Year-end Update 2010

A lot has changed for me in 2010.  Most positively, I have been spending a lot more time with friends, and I recently got an exciting promotion.

In November, I did have a great amount of success in organizing my home and my life.  There are still concentrated areas of clutter.  Overall, though, I feel like I’ve made a big difference both in my home and in how I approach my life.

The year has passed quickly.  I feel like I’ve grown a lot and become a healthier person, even in so short a time.  If 2011 passes just as well, I will be greatly pleased.

Today was a day of sensory savoring.  Bizarrely, it was in the mid 60s (Fahrenheit) today, so I was able to spend some time outside, and feel the wind on my skin without cringing.  The good weather prompted my dad to suggest my friends and I go on a picnic tomorrow.  I think that would be particularly lovely, and a really unique way to prepare for the new year.  In addition to enjoying the weather, I found myself appreciating the light and color around me.  This prompted me to take some snapshots with my [new] phone.  First, in the morning, I observed my neighborhood barely waking.

This was taken with the Vignette android app using the action movie effect and black frame. I wanted to emphasize the dreamlike quality of my morning.

I watched the Doctor Who Christmas special via Amazon a couple nights ago.  One phrase they emphasized in the episode regarding this time of year with Christmas and the winter solstice is that we’re “halfway out of the dark.”  Though it likely isn’t truly noticeable, I feel like I’ve been noticing an emergence from the dark.  Likely the increase in temperature aided that illusion today, but I was happy to enjoy it, though I couldn’t help but being discomfited by the thought that surely 60 degree weather right before New Year’s is unhealthy.

In spite of this perception of increased light, it has been dark when I leave work for a couple months now, and continues to be so.  Sometimes I dislike artificial lighting, but tonight, even it struck my fancy, and I snapped a quick shot before heading home.

This picture was just taken with the default camera app that came with my Samsung Captivate, using the default settings.

Another aspect of my increased sensory awareness today involved eating.  One of my good work friends made me delicious cookies for Christmas, and I’ve been nomming on them for a few days off and on.  They’re dark chocolate chip cookies with walnuts and butterscotch/milk chocolate bits.  Usually when I’m eating, I’m aware of the texture of the food, but mainly notice the mix of flavors.  These cookies are delicious, and that’s mostly how I’d approached them all well.  Today, however, the texture of the cookies was distinct and caught my attention.  The awareness I had of the texture, and the pleasure of it reminded me of my Philosophy of Nonviolence class in which we practiced being mindful of our food by chewing for extended periods of time.  When participating in the exercise, I found little more than theoretical value in it.  Today when I was reminded of the experience, I caught a glimpse into an increased awareness I hadn’t experienced before.

Happy (early) New Year.  May you have an increased awareness of the beauty in your life today and throughout the new year.