Pay attention to the here in now or you might step into a big pile of dog….

Jack is gone

So, its a bittersweet day.  I am one HUGE step closer to leaving, but that step involved my wonderful, loving, best friend, caring, sweetheart, cuddly dog, Jack, to make his way to Michigan with my parents.  I have to admit, its hard to even type this.  I feel like such a jerk for abandoning my dog, even though I know it is better for him to not be here now.  Heck, it might have been better for him to be there even if I was not leaving. Since this kind of leads into the middle of the story, let me start from the beginning…

Where are you? In Savannah

So my mom was coming and then not coming and then she wasn’t coming but eventually when I told her that she could take Jack she decided she could brave her “nerves” and make the trip to Florida. It is a long drive and they were planning on driving straight through Friday morning to Saturday. Worked out perfectly since Friday night I was going to a Chris Botti concert (review next!) with my friend Kathy.  It also allowed Jack to go over and say good bye to Kathy and her family one last time.

So Friday morning at work I was mostly worried about whether we were going to get there on time if we left at 430 (barely) and if I could get in a nap before I left.  So I get a call at 720.  It is my mom, “So, where are you?.”  I replied cautiously, “Um…I am at work, where are you?”

“In Savannah.  See you soon.”

Soon, like in three hours.  Apparently they left Thursday night to miss those horrible storms that whipped through Indiana and Kentucky.  And thank God they did, they just could have, ya know, called me.  So I call my boss and tell him I have to leave early (at 930) and I already worked over time (which I had hoped to cash in) so my hours were okay.  I worked like crazy to get a job done by the time I left and then ran like a crazy person home to clean, clean, clean.  My house was a mess.  boxes everywhere, dirty floor, dirty dishes, etc.  I cleaned like crazy and a in the few hours I had it was spotless, well almost spotless, just as they pulled in.

They brought two of their four dogs with them to make sure they got along with Jack and because mom does not do well without them any more.  It was an instant hit for my dog.  He just loved their dogs.  Their dogs tolerated him but mostly ignored him.  Abbea would chase the ball and Jack would chase Abbea.  It was funny, Abbea hardly even noticed he was there biting her ankles.

So fast forward to me going to the concert, going to Disney with my parents, packing stuff up for the yard sale, selling furniture on Craigslist, mom getting an emergency tooth extraction, and getting my first pair of real glasses and sun glasses with corrective lenses (love the sunglasses, not the regular glasses) and it was Thursday suddenly.  A whole week flew by.  Friday they were going to leave to Michigan.  I had to give up my precious Jack the very next day.

Final walk

So, instead of  going out to dinner to use my gift card I got for crappy service at a Darden owned restaurant, mom and dad brought home food and cheesecake from the Cheesecake Factory so Jack and I could spend the night with each other.  We went for our last walk around Cranes Roost together and then walked with Michelle and her dogs Hercules and H2.  And I admit, I balled.  I cried so hard people probably were wondering what was wrong with me.  As we were walking around Cranes Roost though, I realized I was so busy being upset and missing Jack and being preoccupied with moving that I was not actually spending the last moments I had WITH Jack.  Just being in the moment and walking my dog.  I realized this when I looked up at the sky.  It was a gorgeous sunset towards the west, bright pinks and oranges tinged with gold (much prettier with my new corrective sunglasses I must say).  To the North there were some intimidating black clouds that blew away very fast, leaving the smell of jasmine and orange blossoms in the air.  It was really the perfect Florida night.

If I was caught up in my emotion and attached to my own misery, I was not going to be able to spend this moment with Jack.  I would not have noticed the toddler getting chased by ducks, or the couple walking two massive dogs (not sure of the breed but HUGE) with a third little chihuahua leading the pack, or how in the east the sky was the most beautifully faded colors of blue and pink.  I would not have noticed the couple who wanted to say hi to Jack and who I had a great conversation with.  I also would not have noticed the pile of dog crap in the middle of the sidewalk, that some poor runner ran into.  I also would not have noticed the smile Jack looked up at me with his smiley face and wagging tale, questioning what adventure we were going on next.

My first goodbye

I know he is better off with them.  He was so much happier when they were here.  He was hardly ever alone (and hardly ever will be in Michigan) and when he was he had two friends to play with.  He loves mom and dad and the girls.  He did not chew on anything or pee on the floor.  He is much better off.  And at no point while I was walking around with Jack on our last walk did I think it was the wrong choice.  That did not make it any easier though.  This morning when mom and dad left at 5:30 (and they still have not called me with an update) I was a mess.  I forced Jack to cuddle with me on the couch one last time and took him to the car.  It was horrible, but necessary.

I also know he will be here when I get back, but in the mean time I have to come home and open a door where no happy puppy dog face greets me, shaking his ears and his collar tinkling. No one to cuddle with if I get scared at night.  No one to walk with at 2 in the morning when I cannot sleep.  No one to be there all the time so I never feel lonely.  No one to give me that unconditional love a dog gives.  I know it is all selfish, but I will miss him.  He was my baby.  No, he still IS my baby.  I just need to get over feeling as if I am abandoning him and feeling sorry for myself.

I realized though that I have been looking for something to come home to.  I did not think I had anything.  No boyfriend or kid.  I do not live near my family.  No house.  No job that makes me motivated to get up in the morning.  But, I had Jack all along.  I should have been a better mom to him.  Those, fairly frequent, times where I spent an hour later at work, were they really worth it?  Staying late and then going to yoga? Jack is definitely the number one thing I will miss.

My therapist pretty much told me today to keep on keeping on, in much more eloquent sounding words.  To use my skills I have developed to get this thing done.  Next weekend my lease is up.  So, I did what I do in such a situation, I went to yoga.  Happy Hour yoga at Altamonte Springs Yoga to be precise.  I even donated two bottles of wine (my parents brought four more down with them).  It was just what I needed. Then I chatted with and sold items to yoga friends, the yoga community is so nice to have at times like now.

So I am going to keep on keeping on.  Soon a post about the Chris Botti concert and Disney!  And I will probably take a trip to Epcot Flower and Garden Festival to take pictures.  I also need to find a place to stay after next week, which I am amazing not worried about.  And there are plenty more good byes to make.  But for now, I am going to go to bed.  There is a garage sale to tend to tomorrow; a day to say good bye to so much stuff!

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Packing (or procrastinating from packing writing a blog post)

Procrastinating

I have been having a hard time forcing myself to pack up.  And I am an organization freak too, so that is odd for me.  I realized that this is because this is really the first big step that makes this all real.  It will also mean living minimally for several months here in Florida while I am working.  I have had this plan for so long, but most of the plan involved sitting tight and saving money and waiting for the right moment.  Well the right moment never came and I realized I have to really take the moment I want.  So, although it is not leaving the country yet, it is a first step to being there.

Also I think the unknown of no address and no stuff to keep me “comfortable” and “secure” is something I am more nervous about than traveling.  Traveling sounds exciting.  Moving and selling things and not having “my own space” is terrifying.  I am giving up a lot of stuff I thought I needed to be happy because I could not do what I wanted to do in order to do what I want to do.

“You are not your words, you are your actions.”

I have been told this many times.  Now it makes so much more sense.  You can say I am the type of person who likes to travel or you can say I am a traveler.  Saying you like or want to do something does not tell if you are a person of action or just a dreamer.  People say a lot of crap but their actions prove those words and put dreams into actions.  So I am going to be a packer for the rest of the night.  I am going to put up our garage sale on Craigslist with a list of pictures of my big ticket items.  I am going to be dedicated, dedicated to myself and to my dreams.

This weekend I need to pack, pack, pack.  I have an eye appointment Friday to get glasses and a massage and therapy appointment on Friday (necessary for all this stress).  I am going to be a packer not a pack rat.  I am going to live a life of memories not of stuff.  I am going to be a doer and not an I will do it tomorrow-er.

Any other site suggestions for posting garage/yard/moving sale items?

My first photo for sale!

I finally have a photo accepted to BigStock , which is a stock photography site.  Yay!  Bigstock is a site where you can go and buy a picture that you can use on your blog, on marketing materials, etc.
The picture is one I took in Michigan in October of my grandparents woodpile.  It is a close up of one aged log at sunset, golden wood with gorgeous orange bands.  So excited!

Check out my very first stock photo!  And you know, buy one…pleeeasse!!!!

And my profile at My BigStock Portfolio – UpcycledBliss…which does not have my picture on it yet :(.

Edit: Picture is now in my profile!  Also put in my affiliate link for Big Stock.  I just get a commission if you buy a picture from clicking on it. They do have some nice stock photos!

Travel Options

So my options have just been limited.  No teaching English in Japan I did not get an interview with the program.  I realized that I was almost relieved.  I had been trying to let go of my need to be secure and be where I want to be and who I want to be in each moment.  I thought I could use Japan as a way of being halfway secure.  It was a guaranteed job with pay while traveling.  Which is nice, but I am not sure I want to spend that much time in Japan, especially not working for the bureaucracy.  At least not at this point, maybe in the future.  Right now I am tired of being told where to go or how to do things because I need to find my way of doing things and where I want to go how I want to get there.

I want less structure.  Well not really, I want to tear down my structure and rebuild, using the same pieces.  That is why this blog is Upcycled Bliss.  I want to rebuild what I want to keep out of myself and I want to get rid of what is not serving me.  I know a few places I want to go.  How Liz Gilbert in Eat, Pray, Love wanted to go to Italy, India, and Bali, I want to go to India, the Camino de Santiago, and Machu Picchu.  I am not going in quite so direct of a route.  I do not have enough money to do all of those right of way.  The first stop is a central location for jumping off.

Australia work holiday visa sounds like a good starting point.  Australia is close to Indonesia (and Bali which I do want to go to also!), Thailand, Malaysia, India, etc.

I have posts to back date.  I was too afraid of losing my place where I am risking where I want to be.  Instead I realized i need to focus on making where I am where I want to be.  there is absolutely no reason to be afraid of going where I want to go and being who I want to be.  The fear is hanging on to where I was and believing it is where I am. I was once told that someone saw me as swinging on vines, I imagine like Tarzan.  The only problem is I am clinging to the vine I am on making me miss the vine I should be swinging to.  To get to the next vine I need to live my life with intention.  And this is my intention.  Here it is world.