Quarterlife+


Life after fireworks: Living in the lackluster

Posted in Uncategorized by Ashley Franklin on July 5, 2015
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Ah, fireworks! I’m sure that many of you can still see their vivid colors and feel the sound of their explosions if you close your eyes and steady yourselves. I didn’t watch any fireworks yesterday. They leave me with a weird feeling–an emptiness if you will. Fireworks displays are so over-the-top. They’re captivating. They engulf you. They command the stillness that comes with undivided attention yet set emotions free to run wild.

Then they’re over. Just like that, they’re over. The sky is still. Nightlife is given back its voice. You are an individual again and not a part of a collective. You’re no longer experiencing the same sense of awe.

For me, that’s how life works. We have these milestones-birth, graduation, birthdays, marriage, etc.–and then we have all of the days of everyday living in between.

Just recently, I’ve had to remind myself of the importance of the in between days. It’s been a while since I’ve had one of those fireworks days, and I was starting to feel kind of cruddy. I have realized that it’s the in between days that have allowed me to have the fireworks. Instead of thinking of these days as low points or lackluster, I should be thinking of them as days of character building. So, I will. How about you?

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How to live w/ the SCOTUS decision AND not be a jerk (in 5 easy steps)

Posted in Uncategorized by Ashley Franklin on June 26, 2015
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Yes, this (marriage equality) is a huge topic today. How to deal with the decision (rather you agree with it or not) can be summed up in 5 easy steps:

1) Don’t be a jerk. Nobody likes jerks. There’s no need for name-calling or condemning people to Hell. The first isn’t nice. The second isn’t in your job description.

2) If you believe that the world needs prayer at this fine time, by all means pray! Prayer for all it’s worth. Many people are familiar with the phrase “Pray until something happens.” You can still do that. Pray until you find peace in your heart and happiness in your life. While you’re at it, pray for peace in the world. There can NEVER be too many prayers for that.

3) Remember not to stomp on someone’s rights to uphold your own.

4) Remember that there is supposed to be a separation of church and state. Stay in your lane.

5)  Love! We all may not all agree on how life is supposed to be lived, but we can love each other and treat each other with respect while we’re sharing this limited space on Earth.

The Big Day for Sexy

Posted in Life,Life changes by Ashley Franklin on February 14, 2012
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As V-Day approached, I found the commercials increasingly annoying. Now it’s here. At 30 some weeks pregnant, how much sexy can I possibly pull off? I haven’t seen any Motherhood commercials sporting a giant bellied Momma all dolled up for this national day of love. Why is that? Well, obviously, the sexy has already happened! You try striking a few sexy poses with someone jabbing and kicking at you from the inside. Let’s see just how long that sexy pose lasts.

With random headaches, unpredictable sleepiness, and swelling that springs up at its leisure, the sexiest thing I might pull off today is doing the dishes and cooking dinner. How’s that for titillating?

Thanks, Facebook, for proving I’m not a nurturer

Posted in Life by Ashley Franklin on February 11, 2011
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Every few weeks, I say to myself, “Maybe it’s time to start a family.” I mean, I”m not getting any younger. (Don’t get me wrong; I’m not super old either.) It never fails that in ten minutes or less, something happens to quickly make me rethink it. Sometimes it’s a snotty-nosed child throwing a tantrum on the floor for no apparent reason. Sometimes it’s an awesome moment with my husband that makes me think that I’m not quite ready to share him yet.

When one of those type moments are scarce, all I have to do is log in to Facebook. Remember when the “Make a Baby” app was popular? Hunny, I had like 5 kids. They were well fed, nicely clothed, and I worked hard picking out their names. I was in close contact with all of my “baby daddies.” My fervor lasted all of maybe 3 months. The ease of clicking the kids to happiness was short-lived. They grew up. They were temperamental. They took up more and more time. They were expensive. They were a pain in my butt. They ended up on doll mode.

Much, much later, I boarded the Happy Aquarium bandwagon. Every few hours I was cleaning, feeding, breeding, and decorating. My tanks were immaculate! I trained fish. I bought fish. I sold fish. I bought them larger tanks. Then the app got fancy. I was supposed to go on a treasure hunt, do something with shells, help out neighbors, etc. I was supposed to care too much for fake fish. I’ve had many a betta over the years that didn’t require as much effort. It’s been easily 4 months since I’ve logged into Happy Aquarium. I see the new gimmicks they regularly come up with, and I’m momentarily intrigued. Then the realization hits me that I”ll have to clean ALL of my tanks and feed ALL of those fish.  Yeah…no thanks.

Perhaps I should have known better. The days of my always-dying Little Mermaid Tamagotchi are definitely in the not-so-distant past. Maybe I should start on a Baby Alive, lol. Do they even still make those?

My god-awful in-laws

Posted in Life by Ashley Franklin on January 14, 2011
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They have yet to appear. I know it’s not the norm, but I’m so not even lying. Think about all of the movies, TV shows and friends’ stories that you’ve seen or heard. How many of them are about wonderful in-laws that take the person in as their own and never made him/her feel the least bit uncomfortable? Don’t worry; I’ll wait.

My husband and his mom are so close that I was honestly expecting a monster-in-law situation (good movie by the way). This woman was so nice when I first met her that I thought she was playing mind games. Well over a year later, she hasn’t changed. Either she’s a diabolical genius or she’s authentically this sweet of a person. The same goes for the rest of my husband’s family-from his aunts to his cousins. They’ve been amazing about welcoming me into their family. I couldn’t have asked to be connected to a greater bunch of people.

I know many people who aren’t too fond of their in-laws, so I consider myself to be quite fortunate in this area. My first Christmas away from my own family went pretty well too. Of course I missed doing some of the things my family usually does on the day, but I got to see how another family does the holiday.It was fun. My father in-law has always been a gem, holiday or not.

I don’t really like the term though. “In-laws.” It makes me think of outlaws by default. How could I not think of folk in cowboy hats, spurs? Well, maybe that’s just me and my imagination.

Hold Up! Am I about to be in my late twenties?!

Posted in Life,Life changes by Ashley Franklin on October 25, 2010
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I created this blog around this time last year. I was in an awkward state of mind. I was restless, discontent, and unsure of myself. I’ll be honest; I was a mess! My friends sympathized. I don’t know what my family thought. My not-yet-but-soon-to-be husband listened without making me feel ridiculous.

Now we’ve come back to this point. My birthday rapidly approaching. This year, I can honestly say that I am excited. I’m trying my hand at freelance writing and a few other Internet gigs, and I’m having a good time doing it. My dreds are still a fun experience.  I moved halfway across the country. I am happily married. A lot has happened in  one year! I feel emotionally stable. Don’t judge me. I know I’m not the only one that has had an emotionally sketchy time when I felt lost and that I should be more accomplished at my age.

I need a bit of clarity. On Thursday, I will officially be 26. Now, here’s the pressing question. At 26, will I be in my late twenties? Do the rules of rounding apply? 24, 25 and 26 could be mid while 27-29 late, right? It seems like a pretty good breakdown to me! What do you think?

I remember my college days. They seem so far away now. I look back at some of those days and think “God, I was an idiot!” Hey, it’s the truth. I chalk it up to the reckless abandonment of my youth. Well, my earlier youth I guess. The fact that I was 17 when I started college may have a lot to do with it. Maybe there is some truth to becoming older and wiser.

What’s in a name…or a hair-do?

It’s not even 9A.M. What am I doing? Writing? No. Other freelance  work? No. Cooking breakfast? No again. I am sitting in the middle of my living room under my Gold n Hot hair dryer. After what was a long and irritating quest, I did find a sit-under dryer at Sally’s Beauty Supply. The last time I did my hair was a little over two weeks ago, and that took so much prep work that I never got around to posting the pictures (next post, I promise). The Jane Carter Twist and Loc stuff I was using was out of stock. Yes, I went to the company website and they were out of stock. I ended up having to buy it off of Amazon because I couldn’t find it at anywhere.

To make a long story short: Loc cream: Amazon, Shampoo: Target, Dryer: Sally’s, Tea Tree Oil: Random Hair Store

It seems like a bunch of fuss, but does it really matter? Yes. I feel better when my hair is done-almost like a brand new person. What gives you that brand new feel? A new outfit? For me, it’s my hair. The thing is, my hair has to be done how I like it. It could be done in a nice style, but if I don’t like it, I don’t like it. I’m particular.

Today’s a big day (aside from my hair being finally finished). I’m also finally changing my last name. There’s no rhyme or reason as to why it’s being done now. But I’ll say this: I AM SO EXCITED! Yes, it is all caps worthy.

Will I feel like a new person once I have my husband’s last name? I’m not sure. Will it give me that fresh hair-do feel? It may be even better? What about my old name? I feel like I’m washing it away, or off of me. I’m not all that attached to it, but I have had it for nearly 26 years.

Out with the old, and in with the new. I’ll let you know if I feel any different after it’s a done deal.

**UPDATE**

I got my social security card. Here’s how I chose my namesake. It’s not a virus, I promise. It’s a link to my other blog.

There’s no “i” in we

Posted in Life,Life changes by Ashley Franklin on July 3, 2010
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There’s no i in we, but there are two i’s in decision. I’ve been married for two months now. It’s not a long time in the grand scheme of life, but every married day has been an adventure. It’s a balancing act when you’re still learning yourself and you’re trying to learn someone else all at the same time. In moments of frustration, I’ve had to ask myself if I am really upset at him or myself. A surprising amount, I’ve found that I am usually upset with myself.

Our marriage motto: Teamwork makes the dream work. Yes, it’s trite, but it works. I’ve recently come to realize our motto needs a few sub-mottoes or a.k.a.s tossed into the mix (at least for me anyway). As a couple, you have to think like a couple and not two single people added together. Yeah, think about that. Let it simmer for a minute. It has taken some time to simmer with me, so I don’t mind waiting.

Sub- motto 1: There’s no i in team, but there are two i’s in decision.

My decisions don’t only affect me anymore. How I spend my money, how I ignore or stalk my credit, the attitude I’m sporting for the day, they all matter. We are legally and emotionally bonded.

Sub-motto 2: What’s good for the goose is good for the gander.

I probably wouldn’t know what a gander is if it wasn’t for this saying. And now that I think about it, the phrase “take a gander” completely confuses me now. But, I digress. Neither one of us is better than the other. One of us may be slightly better at some things, but that doesn’t make that person better in totality. So in any situation, if something is good enough for him, it should be good enough for me (and vice versa).

Sub-motto 3: Feelings and opinions are like oil and water.

They tend not to mix well unless you’re making a cake. I’m super emotional. I’m super emotional to the point that I should probably have a warning label. Conversations don’t go too smoothly if you can’t express your feelings without getting bent out of shape and overly emotional at every other word.

These sub-mottoes are more for me than my hubby. I’m a detail person, so sometimes I need a little more to understand/function/be reasonable. Maybe these will change the longer we’re married. Maybe we won’t even need them anymore. Maybe we’ll be just that in tune with each other. Only time will tell, and I plan on enjoying the time it takes to figure it all out.

Fat and…happy?

Posted in Diet,Life by Ashley Franklin on June 10, 2010
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So I was watching a rerun of  “My Wife and Kids,” and Jay (Tisha Campbell-Martin’s character) had noticeably gained a little weight. Her husband, Michael (Damon Wayans’ character), found her unsexy, had a quick therapy session, and took some Viagra so he could get up to the task–so to speak. There aren’t any overweight characters on the show. Even when a character becomes pregnant, she is all belly. The show is a comedy. I find it funny. This time, however, it made me think.

Jay told Michael that he should accept her the way she is. He eventually agreed. Cute, right? Well, it didn’t last long. Jay has a dream that Michael and their kids are all morbidly obese. They’re breathing heavy, fighting over food and their youngest child is so large she simply rolls around. Oh, and of course their clothes don’t fit. Oddly enough, Jay is the only one that is normally plump.

Of course Jay woke up and declared that she would start dieting immediately. She emptied out several snack stashes and the show ended shortly after. Jay’s weight affected her marriage. Michael was immediately  less attracted to her.

Should I take this as a TV lesson? I’m overweight. I don’t have a huge stomach or anything, but I am bottom heavy. I’m sure you can figure out what that means without my having to go into detail. I’m married. I haven’t been married for years on end, but I’m married just the same. My husband has never complained about my weight. He frowns when I complain about it. He’s very supportive of me overall.

My questions: As a married woman, or as a woman in a relationship, how important is your weight? Should you tailor your weight to suit your relationship? As a single woman, is weight more or less of an issue?