thinking:: Normally at this time every January I'm thinking along the lines of goal setting, plans, dreams, and possibilities of the new year ahead. I've always enjoyed doing that, as I'm a lover of lists and planning and the all- to- often satisfaction I get in crossing off those many to-dos I set for myself.
You know, I'm just not in that place this year.
It's kind of come as a surprise to me, but not all that much when I think about it. What I seem to be seeking the most as far as my own personal development is concerned; what I'm really desiring is just being.
Truly being and living in this present state of now. Being grateful for what is. Really being present in every single moment; these precious, beautiful, and fleeting moments that make up this life that is mine.
Releasing the burden I sometimes place on myself of unrealistic expectations or almost obsessing on unattainable resolutions that sometimes set me up for failure, disappointment, or discontent. Becoming more aware, more mindful, if you will, of myself and the world that surrounds me. Really seeing. Really feeling. Really living. Really being "there" with those I love. Especially with my children when they try to communicate with me or need my total presence when my thoughts are often so consumed with the "next thing". Dwelling on the past (that I can't change) or worrying about the future (which I have no real control over). When I allow this gift of "being- ness" or mindfulness to happen, feelings of peace, joy, contentment, and stillness seem to just naturally flow, not only to myself, but to those around me. And as a result, I think for myself, self improvement and personal growth naturally manifest themselves. This is what I want the most. This year.
feeling:: Trying to stay warm. It's still bitter cold. Grateful for a warm house and a warm car. For the warmth and coziness that the gas fireplace provides. I almost burned my poor tootsies off this morning, bare feet extended way to close to the glass front of the glass fireplace. Still smarting a little. That, as well as Isaac melting a hole through the hood of his coat not too long ago... lessons learned, I guess.
smiling:: This heart is so full at the sweet words that have been left here recently with the "Giveaway" post, as well as with some tender email messages I've recently received over the holidays. Each and every word-- the generosity of kindness, warmth, friendship, and encouragement-- it all means so much to me. Thank you, dear friends!
creating:: Thank you notes to send out. So much to be thankful for.
looking:: For some time now, I've seen a pattern in my photography. An abundance of close up shots. My intuition tells me that it's my desire and tendency to see and look and observe closely. There's so much beauty that often goes unseen when I don't take the time or effort to see deeply. Like when I really looked at those icicles out on the back porch today. The wonder I felt seeing that tiny twig all enclosed, preserved so perfectly in ice. There is just so much to see if I allow myself to really look at my world.
listening:: So glad there's so much of a variety of music I enjoy. From the traditional Indian music I play on Pandora when I give my kids their massages (Isaac noted it's what's playing in the kitchen "when Mom makes curry.", to dancing and frolicking about by myself, also in the kitchen, to this and this, to this afternoon's introspective and peaceful Yiruma piano music-- I love it all.
outing:: Spent the morning taking Jane back to her apartment, as well as a stop at the grocery store to get her stocked up on groceries. Tomorrow is Eliza's day to shop with me. Redeeming her Christmas gift cards, as well as getting her all set for her upcoming school oceanography trip to San Diego next week. Whale watching, sea kayaking, beach side bike rides, exploring tide pools, visiting local maritime museums, historical sites, and Sea World. So excited for her.
homekeeping:: Christmas is all taken down with a few remaining boxes to lug downstairs. It always feels so bare every January after all that is put away, but I love the feeling of things getting back to normal and (somewhat) tidy. There are some rooms, however, that became major dumping ground disasters over the holidays, which, hopefully, we'll attack over the weekend.
eating:: Since it was Jane's last night yesterday after coming home for the long holiday break, she asked last night if she could make dinner for us. I was overjoyed, to say the least. Chocolate chip-berry cobbler, spicy peanut noodles and veg stir fry. Wow. Could it get any better than this?
reading:: I've loved this open time to delve into the books. I've plowed my way through quite a stack. Revisited after many years Geraldine Brook's March (An intimate look and beautifully expressed perspective of the Civil War experiences and marriage relationship of Mr. March from Little Women.) Also nearly finished with the Given's The God Who Weeps (really, so life changing) and Jon Kabat-Zinn's Wherever You Go, There You Are (mindfulness and meditation primer)
going:: Looking forward to seeing Les Miserables tonight. Looked forward to this film for some time now.