Tag Archives: Reflection

The Summer Solstice: I’ve Longed For This Day

21 Jun

Sun And Clouds Wallpapers (1)Happy first day of summer! Here’s to sunny days, vacations, barbecues, etc. Though some view Memorial Day as the unofficial start of summer, there’s something extra special about the official start of summer. Did you know that the summer solstice is actually the longest day of the year and the shortest night? This is not, however,  just a day where you can count on it being light outside until around 9:00 pm. It is a major turning point because the days will begin to get shorter.

There’s something positive about “the light,” from the longest day of the year. It is basically the middle of the year and can be used as a time marker to reflect on our lives and  consider if we are headed on the course which we desire for 2014. As I look towards the light, I am very happy with my life but know there are so many ways that I can continue to improve it in the days and months to come. Yes, there may be dark days ahead (literally), but they will not prevent me from reaching my goals. I hope you have taken advantage of this long day and have been able to accomplish the goals that will light up your life even in the mist of potential darkness.

 

All the best,

 

Tanya

 

 

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Don’t Let the Little Things Break You

3 May

 

Tanya H. Franklin

Me Wearing One of the Many Cast Sleeves I Created

In life, things are not always as bad as they seem, but there are times when they are much worst. Not long ago, I posted an entry entitled, “Preparing for the Fall in the Winter” on how I sprained my wrist but did not allow it to get the best of me. A little over a month passed, and the pain was not subsiding. After having an MRI done, I found out that I actually broke a bone in the wrist of my dominant hand. This was a shock. As I mentally prepared for having to wear a cast, the doctor informed me that I had a scaphoid fracture through the proximal pole: an area that will not heal on its own. As a result, I had surgery done a few weeks ago where a 20 millimeter screw was put in my wrist along with having to wear a cast for a while.

Needless to say, this was upsetting. How could this little slip and fall and this little fracture cause me so much pain and aggravation? For a little while, I sulked and wondered why this happened to me and how I would be able to perform daily tasks, especially with a baby. But I did not stay in this place for long. Shortly after my surgery, I was watching a special on the Boston Marathon Bombing and how people were not only traumatized but lost limbs. Watching interviews of people remaining encouraged and determined put things into perspective for me. I decided that I was not going to allow this break to “break” me. So I’ve been making cast sleeves (which has been a lot of fun), drinking milk, eating healthy and being positive in my thoughts and actions. Some people say, “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.” I say, “When life gives you a broken bone and cast, rather than complain, get creative, have fun and decorate it.”

All the best,

Tanya

Avoiding the Potholes of Life

5 Apr

PotholesWaiting for the snow covered road to be plowed and cleared takes patience. Dealing with the plethora of potholes that follows the snow takes not only patience but skillful navigating and being circumspect. This year, in  the city of Philadelphia and nearby areas the potholes seem insurmountable. Nevertheless, they do serve a genuine purpose.

Potholes force us to slow down and pay close attention to our surroundings. Sometimes, we’re driving along, and the car in front of us may swerve to avoid a pot hole. Not paying attention and failing to do the same could result in a blown out tire or even an accident. Going the speed limit is fine, but potholes force us to use common sense. If there are a series of potholes, switching lanes or decelerating is necessary if you do not want to ruin your shocks. These potholes represent more than just a nuisance; they are an analogy for those moments in life when we need to be attentive or risk sustaining damage to different aspects of our lives. When we are speeding along, they slow us down and give that jolt we need to keep going on.

All the best,

Tanya

Reigning Rainy Days

29 Mar
(Courtesy of boomwallpaper.com)

(Courtesy of boomwallpaper.com)

“Rain, rain go away! Come again some other day!” A nursery rhyme I’ve sung on many occasions. Rain ruins plans for picnics, baseball games, outdoor weddings, etc. Rain can reign over our plans for the weekend like it is doing in the Philadelphia, PA area currently. But instead of focusing on how rain can put a damper on the weekend, let’s try to focus on the positive side of the rain.

  1. At least it’s rain and not more snow.
  2. Rain will help to wash away any remaining snow.
  3. It is great for those spring flowers that will be blossoming soon.
  4. Without rain, we just might have a water shortage.
  5. Rainy days make great indoor movie or game time with family or friends
  6. You get a free car wash.
  7. Rain gives us a chance to use that nice raincoat, umbrella or pair of galoshes we purchased.
  8. You’re never too old to run in the rain and splash in the puddles with that nice raincoat, umbrella or pair of galoshes.
  9. The rain allows you to have a greater appreciation for the sunshine.
  10. You just might see a rainbow once the rain has ended.

Are rainy days already reigning over your plans? Hopefully one of my reasons will help to make your day a little brighter in spite of the rain.

All the best,

Tanya

The Touch of Life After Death

1 Mar

touch-of-life-michelangeloHaving the occasional brush with death has caused me to have an even greater appreciation for life. But sometimes it is not the brush with death but learning about the life of another person after his or her death that encourages me to live life to the fullest and have a positive impact on others. Today, I attended the memorial service of my good friend’s mother who passed away from cancer. I never had the opportunity to meet her, but after attending such a lovely service, I could feel her spirit and came to know how wonderful she was within just a couple of hours.

Something that moved me was how consistent she was. Oftentimes, people are one way with their family and friends, another way in their romantic lives and a totally different way in their professional lives. This lovely woman was compassionate in all aspects of her life. Not just her family, but her friends and co-workers spoke so highly about her. The reverend who gave to eulogy used the word “authentic” to describe her and focused on how she was willing to help anyone in need.

Sometimes we may all get caught up in our daily lives, but it’s moments like these that really make me want to be a better person and to be even more conscientious about making my daily interactions with not just those people I know personally but people in general to be positive and meaningful. It’s amazing how someone’s death, a sad moment, can spark hope and compassion in the lives of the living. Dealing with the death of loved ones is never easy, but if and when you have to, I hope that you will be able to add something something positive to the lives of others.

All the best,

Tanya

Thanks “Snow” Much!

15 Feb

Quinn and Tanya Franklin in the SnowNot too long ago, I published a post entitled, “I’m for all seasons.” Needless to say, after several snow storms in the Philadelphia, PA region, I’m all for spring making its appearance with blossoming daffodils, birds chirping and temperatures calling for just a lightweight jacket. The reality is, however, that we still have a month and a half or more of possible snow and frigid temperatures. Instead of sharing my disdain for the aggravation and inconvenience this snow has caused, I’ll share a few tips I’ve learned as I focus on the beauty of this winter wonderland.

  1. When choosing to shovel a neighbor’s snow or anyone else’s snow, do it because you want to not because you expect it to be reciprocated or even expect the person to show gratitude in return. When you expect it to be reciprocated or for the person to be gracious, and he or she is not, this may lead to bitterness and tension. Who needs that when we are already dealing with the winter blues the “never ending snow” may be causing us?
  2. Instead of suffering from cabin fever or moaning and groaning about all of the snow, search for the kid within. Get out there and build a snowman or even a snow family if you have a lot of snow. Not only can it be a fun activity if you have children, but it can help clear some of the snow out of the way, especially if you live on a street where there is not much room to put the snow you shoveled.
  3. If you are cooped up in the house because of a snow day from school or work and it’s just too cold to go outside, use it as an opportunity to spend time with your loved ones or even to catch up on a task.
  4. Remain positive, and be even more willing to help those in need. Today, I went to visit my mother with my baby girl, and my car tires got stuck on a patch of snow mixed with ice as I attempted to get in a parking spot. As I used my emergency shovel to break up the ice around my tires, not one, but two people were kind enough to help. I truly did appreciate their kindness and will make sure to pass it on.
  5. Driving in the snow allows you to practice patience. A few weeks ago, I was driving home from my job during a snow storm. A commute that usually takes me around 45 minutes took a little over three hours. Yes, it was frustrating, but the experience allowed me to work on being more patient and to practice some of my Spanish Rosetta Stone audio lessons too.
  6. There are some people who may never get to experience the snow, so try to embrace the experience. Hating the snow is not going to make it go away, so try your best to focus on the positive.

Though many of us are longing for fun in the sun, remember, we learn and grow the most through adverse situations. What has the snow taught you?

All the best,

Tanya

Is Late Really Better Than Never?

1 Feb

Late“I’ll get there when I get there,” people utter. Students protest, “I was only five, fifteen, thirty minutes late.” “Yes, your car should have been ready by 1:00 pm, but we’re backed up, so it’ll be more like 5:00 pm,” is what I was told just yesterday after waiting since 11:00 am with my baby girl whose patience was wearing thin (not to mention my patience).  Some people must truly live by the phrase “Better late than never,” but I, in most cases, absolutely deplore it.

Of course, we may all run late once in a while, but more and more people, at least in the tri-state area of Philadelphia, PA, have no regard for people’s time and see being habitually late as just a part of life. Admittedly, I am one of those type A personalities who tends to show up early to events to ensure that I am not late, so this could attribute to my lack of tolerance for lateness. But it is also because I value and respect people’s time. I wish there was a way for people who have no problem with regularly being late to see how their actions negatively impact others.

Let’s consider if that cliche phrase “Better late than never” is always applicable. Being late involves more than just annoying or inconveniencing the other person who is patiently waiting. Before you blow off being late and view it as no big deal, think about the domino effect it will have on those directly and indirectly involved.

All the best,

Tanya

PS.  One of my biggest pet peeves is lateness, and this week, I’ve had quite a few issues with people being late and needed to vent a little. Thanks for reading.

Shop ‘Til I Drop: Well Sort of…

18 Jan

empty-cartAre you a shopaholic with tons of shoes and clothes in your closet worn once or not at all. Maybe you’re a therapy shopper who feels better after buying that $500 handbag. Me: I’m a shop-around-see-items-I-like-load-up-my-cart-then-drop it-off-and-not-purchase-one-thing-shopper (The abridged version: “shop and drop shopper”). Yes, it is a mouthful, but sadly, this is who I’ve become, and I just don’t know how to break the cycle.

It all started back in 2006/2007 when I stepped out on faith and left my full time job to follow my passion to teach college courses.  Initially, I only had a part-time position and struggled to make ends meet.  I’ve never been one to spend frivolously, but I learned how to be frugal and only purchase the absolute necessities.  Now, seven years later with a stable position as a full-time professor, my indecisiveness while shopping has heightened for some reason, and I have such a difficult time even making basic purchases.  It has become a joke for anyone who goes shopping with me.  For example, I’ll select cute outfits, shoes, or items at the local Home Goods store, but by the time we are ready to go to the cashier, I have purged most of the items from my cart. My sister will laugh and say, “I knew you weren’t going to really buy anything,” and my husband will make fun of me for deliberating so long over making even a $10 purchase as I try to determine if I really should buy the item. “You can always return it,” he says.  Even though I know this, I still had my latest shop and drop episode this past Friday.

It wouldn’t be so big of an issue if I didn’t shop for a while in a store, load up my cart with reasonably priced and sale priced items that could be considered necessities, not just “wants,” then put most of them back. Later on, I’ll give it some thought, return to the store  and find out that the item I want has been purchased by someone else. I vow to work on this habit of shopping and dropping as I have let too many good deals slip through my fingers.  If you have any advice, please feel free to share.

All the best.

Tanya

Delighted to Make Your Acquaintance 2014!

1 Jan

Let's Make a Deal 2014As soon as we became comfortably acquainted 2013, it was time to bid you adieu. Though I am sad to see you go, I welcome your not-so-distant relative 2014 with a hardy handshake.

Even though we’ve just met 2014, I am eager to make a pact with you. Give me all that you have to offer, and I will readily do the same! I will give my all to being an even better wife and mother to my husband and daughter than in 2013. Of course, to properly take care of them, I must take good care of myself. Therefore, I plan to continue improving my financial, physical and spiritual health by investing and spending wisely, preparing for the future, exercising and meditating regularly, and reading and applying spiritual and motivational literature to my life on a frequent basis.

In an effort to continue my intellectual, spiritual and creative journey, I’ve decided to start another blog dedicated to my musings and journey as a new mother. It’s hard out here for a mom, actually for anyone parenting a child, so my hope is that someone will find my posts to be beneficial and receive much needed support. I’m excited to get insight and support for myself as well and am presently working on the site, so stay tuned.

It has been a pleasure connecting with people in 2013, and I’m looking forward to making even more connections in 2014.

All the best in the new year,

Tanya

I “Heart” Christmas Baby!

21 Dec

2013-12-06 19.57.55Exactly one year ago, my husband and I found out we were having a little girl. Shortly thereafter, the doctor informed us that the baby had a fetal heart arrhythmia and wanted us to schedule an appointment to have a fetal echo performed immediately. This was not the early Christmas present I was hoping for.

With angst, I spent the rest of my pregnancy going to appointments twice a week riding the emotional roller coaster as the diagnosis would worsen improve then worsen again while I prayed and hoped that my unborn child would be okay. With only having a few close family members and friends knowing what I was experiencing, it was extremely difficult to keep smiling and remain positive, but I did for the sake of my baby.

Miraculously, the fetal heart arrhythmia disappeared, and baby Quinn has had no health issues. This holiday season, I could not be happier. My husband believes that I have went overboard with gifts for her first Christmas. Admittedly, I have because now it is just my heart that skips a beat each time I think about how blessed I am to be her mother.

Happy holidays to you and yours,

Tanya