Tag Archives: Reflection

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

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

Case #1: Judge versus the Jury

16 Nov

judge-orders-“Only God can judge me! People are always hating! No one asked for your opinion! It’s my life!” are phrases most people have uttered or at least heard uttered at some point in their lives. Lately, I’ve been scrutinizing my own actions and think a trial is in order.

Though I try my best to be positive, supportive and motivational, there have been times when I’ve been accused of judging and wonder if those accusations were valid and if I should be concerned with being perceived as a judge. Needless to say, I am apprehensive about being a judge, but how can I live life without judging? Just about everything involves it; from grading papers to taking time to evaluate my own actions, I cannot escape it.  Judging is one of the ways that we are able to improve ourselves and quality of life and to make sure we are on the right track.

I often wonder why it is acceptable and even welcomed when people are judged in a positive way such as a compliment about an outfit, hair, performance at work, parenting skills, etc..  Who ever stops people and questions why they are judging them when it is something positive? Of course,  when people point out any flaws or shortcomings, most would dismiss them as unwelcome judgments and suggest that these people mind their own business.

When it comes to the justification of judging, I think it is always important to consider the intention of the person who is playing the role of the judge and the significance this person has on your life.  Is the person trying to lift you up or tear you apart? Regardless if the judgment is negative or positive, is it being presented in a kind and caring way or cruel and insensitive?

It is important to consider if you are deflecting the real issue by focusing on this “so-called judge.” Why is it that whenever we are called out on something negative or counterproductive, like being procrastinators, habitually late or even harshly judging others with hurtful intentions, we are upset when somebody has the audacity to judge us? Why can’t it be that they love us and hold us accountable for our actions or to a higher standard than we may hold ourselves?  If everyone only provided positive judgments, would simply relying on how we judge ourselves be adequate? Sometimes, how we judge ourselves and see ourselves is way off base, and we need those “judges,” who God may place in our lives, to hold up those mirrors and reflect back what we refuse to see is really there.

As I take some time to deliberate further, please feel free to share your views on this touchy topic.

All the best,

Tanya

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

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

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

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

Habits to Factor

14 Sep

HabitWhen a person says, “I got a habit,” most automatically associate it with something negative?  “Habit Factor” by Martin Grunburg did an excellent job touching on how habits can be negative or positive in relation to achieving goals.  Ever since I can remember, I’ve always set forth goals to achieve.  A major reason I started this blog is actually to have a place to discuss my journey and share some of my musings and goals.  In an effort to live my best life while hopefully impacting the lives of others in a positive way, I decided to become more cognizant of my actions and daily routines. This allows me to make sure my actions (or habits) are in alignment with my goals and the person I claim to be.

For instance, one of my most recent goals was not just to reclaim my pre-pregnancy body (I just had a baby on May 3, 2013) but to have a healthy lifestyle.  So I first determined what habits would put me on the right path and began tracking how consistent I was. Rather than saying, I am not going to eat junk food, I thought about what I was going to do, such as meditating, drinking a minimum of eight cups of water a day, eating a minimum of seven servings of fruits and vegetables per day, and walking and exercising five to six days a week.

I can be quite competitive, especially with myself, so tracking my habits makes me want to push myself even further.  If I see that I had seven servings of fruits and vegetables all last week, I will try to make it eight for the following week.  Also, the accountability is there. Sometimes we all get so busy and do not realize how much time has passed since we have last worked out after we set forth the goal.  Logging the information gives me the data I need to have tangible evidence on why I have or have not achieved my goal.

Since I started tracking my habits with my healthy lifestyle back in July of this year, I lost 16 1/2 pounds, putting me about three pounds under my pre-pregnancy weight and lost a total of 18 inches from my waist, hips, thighs and arms. I feel more energized and am motivated to keep up these good habits.

Many of us question why our lives have or have not taken certain courses but do not always look at our habits (actions) to determine how significant they are in why we are where we are.  Even though there are instances where circumstances arise that are out of our control, our habits are not.  We typically control those.  The next time you question why you are struggling to reach your goal, consider your habits.  They truly can reveal a lot and certainly did for me.

All the best,

Tanya