wonder why do so many adults fly through life without sensing it?

Sight: We’ve been here for a couple of decades or longer but struggle to gaze into the eyes of the person or people we claim to love with the same warmth a baby who has only been here for a few months can offer.

Touch: I love that my baby is so fascinated with my face and wants to explore it with those drooly little fingers.  For some people, it has been years since they have experienced subtle touches  that convey affection (minus the drool of course).

Taste: We are in a rush eating our meals on the run, wolfing down our food without really tasting and enjoying it like a baby might (minus the messiness of course).  When I feed Quinn, I make sure she has swallowed her food before I give her another spoonful, but on occasion I’m guilty of not completely chewing and swallowing my food before putting another piece in my mouth. I find that I have more enjoyment in eating when I take my time.

Hear: Sometimes there is an overwhelming amount of mind chatter or distractions around us, and we’re unable to listen to our inner voices.  Most babies, especially mine, has no problem listening to her inner voice that says, “I’m happy,” I’m hungry,” “I’m sleepy,” or “I’m just in need of some attention.” Nevertheless, there are times when I don’t listen to that voice telling me,”You’re taking on too much,” “You’re hungry” or “You need some ‘me’ time.”

Smell: Though there are benefits to smelling, I wish I was able to not get caught up in the “smell” as Quinn is capable of doing. It’s difficult to resist the aroma of certain unhealthy foods luring me, and some odors have been pungent enough to stop me in my tracks, distracting and preventing me from doing the task at hand.

Quinn has taught me  several lessons I plan on applying to my life, and I sense that there are many more learning opportunities to come courtesy of my baby girl!

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

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