Friday, December 31, 2010

Kata’s 2010 Reflections

2010 was one of the most interesting years of my life, not the best or most successful or happiest, but one of the most interesting. For me interesting is a positive thing, a reason for getting up in the morning, a reason for putting one foot in front of the other and living each day. Almost everything that happened was unexpected. Maybe I just put the interesting vibration out into the universe.

In early spring I sent my cousin a very emotional e-mail about all the things that were going wrong in my life. One of my last sentences was asking whether I could do work for him, any work, just to try to stay sane. Coincidentally, he was in the process of submitting a proposal for a self-paced training course. I’ve been writing training materials for a long time, but I didn’t know anything about federal laws and how industrial air pollution is controlled. In addition, much to my cousin’s chagrin, I managed to earn a master’s degree without every taking a physics course. So, I immersed myself in the content I received from my cousin as well as practically everything I could find on the Internet. Because I love to learn, this was sheer happiness.

In late spring, I was an enumerator for the 2010 Census, not particularly successful financially, but a great way to meet fascinating people. One of my favorites was an 80+ year old owner of a massive apartment complex, who told me her secrets for keeping young. Because the apartments were close to a medical college, I was also able to chat with young adults from various countries.

In June, bored with what I was reading, I decided to begin to read Hugo award winning novels, 50 years worth of novels, a goal that is going to take me well into the middle of 2011. Each novel makes me think, some more than others. Each novel enlarges my view of the world and of how writers express themselves through words. In addition, I have been exposed to more science. Those concepts I learned while working on the air pollution course have reappeared in a number of the novels.

My blogs have been a source of fascination for me. At the beginning of the year, I set out to write 50 entries in Kata Chimes In and 100 entries in Kata’s Cadence. Little did I know that I would have a small religious crisis and have almost no motivation to write in the second blog, which I associated with my participation in a particular church. In autumn I noticed someone had accessed my New Year’s Resolution post, so I reread it. I am not a person who takes goals lightly. For the last three months of the year, I wrote a poem, blessing, prayer or affirmation almost every morning. Who could ask for a better education? I learned about myself, about writing, and about my readers.

In fall, I went back to taking Tai Chi classes after a two year break. This was one of the hardest and most rewarding semesters for me. Because this was an advanced class, the emphasis was on internal awareness, an area that most of us have little training in. Sure, I could do the form, but do the form while trying to feel my heart beat?

Throughout the year, my thoughts about how I perceive people have changed. Enumerating for the Census forced me outside my comfort zone. Books like The Cow In The Parking Lot by Leonard Scheff and Susan Edmiston, Yoga for Anxiety by Mary NurrieStearns and Rick NurrieStearns, The Miracle of Right Thinking by Orison Swett Marden and The Learning to Love Yourself Workbook by Gay Hendricks helped change the way I look at myself and the world.

For Christmas, I decided to make some Christmas ornaments based on a design in the book Diane Fitzgerald's Shaped Beadwork. I loved how my brain twisted in little knots when I tried to think three-dimensionally. Last night I tried a different pattern in preparation for making a gift for myself (and maybe next year’s Christmas presents). I just didn’t get it, and then all of a sudden, later in the evening, it clicked.

The year contained hundreds of other fascinating things, including farmers’ markets I didn’t know about, new recipes, things from my parents and my childhood that I still am finding as I clean out the house. Today my neighbor-sister took me to a Hispanic grocery store, and I didn’t want to leave. This year, I have been like a little kid, filled with wonder.

I am afraid of 2011. I realized that as I debated whether to try my hand at writing a New Year’s blessing. I like small changes, but don’t like major upheavals. This coming year has a high probability for major upheavals. The New Thought writers talk a lot about faith, and I think the coming year will require me to depend upon it more than in recent years.

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