Sunday, December 31, 2017

Aud Lang Syne 2017

Goodbye 2017!

I researched the lyrics to the traditional New Year's theme song "Aud Lang Syne."  Surprisingly, Wikipedia describes the song as not only a traditional New Year's Eve serenade, but also sung at funerals! Hmmm.... 2017....

Ladies and Gentlemen...
We are gathered together on this New Year's Eve to bid farewell to a year that has departed with feelings of both blessings and disheartened sadness.  As we reflect on this year that can never be relived, let's make a commitment to learn from it and grow from it while burying the hurt and ill will along with it.

2017's light was dimmed by the loss of our most beloved entertainers.

Al Jarreau                           2-12                                John Heard                          7-21
Mary Tyler Moore              1-25                                Dick Gregory                      8-19
Bill Paxton                          2-25                                Jerry Lee Lewis                  8-20
Judge Joseph Wapner         2-26                                Frank Vincent                     9-13
Chuck Berry                       3-18                                Bernie Casey                       9-19
Don Rickles                        4-06                               Hugh Hefner                        9-27
Charlie Murphy                  4-12                                Monty Hall                          9-30
Roger Moore                      5-23                                Fats Domino                       10-24
Adam West                         6-09                                Robert Guillaume               10-24
Martin Landau                    7-15                                Della Reese                        11-19
                                             Earle Hyman                 11-17

Politics became strictly business and something resembling reality television with Donald Trump assuming the role of the 45th president of our beloved United States of America.

But despite our sadness we made some major accomplishments to propel our country forward.  We learned that there might soon be an end to suffering as our scientists finally made major leeway in curing.... oh, wait a minute nothing like that comes to mind.

Our country worked diligently to honor its creed by making sure citizens can sustain a decent quality of life by implementing the.... hold on.... I don't know about anything that happened since our 44th President implemented the Affordable Care Act.

Hmmm... what accomplishment did we make as a country?  All I can immediately recall is that President Trump made some comments about a football player.... and was accused of something or another... and made some other shocking comments.

Ok, 2017 might not leave us swelling with pride as a nation of people because of any outstanding breakthroughs or much more than reality show leadership.  But, at least as we witnessed this mockery of leadership we had personal goals and accomplishments to celebrate and compound on for the year 2018.  Right?

I know everybody is probably making tremendous new year resolutions to do the same old stuff - eat healthier, lose weight, save money, blah, blah, blah.  What I'm going to resolve to do is reward myself more.  I spend a lot of time being something for someone else and doing things for other people that I have neglected myself and neglected to reward myself so much so that I feel used up.  If you'll reflect on my "too not enough" way of thinking that I mentioned in previous blog posts, I can understand now how that became embedded in my subconscious.  Not to say there's no enjoyment in the work that I do, but instead that it is imperative to have balance to not only continue the work but to continue to do the work well.

What are you going to resolve to do for this magical New Year 2018?  If you're hesitant to commit to a goal or goals because you are living a life of uncertainty at this time, take your power and plan on how you will manage DESPITE the worse that can happen.  There is no excuse.  And there is no shame.  Aud Lang Syne, 2017!

Welcome 2018!!!!!

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Junk Mail/Spam Posts

If you have received any correspondence such as emails or messages with this name as a tag or the originator of the message, please disregard.  I work in the child welfare system and have some immature and angry people behaving mischievously.   Sorry for your inconvenience.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Thanksgiving Reflections

The Big Girl Chronicles:  Thanksgiving Reflections

As I was pushing my shopping cart through the grocery store hurrying to gather all my necessary ingredients to prepare my ultimate Thanksgiving feast of all times, I accidentally bumped into a fellow shopper riding the wheelchair assisted cart.  A closer look in the midst of  my apologies revealed that the stranger I thought I had accidentally collided with was in fact an old college friend whom I had lost contact with.  I playfully quipped that he was being a lazy shopper riding the handicapped equipment rather than battling the other frantic shoppers on foot, as he was always one full of practical jokes and shortcuts.  The expression on his face alerted that this time was no playful prank.  He shared that he'd been involved in an accident that spared his life but caused permanent injury.  The worst of it though was that there were lives that were lost.  I listened dumbfounded as he explained the details of the tragedy that would leave he and his family with fewer loved ones to partake in this year's Thanksgiving celebration.  There were no words I could offer that would be a proper consolation, but I attempted to offer encouragement and wished he and his family a pleasant Thanksgiving despite the circumstances.  As I continued through the grocery aisles with his story fresh on my mind, I realized my pace and focus had shifted considerably.  I began to take notice of others combing the aisles searching for their Thanksgiving fixings and all the things that they no doubt traditionally indulge in this time of season, oblivious it seems that any tragedy could disrupt their lives or what others like my friend might be enduring during this holiday season. 

It was in that moment that I realized the true spirit of gratitude.  Regardless of what the pilgrims ate however many moons ago or who's playing who on television or what store has the hottest Black Friday deals, the true spirit of this season is in the fellowship of family in friends who have returned to gather another year.  So what if I burn the turkey or the dressing is bitter.  I'll be glad to hear the complaints of those I love declaring that I'll not be allowed back in the kitchen for next year's feast.  I'll be happy to hear mumbling about too much mess to clean while others create an even bigger mess watching the big game.  I'll live in the moment as I hunt with fellow shoppers for the hottest electronics, gadgets and deals to wrap for Christmas, keeping the memory of my friend's story in mind.

This holiday season and every moment from now on...

Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family from the BigGirl Chronicles and mine.  Warm wishes for a holiday season filled with love of family and friends, peace and prosperity for the new year.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Breast Cancer Awareness Month 2014

The Big Girl Chronicles: Breast Cancer Awareness Month 2014

Breast Cancer Awareness Month has started with some awesome products created to support breast cancer research, treatment and prevention. Below you'll find a link to some of your favorite retailers and brands that have featured products specifically for BCAM. 

       Aerie Limited Edition Bright Pink Bra

       Estee Lauder Modern Muse Solid Perfume Compact

       Bobbi Brown Cosmetics Lip Gloss Collection

       Aveda Moisturizer

        Tweezerman Tweezer

       Nest Fragrances Candle

To make certain your financial support is used as intended you can opt to make a donation in lieu of purchasing merchandise to organizations that have proven to have the best interests of those who benefit from breast cancer research the most in mind.  Click on the links below for more information:

 Susan G. Komen Foundation

National Breast Cancer

Breast Cancer Research Foundation

As always, remember to schedule your annual mammograms and take a friend along!  You can ante up your support by participating in events that aid in support and awareness of breast cancer research and prevention.  Protect your Ta-Tas!

*Susan G. Komen, Susan G. Komen Foundation nor any of its affiliates, organizations, employees or supporters participated in this post.  No breast cancer research organization contributed, participated, nor solicited support for this blog post.  None of the above mentioned products, retailers or any affiliates contributed to this post.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

10 Things About The Big Girl

The Big Girl Chronicles:  10 Things About the Big Girl

Reading over my previous posts I've decided that it's time to have some fun.  Sometimes I'm slightly "fun impaired." This post is to kickstart an increase in my "fun-o-meter."

 1.  After vanilla being my flavor of choice from childhood through young adulthood, I now find myself preferring chocolate instead.

 2.  Blue is my least favorite color.  I now own over 50 bottles of nail lacquer in various shades of blue, and about 1/3 of my wardrobe is some hue of blue.

 3.  I prefer the behind the scenes & special features of some movies sometimes more than the actual movie itself.

 4.  The first album I was gifted is Michael Jackson's Thriller.  The first cassette tape I was gifted is LLCoolJ Bigger & Deffer.  My first compact disc is Dru Hill 'Beauty' maxi single.  My very first MP3 download was Fastball's Outta My Head.

 5.  I'm newly obsessed with cute socks.

 6.  My first job as a taxpayer was a cashier.

 7.  My dad satisfied my curiosity at the taste of beer when I was a small child.  From that day to this I won't drink it.

 8.  I was a flower girl for the first time in a wedding around the age of 8.  It was there that I snuck to the champaign fountain and had my first sip of champaign.

 9.  My first pet was a rabbit my mother gave me for Easter.

10.  I put things back in the original packaging and boxes to make them seem new longer.

I was going for 25 things but have found myself not that interesting.  (Inject laughter) Happy Labor Day Weekend!

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

The Big Girl Turns 2!!!

The Big Girl Chronicles

The Big Girl has had 2 years in the blogosphere!  If you’ve traced back to my first post you read that I went through a divorce, which sparked my blog.  I found myself back at a place I’d made preparations to avoid educationally.  Yet I managed other aspects of my life so poorly that I ultimately sabotaged myself.  I know it seems silly.  But not making decisions with my goals and interests in mind has allowed someone else to dictate my circumstances so much so until I awoke one day wondering how I ended up in such a mess so completely opposite of where I wanted to be.   And from there the digging began.  I had to sift through each decision I made to understand where (and how often) I made mistakes.

My blog has been therapeutic.  There’s retail therapy, and there’s blog therapy.  I’ve had quite a bit of fun with it, too - experimenting with the various avenues of expression in media.  There are so many who share common struggles and experiences that it is helpful to click on a link or visit a webpage and read about how someone else handled whatever obstacle or difficulty.  Or what’s trending.  And from those ideas form an online presence and identity that represent you.  I’m in no position to offer any advice about managing a blog.  From what I gathered, it’s all about what you want it to be.  When I began my blog, these are the things I took into consideration:

My Intentions

I thought about why I wanted to blog, and quite frankly it was because I had accumulated so many journals from writing all these years that it seemed more of a chore to have to store them or tote them around upon relocating.  And in keeping with the times, It’s quite obvious that each generation is progressing toward a future with less pen and paper.  Thus the blog. 

 The pros & Cons

Entertaining the what-ifs wasn't that much a concern because of my intentions.  I realized that my blog would be a reflection of myself and a stamp in the blogosphere of just that - who i am.  There is always potential to grow.  And I have blogged how I would like to be recognized... only I'm still trying to get to grown.  Not the kind of grown that is "deserving" of yes ma'ams and whatever.  But the kind of grown where i've managed myself less like someone subjected to circumstances and approval and more like how a responsible, independent woman of age is expected to manage her life.
 The pros and cons of it are essentially to blog at your own risk.  What is posted is a direct reflection of yourself to not only friends and relatives, but extends to all audiences - intended and unintended.

Expected Outcome(s)

I haven't any real expected outcomes for my blog.  I know that is a direct contradiction of many of my posts, such as Why Plan and others that are consistent with a theme of planning and preparation.   For the most part I wanted to focus on what’s worth preserving and how it’s presented rather than blogging about a bunch of crap that isn’t conducive to building character or bettering circumstances.  It's been interesting to learn that given the choice to focus on progress and growth or continue emphasizing faults and fallacies it seems most choose to keep with the latter.  Regardless, this blog is  my story and there is no pressure to meet any deadlines or subscriber quotas.  It's just me.

Healthy Balance

In my life I've noticed that a healthy balance is what has been missing and could hold some responsibility for how I became such a mess.  Things were always at one extreme or the other.  And I learned that what you focus on becomes what your world revolves around.  Seems like a "duh," right?  And it is until you realize that some things that have your attention have taken control of you.  Without a healthy balance that could be to your detriment.  If I focus on subscribers and deadlines rather than what I want my blog to represent, I risk compromising my intentions for the sake of an audience that I was never supposed to have.  That doesn't mean not to strive for that if an audience is part of the original purpose.  But it does expose who you are without it.  Was the blog about you?  Or we're you merely seeking attention?

The world is full of opportunity to achieve limitless possibilities. There are countless online platforms that allow anyone to do just that.  But as with anything else, not everyone is going to achieve the same measure of success.  If your idea of success is defined by how you compare with another you could be hurting yourself by deciding that you are a failure at something that - minus the comparison - has brought you some degree of satisfaction and growth.   The Big Girl Chronicles has been that.  My therapy.  My reminder that I might not always come out on top, but that's ok.  What matters most in my life is what I have achieved by my standards.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Formerly Considered Minor Appreciations

The Big Girl Chronicles: formerly considered minor appreciations

I was sitting beside my bedroom window completely engrossed in how I plan to make some changes for the second half of this year.  Thinking about the changes I intend to make is usually both a pleasant time full of optimism and a stressful cocktail of lingering “what if…?s”.  It would seem irresponsible and unrealistic to make plans and not consider the worst case scenario or avoid making any alternate plans altogether. Keeping grounded and finding balance becomes a challenge when your feelings about possibly not following through creep in.  Before you realize it, the feelings have dominated and your productive planning session ends without a clear, logical outline of your intentions and feelings of desperation. But the strangest thing happened as I was doing just that.  I looked out of my bedroom window and noticed how beautifully the sun was shining through the clouds and glistening on the grass.  Don’t get it wrong.  In the world of breathtaking views, the one from my bedroom window would definitely be the least of all.  Yet, As I looked up and noticed what was going on beyond What’s in plain view, I couldn’t help but feel a sense of calm… and appreciation.  Unemployment, poverty and divorce – the shift in socio-economic status – all these things have allowed an experience of life from a different perspective.  This experience is more than I could have learned reading a text or in any internship or facet of public service employment.  It’s an experience that has provided depth and insight beyond any that I could have ever empathized in any other capacity.  And the lessons in frugality have been priceless.  I’ve done so much excess spending.  Now I completely understand the power of the coupon and getting two for the price of one. or paying only $1 with it as opposed to $3.50 without.

Some other formerly considered minor appreciations:
·       A good deal on a simple item otherwise considered unaffordable for a LISP (Low income/Single Parent) budget.  Like being able to purchase my fave brand of ice cream because it’s on sale and I have enough customer loyalty points (And the coupon) to get the additional discount.  Before it didn’t matter that one pint of my favorite brand cost as much as two gallons of the generic.

·       The dollar store – With a miniscule budget the dollar store gives a little wiggle room.  There is much less of having to sacrifice When you can get quite a few of your cleaning supplies there and have enough cash leftover to afford some school function or event.

·        Thrift stores – pretty much self-explanatory.

·       The kindness of a stranger – Perhaps I wasn’t in the right circles before.  But since this change in socio-economic status I have experienced kindness from strangers that I’d not ever experienced before. Before there were certain “hook-ups” we all get from time to time because of an association or whatever social/civic memberships you have been subscribed to.  But to have a stranger who has no reason or obligation to extend a kindness generously do so is beyond incredible. 

Taking a moment to appreciate a beautiful day was the opened door to realizing how fortune can be uncovered among some unfortunate circumstances.  Our experiences and interactions are what shape us into the kind of person we grow to be.  Under any other circumstances, had someone warned that one day It wouldn't matter that I have a master's degree, i'd still end up living in public housing I would've thought them to be less than credible.  But what I've learned firsthand is of more value than what I could've recited from a textbook or quoted from a study.  I am satisfied with myself about how I have handled these circumstances I had prepared myself to avoid.  But I am more than pleased with the kind of person I have found myself to be in spite of it.