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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Happy Hour Yoga!

Connecting to the Pose

So lately my yoga has been much more intense and focused for me.  But, my life is becoming much more intense and focused, so this makes sense.  I am evolving.  My drishti (where your vision is focused) is almost always fixed, whereas I used to have to remind myself all the time to stay focused (or I would not even try).  Also, when I am in the pose it is like I am in the pose with an intent to be there in that pose.  I feel my feet and or hands grounded, all muscles involved engaged, and my body is there in that moment.  When I am in extended side angle, I am there not just waiting for the next pose and counting the breaths until I get to move.

It has helped me not to push too far and not to pull out too soon and to not be half-assing a pose.  I really enjoy yoga a lot more lately.  It is like I am preparing my body for life.  Occasionally there are poses like planks held for a long time or forearm plank that I still get to the point” of oh my God can we stand up again” still, but not as many.  I feel as if I am connecting to poses better.  I know intuitively where my body wants to go into  a pose, how deep, and with what modifications.

New Favorite Pose

Extended side angle is one I am really starting to connect with.  This was always a pose I liked to get into and out of quickly.  I hated holding it.  Lately though it is as if I feel my extended arm that is stretching over my ear is strong and reaching out from my body and creating a beam of energy up and out.  My gaze, drishti, is strong and fixed up without my neck hurting or being overly engaged.  My legs are strong and deep into the lunge and I am aware of where the knee is and if it is over the little toe side of the foot.  My supporting arm is almost always elbow to knee lately instead of extended.  I really feel as if the stronger connection and grounding is something I need more now.  Before I would try always to open my arms and place the supporting arm on the ground.

The Teacher

This was the case at Happy Hour Yoga at Altamonte Springs Yoga on Friday, taught by Rob Hefele. I love Rob’s classes because I really do feel as if I can do any pose and it does not matter.  A lot of teachers say that but I do not feel that.  Or I hear, “its okay if you modify this but you should really try it this way, you might be surprised how it feels” after I modify in a way not offered by the teacher.  Rob states this at the beginning of the class and all poses so I do not feel as if he is saying it because he saw that I am not doing what he wants to see. In fact, I get the impression he does not want to see anything in particular at all.  He is an easy-going guy with a great flow an awesome voice to listen to, and as most female yogis in the area will tell you, a lot of very attractive tattoos.

I am always able to feel as if I am exactly where I should be in my pose and not pushed to go anywhere else in this class.  It is also packed with people and includes guys too, not all classes have this addition, and so it has a lot of energy.  He, like a lot of great teachers, takes requests if you need something in particular.

Happy Hour!

After class there is wine and great conversation if you choose to partake.  The class, teacher, and studio in general have a great community of people.  Some nights there are not very many participants and some nights there are many.  I cannot drink after yoga so I normally just have water or head home.  Wine after yoga sounds like a stomach ache and headache to me :).

The Studio

The Altamonte Springs Yoga studio is gorgeous and has two floors.  Happy Hour Yoga is in the bottom floor in the larger room.  It has plastic insulating the room so that it can get very hot during hot classes (this is not a hot class) and they have dehumidifiers, fans, floor heaters, and crazy heat lamps on the ceiling.  There are two mirrored walls and a great sound system.  The floor is wood and gets slippery when there is a hot class or after a hot class.  Especially MyLinda, the owner’s, hot classes.

Hopefully my yoga practice will keep improving like it has.  If I am done I am done and I just sit in Savasana or spinal twist or rock back and forth.  I skip poses I know will not serve me in the moment and ask for other poses that I can get similar benefits from.  I hope I can make it to a few more Happy Hour classes before I leave.