When I was a wee girl, my mama used to say that the older one gets, the faster time flies. I have never felt this more than in 2015. I can’t believe that in just a short week, we will be writing 2016 on our checks when I only just stopped writing 2014 in June. So, last night looked around and reflected to put this entire year in perspective. Although I know there are a host of horrible things humankind did to humankind this year (e.g., ISIS murders, bombing in Paris, continued racial profiling), I decided to list some events that reflected people and things that simply warmed my heart, made me cheer or got a chuckle out of me. (These are in no particular order.)
Adele: Adele released her newest album, 25, with her first blockbuster single “Hello.” Her sultry, sexy voice combined with her mature lyrics produces an image of an old-fashioned, smoky piano bar with a woman planted tentatively on a stool singing ballad and blues about timeless themes. In fact, it is hard to believe that Adele is a woman in her 20s. Her looks, attitude, and music reflect the life of a more seasoned lady.
The Year of the Woman: It seems that every time I turned around I was witness to another powerful woman breaking barriers and squashing stereotypes in sports, entertainment, and politics. Amen!
- Let’s start with the U.S. Women’s Soccer Team winning the World Cup for the first time in 16 years. A big congratulations to these super female athletes. Then, WNBA star and Olympic medalist, Becky Hammon made history when she accepted the position as the first female assistant coach for a professional men’s team. Thumbs up for the San Antonio Spurs!
- In entertainment, Misty Copeland became the first African-American principal dancer at the prestigious American Ballet Theatre. Other African-American woman made waves in Hollywood. Viola Davis, Uzo Aduba, and Regina King all won Emmys this September.
- In politics, both Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton and Republican candidate Carly Fiorina have changed the landscape for women in politics. Clinton has proven she can play in the big leagues with the heavy hitters and she is adept at using their own strategies against them. Fiorina has demonstrated that she can take on the insanity of Donald Trump and other male contenders in a classy and expedient manner. Who knows? Maybe we will have a woman president one day soon.
McDonalds Serves Breakfast All Day: I love breakfast, and when I heard Mickey D’s was serving it all day now, I was over the moon with delight. Why? Sometimes a girl just needs a quick egg on the go. You know what I mean? I know most items on the breakfast menu are full of fat, sugar and calories, but my favorite item is the Egg McMuffin, which according to my former Weight Watchers teacher is the best choice in terms of fat, protein and carbs. So, hand over that quasi-healthy breakfast sandwich even if it is 2 in the afternoon.
The Fall of the Confederate Flag: Boom! Finally! The South Carolina state legislature voted to remove the Confederate Flag from the State House grounds. Unfortunately, it took the devastating massacre of 9 people at the Mother Emmanuel AME Church to do so. It is a lesson to all that symbols are powerful, words do matter, and discrimination should never be tolerated particularly at the government level.
Elle King: Elle King, 26 year-old daughter of comedian Rob Schneider and model/actress London King, hit the music scene with her song “Exs and Ohs” from her album Love Stuff like Dorothy’s house landing on the Wicked Witch. Her voice is so reminiscent of Janis Joplin that my husband thought I was playing a Joplin record. Although she attended the University of the Arts in Philidelphia, she is also a self-taught musician, falling in love with the banjo and listening to country music until she was so adept at it, she could write songs for the banjo. King is a self-proclaimed “bad ass” with tattoos and a unique sound that mixes country, blues, rock and soul. She doesn’t own a computer, prefers mimosas, and her songs make bold social statements. If you haven’t seen or heard it yet, I encourage you to listen to “Good to Be a Man” from her album The Elle King EP. Better yet, watch the video; it’s hysterical.
Inside Out: I must have been living under a rock because when I took my children to see Inside Out, I had no idea what it was about. Aren’t pleasant surprises wonderful? I was delighted by the whole shebang: the writing, the actors, the art, the plot. The premise of personifying emotions was brilliant, and the idea that each emotion is necessary is a wonderful message for kids to learn—that it’s okay to be angry and sad sometimes. After all, that is the way we are made. I’m not sure my children got that deep with the movie, but I loved it.
That Sugar Film: Okay, this documentary debuted in 2014, but I did not watch it until 2015. I am often behind the times, but I didn’t want to miss the chance to share this wonderful film with my plethora of readers. This Australian film follows Damon Gameau in his quest to answer the much debated question: Which is worse for you, sugar or fat? His focus was on sugar, and since he had not eaten refined sugar in several years, he offered his body as the guinea pig for this experiment. I won’t ruin the surprise for you, but I will say I learned a great deal about the power of the sugar industry and its glorious history, the effects of sugar on the body, and why we should not be concerned with healthy fats. Let’s just say my husband watched it with me, and he gave up sugars that evening. (Of course, he has the will power of a stubborn ass…me, not so much.) I am trying slowly to get the sugar out of my house to start my withdrawal on January 1.
Stay tuned for Mama’s Year in Review: Part II