Settling in…week after week???

Serendipity.  Really my life has been serendipitous recently.  I could not sell my couch so I posted it again on Craigslist with my bed.  I got a call half an hour later and sold it to a women who needed it for her daughter who just moved into her first apartment.  She found it in the AUTOMOTIVE section where it was accidentally sent to.

MyLinda, the owner of Altamonte Springs Yoga invited me to go to one of her 3 week series.  The series was yoga for back and neck.  I have had some neck problems for a few months, I think caused by too many vinyasa in a bad posture.  I have learned since to use my knees for chaturanga.  I kept worrying I would never be able to get farther in Yoga because I cannot do a single chaturanga off my knees. But, since it was the weekend of my garage sale and I had been sleeping on the loveseat while my parents were visiting combined with my stiff neck, it was nice to have a back and neck class.

I went to class and saw a Facebook friend I had met at a yoga class a month or two prior.  It is nice to meet people of similar thoughts.  And it was really an amazing class.  I realized I was not keeping my shoulders spread out.  It is not enough to keep my shoulders out of my ears, I have to keep the shoulder blades apart.  The class was almost entirely about stretching the shoulders.  It was amazing.

This was Sunday, the serendipity started Monday.  On Monday we started Warm and Slow a little late because Julie talked about the proper alignment for downward facing dog and how the shoulder are wide.  It was putting what MyLinda had been talking about Sunday to good use.  It was also interesting that I had recently asked Juliette and Lee about the proper alignment for down dog.  I was not sure if the line should be straight or arced with shoulders through the arms. Well that is much harder to do with the shoulders held wider.  At first my shoulders hated me for this.  Every time I went into down dog I had to reevaluate and move my shoulders into proper position.  Then I realized this is how my shoulders should be in plank too. Suddenly plank had so much more strength coming from the shoulders and no pull on my neck or elbows.

I am still experimenting with plank, I have not really gotten into a lot of no knee planks yet.  But, my knee planks feel much more stable.  Hopefully this will translate well for me.  It is much harder to do down dogs this way, but I am going to assume that is just my muscles getting used to this extra work.

For now, I am settling in to my new place, until Saturday, then the owner comes back.  It is a good prep for learning to travel and take what accommodations come cheaply.  It is odd being in someone’s home, but it once I decided I needed to just get used to it, I did.  I am comfortably sitting on the couch drinking a bottle of Pinot Grigio, watching Limitless on her Netflix, and trying not to mess up her incredibly clean house.  It is in a nice place with lots of shops and restaurants and has parking and high lofted ceilings.  It is nice to feel somewhat settled this fast.  Moving into a furnished place is almost like living on vacation in a vacation rental.  Only, I have to go to work on Monday.  Let’s see how fast I get used to settling in again someplace new next week when she comes home for a week.

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Sometimes things just work out

So I have not been to worried about the fact I am homeless come Sunday night.  And I cannot explain why I am not worried.  Maybe it is because I have other places to go.  I think it is mostly because, unencumbered by “stuff” I can go wherever the wind blows.  This is truly the most liberating feeling in the world.  So much freedom.  I can do where I want when I want and stay where I want.  Its amazing.

This also allows me to wait for the best opportunity, where I really feel as if the universe is offering me exactly what I need, instead of taking the first thing that comes along afraid of “securing” something.  In fact, many of the choices I have made in the past are to be “secure” or to get something before someone else does and constantly looking for something better that I missed out on because I chose to be secure. Being able to choose what I want and waiting for opportunities is really allowing me to listen to the world or god or universe or intuition or myself.  Whatever it is, I am listening to it.  I am learning who I am and about the world and people around me like I have not been able to before.  It really is amazing.

And I have not even left yet!

This afternoon the Universe told me where I will be staying, for part of the time at least, after Saturday.  I had given up on the apartment search temporarily and was thinking I would have to couch surf around friends hoping not to bug one friend too much.  Only, a lot of my friends live 45 minutes to an hour or more from downtown Orlando, where I work.  I have done that commute before, but it is a beast.  So I texted my friend M that I would like to take her up on an offer to stay at her place.  She told me she had just talked to a girlfriend of one of her clients who works half the time in Florida and half the time out of state.  She has a really nice loft apartment about 5 miles from where I work.  Perfect location because I can bike to work, most of the way on a bike path.  I just need to find a bike. When she is in state I have other people who I can stay with, including M. All possible because I am sans “stuff.”

I am meeting the boyfriend today to check out the apartment and can be in there before Sunday if we agree!  Amazing how things just work out sometimes.  Paulo Coelho says the Universe conspires to help those chasing their dreams.  I think it might possibly be that if you truly listen to the Universe it is always there to offer you nurturing and solutions.  It is the beginning and end of us, it is us.  Its existence is our existence.  So people – listen!

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!

Updated Moving Sale Page

I updated my moving sale page to include photos of my stuff.  Do you want some of my stuff?  Are you in the Central Florida area?  Come get it!  There is a list of everything (well not all, I have not finished the list yet) I am selling on the Moving Sale page.

Also I am having a garage sale at a location that is not my address (so do not show up looking for me at other times):

329 Green Oak Court
Longwood, FL 32779

March 10 8 AM – 3 PM

March 11 11 AM – 5 PM

Anything not sold is going to charity so if you come at the end for something free, too bad Salvation Army gets it.  All money the Salvation Army stores make goes back into the rehabilitation program that the stores are.  Recovering addicts, persons with mental disabilities, felons, etc. work there to get back into the work field as a final rehabilitation stage at the stores.  It’s a great program.  Much better than free stuff for your living room.

That being said if you want to pay me $1,500 dollars and take all my stuff (in your own truck) I might be able to work that out.

Also if you want a picture of anything on the list, let me know I can take one.

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?

Things I will miss most #3: yoga community (also how I found yoga – also very long)

Before Yoga

I used to do yoga in college and then when I graduated and there were no more free yoga classes I thought, crap, I am not paying 12 dollars a class for yoga.  Even three times a week at least, 4 weeks a months.  That is a lot of money.  So what did I do?  After trying to use the gym at my apartment complex and running outside on black racer snakes because I lived in an apartment complex in the middle of a swamp in Winter Haven, Florida  (I like to hope they were black racers I just made sure to wear thick socks and pants) I joined Gold’s Gym, of course.  The first time I made that mistake and sadly not the last.  Not that the facilities of Gold’s Gym are not nice, but contracts are horrible and even with moving out of town or tearing a ligament I paid hundreds of dollars until they canceled my account.

But I digress, I took Body Flow, which is sort of a mix of yoga, Pilates, and Tai Chi and cardio kickboxing.  I also lifted some and used the elliptical (still nursing ACL injury, elliptical felt good at times over running).  I did lose a lot of weight but was not advancing in yoga and ended up going to a Pilates studio with reasonable prices to fill the gap.  Two moves later I joined a Golds Gym where I currently live because of the awesome Pilates instructor, who sadly does not work there any more, and body pump.  Only instead of losing weight I was gaining bulk and on my larger frame that looked sort of scary, as my father told me.

So I started running a lot in a half marathon training group and doing resistance band workouts and yoga tapes at home.  Only my legs have never appreciated running a lot.  My calves were sore by quarter of a mile and screaming by 1.5 miles, which is why it never occurred to me one should run more than 1-2 miles.  I started learning about trigger point therapy and necessity of massage.  Only it kept getting worse, only to find out I have bone spurs in my heel bothering my soft tissue and muscle on the back of my leg.  So I ramped down my running some and missed my half marathon.

Reintroduction, via the “Hippies”

So last year for Memorial Day weekend my friend Ni and I went to the Jacksonville Jazz Festival, my tradition for the past 4 or 5 years.  Its great and FREE for general seating.  (Though get premium.  I keep saying after each year I regret not getting premium seating but then the next get cheap and do not get it again but regret it.  It will be sold out the day of show.)  The forever cheap person that I am, I get the cheapest hotel Priceline negotiator will give me above 3*s.  Usually it is 30-40 dollars a nite but this year it was 50-60 and not as close downtown, it is across the river.  Each day two to three times a day we would walk the several miles to the stage, including up and down the bridge.  We would walk the half mile to two miles to get air conditioning and a large cold water for 50 cents at the cookie shop at the Jacksonville landing (just inside the door).  We would walk back and forth from the different stages, about a quarter of a mile.  And we went all three days.  So in all, there was a lot of walking.  By the last day my right leg was killing me.  I could hardly place my foot down.  My arch hurt, my calf hurt.  It was horrible.  Horrible.

Ni had visited what she described as a “hippie” tent and got a massage the day before.  I stated there is no way that a 5-10 minute massage would be worth it.  I have trouble relaxing enough for it to benefit.  By now I was desperate, not liking the prospect of the walk to dinner and then the walk back.  So trying to decide if I would miss Herbie Hancock or not by going to get a massage (and how would I ever allow myself that, he is awesome!) I finally gave in and went and got a massage.  We left our spot in the charge of our neighbor we called pimp daddy (he was wearing almost all coordinating red and had a cane) and walked back to the hippy tent.

At the tent I asked who was there if I could get a massage on my calf and not a chair massage (I think Ni got a Thai yoga massage).  I explained what was wrong and he said he had the answer.  The guy, who I learned was Keith at Ananda Kula Yoga, Holistic, Health, and Pilates, agreed and here I was face down on a blanket on the street in Jacksonville with a guy I had never met and knew no credentials testing out my pain threshold in my calf.  It was amazing though.  10 or 15 minutes and my calf felt like new!  No pain at all!  I never had experienced that before.  Keith mentioned maybe I should not run so much, which was not an option at the time, but has since become the norm because when I run too much it hurts still.  So I run a few times a week at most, but the most helpful thing he suggested, was to find a holistic yoga studio to go to in order to stretch and in general get to a better place in health.

Community

So I took a flier and wished I could get a full massage (the next day was Memorial day and no availability).  But I did go back to Orlando and find Serenity Now Yoga Corp.  Now, my therapist had been telling me to go to yoga for a long time.  So I went to a Happy Hour Yoga class with Juliette Woranov and loved it.  So I came back again and met Lee Clise.  It stuck me immediately as a place where people ask your name, they ask how you are and want to listen.  They want to know what your goals are and any problems you are trying to work through with yoga.  Everyone knew each other and went out to happy hour after class and went biking and running and did all of these things as a community. Dacia Milescu, the owner, has this vision of it being a one stop shop for your health.  There is yoga and massage and psychotherapy and acupuncture and meditation…they offer everything their clients want and are constantly changing things to meet the clients needs.

Suddenly I was with people in yoga class and really realizing the difference of having friends in your life who are very attentive to what their wants and needs and health are.  I had always been taught this is selfish, but being around people who are really aware of who they are has shown me how much more free, open, and accepting people are when they accept and nurture themselves.  Conscious living I hear it referred to.

A few weeks after meeting Keith at the Jacksonville Jazz Festival, I found out that R. Carlos Nakai, my favorite Native American musician was going to be at Amelia Island Chamber Music Festival and so I called up Keith and scheduled another massage for that weekend and had a great time on a mini vacation and an absolutely AMAZING full hour massage on my calves.  It was the first time I really realized there were different types of medical massages.

My muscles in my legs, and most of my body, are really tight.  I am, or used to be, a very stressed person.  Now I am just a somewhat stressed person.  I have had anxiety problems since I was a teenager.  He did a neuromuscular massage on my calves.  I since found a great massage therapist who was a friend at Serenity Now and works at a chiropractor’s  office and had an appointment with both Stephenie and the chiropractor for a neck issue.  After several sessions just working She gave me my first full body neuromuscular massage, working her way from my elbow and neck down to my hips, working through the entire line.  I was introduced to energy lines and how well the body is interconnected.

I have since traveled to Jacksonville for a yoga festival (this is where I took the picture of the crazy tree in Jacksonville) and went to a yoga class at Ananda Kula, and of course a massage.  It was amazing how much I had changed just a few months later being able to release and let go of the things that were not making me happy.  All the yoga and regular massage/health treatment and genuine people made my body so much more receptive to healing.  The Kula has awesome events and everything has been amazing that I have been to there.  I hope to spend some time up there at some point. Also in Orlando there was a yoga festival called Rasa-Lila which was awesome.  I loved it.  I have been around a lot of studios in the area, I love mixing different classes of different levels and styles so I do not over work one part of my body.  You can see links in Where I Yoga.

Support and Gratitude

The yoga community in the area is amazing and supportive.  Sure there is some of the pretentious stuff or artificial stuff or overly competitive and petty stuff.  I cannot imagine any community without some of those shortfalls, but for the most part it is a great way of connect and being supported by understanding people.  I am starting to get the idea that the travel bloggers out there have a lot of that too and I am trying to get into it before I leave.  I know I will always be a part of the community and have access to the support when I need it.  I also know I will be building an even bigger network but, I will miss being in and having direct access to the yoga community here.

But, I have to give all of these people credit for helping me make the decision I have made to let go of everything and start a new adventure and a new layer of my life.  Only now I am accepting who I was, who I am, and who I will be.  I have so much more to bring to the plate because of this.

Much gratitude to you all.

Selling My Fantasy Selves

My Picnic in the Park Fantasy - SOLD

I keep having unexpected reactions to selling my things.  It seems that I want to burst out in tears every time I put that over produced TJ max merchandise into a box to sell or when I put a sweater I have not worn in years in a donate pile.  I was not expecting such a reaction.  I keep thinking, wow to get all this stuff back I will have to spend so much money.  Who said I was getting this stuff back.  Me apparently.

Also, I have this dream in my head of being this Martha Stuart homemaker throwing dinner parties and entertaining and having a lot of people over.  Sounds good until you factor in my 400 foot living space.  I love to cook, but do not get to do it often when factoring in cooking new recipes is often expensive for one person and I hardly have time to breathe lately.  I also have a scrapbook set and a sewing set and lots of home decor.  I realized I bought all this stuff because there was this fantasy me who I was catering to.  This fantasy does not live in the real world of all work and no play to pay off for all of this stuff for my fantasy self.

To be fair, I did not realize this myself.  I read it off another persons blog who I was linked from another persons blog.  I cannot remember the original blog I was directed from, but the blog post that taught me about my fantasy self is from Miss Minimalist.  The post was smartly titled Declutter Your Fantasy Self. I realized that is so me.

So as I have been packing away my 28 years of stuff and trying to determine what I should keep or sell or donate, the keep pile has been somehow kept very small.  I am not going to let a fantasy self keep me from living a real fantasy.  If affording to sit around cooking all day means I do it house sitting in some stranger’s house on disposal aluminum pans, I can do it.  Or, maybe it means working at a bakery or restaurant.  Either way, I cannot LIVE my actual fantasy life if I keep feeding the fantasy me.  Or I should say the hundreds of fantasy mes.  I love to do so many things, it is hard to keep track of them.  I like trying everything once and I like to really get into something and then I normally quit it and get into something else.

But, it has been a very emotional roller coaster today.  I cried over an umbrella, and three cutting boards.  Yes, I have three cutting boards.  I also have a problem with getting rid of gifts people have given me.  All that thought into it, which is why I actually have 5 cutting boards, no joke.

I sold my first item today.  An unused wine and cheese picnic basket my mother bought me because I like wine.  Where am I allowed to bring an open bottle of wine?  If someone could tell me maybe I could use it once before selling it.

Either way, I am sitting here giving into one of my day dreams of having a nice wine and cheese picnic in the park next to my apartment complex.  It is warm and sunny and there are kids feeding the cute baby ducks.  My dog is lying next to me on a blanket while a very attractive man is serving me cheese and pouring me another glass of wine.  I mean, it’s almost Valentines Day right, I can give into some day dreaming.  As long as I let go of the bag when its time no harm no foul, right???