Plunging into Progress

I always try and make it a point to give a full introduction when a new dog joins our pack, and while it’s just been under a month since he’s been here, Josh gets his time in the light.
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While Dad was coming back to home from the coast, as he was getting onto to the 99 Freeway off Highway 46, he saw a dog running in between cars and semi-trucks, miraculously making it to the shoulder of the freeway. Without hesitation, Dad pulled over, opened the passenger side of his truck and the dog jumped up and into safety.
I’d been biding my time before finding a new member for the pack on purpose. Since we’re in our home for good now, it just felt right to finalize the transition with a new beginning for someone else to go along with our new beginning. I was going to go find another little senior man somewhere in one of the over crowded shelters that plague California, but I didn’t have to go looking: the dog who needed us the most found us.
Named after my dear friend whom we lost earlier this year, Joshua lives up to his legacy. He’s a prankster and a troublemaker with the sweetest heart and so much love! This silly dog reminds me so much of my friend, the energy is beautiful. The happiest part of the human soul lies within the life of a dog.
Joshua-dog is a young buck, no more than 2 years old and seems to be a Border Collie mixed with Greyhound if I were to bet. He’s got a long face and body, slim and fast and a total dork. I don’t like the fact that none of my closest friends can come out on a whim just to meet the newest pack member, when it was so easy before. It doesn’t feel right that Kelsey and Zoe and Tati haven’t fallen head over heals for this babe yet, simply because we’re too far away. He’s going to come visit SLO County with me sometime in the near future because everyone has to meet this precious soul who lives as a reminder to love everyone and love them much as a dog loves life, because you never know when you’re not going to be able to anymore.

As for myself, a lot have changes have been initiated and are growing into the reality of new and better habits, new opportunities and continued progress in creating the life I truly want to live.

I got a full time job at high end hotel as one of the Guest Service Desk representatives. For the last week, I’ve been in training and tomorrow marks my first full day. While I’ll still be training for another week, I’ll really be getting my feet wet in the morning.
The hotel industry is unique to itself in a lot of ways: This is something I am quickly discovering. At the root of my job is sales – selling the best (priciest) room and as many as possible. Surrounding my sales is heavy customer service etiquette. There are certain words you just don’t say and a limited amount of other words to replace them with. Certain phrases to be said go with certain questions you have to decipher and it is a LOT to take in all at once, along with the standard procedures of check in, check out, prepping the days reservations, communicating with the housekeeping staff, keeping up to date with local activities and areas, and the assorted clerical duties required. I am excited, challenged and intimidated in some ways but more than anything, I’m appreciative of this job and all that I can learn from it.

Today is exactly 2 weeks of not smoking cigarettes! This is a huge change for me, something I thought I would need more time to prepare, something I thought would be harder than it actually is.
My mother is the most wonderful person ever and my biggest inspiration and motivator in this change. She quit smoking a few months earlier and it has made a remarkable difference for her and her outlook and lifestyle. She helped get me started in my own journey to quit by sending me my first pack of nicotine patches and lozenges. And after just a few days of using the patch, I truly felt the change within and haven’t physically craved a smoke since. I didn’t even finish using the whole box of patches – there are still 6 left – but I know I don’t want to go back.
Sometimes I think “Can’t I just be someone who smokes one a night?” No, I’m an addict. I’ll jump right back in and go back to over a pack a day habit if I let myself give in just a little bit. But being up here in this high elevation, something that truly makes a difference when you go from the coast and practically zero elevation to over 5,000 feet, has been a big factor as well. Already the body is working harder to get air because there’s less of it. And then to make yourself feel even worse by smoking has a huge tole on your energy level and comfort. We don’t know how good the body is supposed to feel because of these bad habits and it is such a weight lifted off of me to finally be done.
I can’t thank my mom enough for how much she helped make me a happier and healthier person in just this one way, let alone the infinite amount of other ways through out my life. Her and my aunt are amazing to both be done, and here I am following. Shout out to Kristine P. who is also on her journey to quitting smoking and doing a kick ass job! She’s almost 4 weeks in to not smoking and I’m hella proud of her too! Even if we’re no where near each other, I like to see her statuses on Facebook and feel like we’re doing this together 🙂

A few days before quitting smoking, I dove head first into another change, more of a transitional change but one I’m proud of myself for making and sticking to. I have cut out meat from my diet and am learning how to eat better overall. In this change, I have found it is much easier to put the best for my body in my body rather than give in to the temptations of a fast food fix or unbalanced meals in general. It is already a challenge to have to shake up the “meat as the main course” mindset that 98% of us have been born and raised in to, so I’ve taken the challenge one step further in not just ridding myself of meat but giving myself better choices all around. A colorful plate with assorted foods, more options and more diversity.
My roommate Gooby deserves a lot of thanks and appreciation for helping me during this change and not stifling my progress, even though she isn’t a vegetarian herself. She’s incredibly respectful of my desires in this aspect and makes an effort to think about options for me while making food for everyone. It would be so easy to say “Handle it yourself, I’m not that way” but she’s been super cool about it from the moment I said what I was doing and I’m really grateful for that! 🙂
This is only the beginning when it comes to this change. In the long run, I want to maintain a vegan diet because I truly believe in it’s benefits: for the environment, for the animals and for my body. Veganism is scientifically proven to be one of the most beneficial human lifestyles we can take to protect finite resources and truly live and act with compassion for all living creatures. I am not there yet – there is much I need to learn about what is available to me locally, what I can provide myself through gardening in this area, the simplest meals for me to have handy and ready to prepare during a hectic schedule, and how to not let myself get caught in an unhealthy habit of not feeding myself everything I need. I am going to take my time so I can do this right. I don’t want to half-ass this, I want to learn then I will act and then I will inspire.

More changes, big ones, are coming soon as well. The biggest one of all is on the precipice of changing so much for me and some of the closest people to me. But I don’t want to spoil the surprise. With months in the making for many, and years for myself, patience & silence has become as sweet as progress. We’re getting close to the point of impact!

Currently Thankful For:
~ The Universe
~ the power of prayer
~ friendships
~ memories
~ change
~ not knowing but getting to learn
~ newness
~ the expectations I’ve put on myself
~ willpower, motivation
~ progress!!
~ stepping stones
~ tarot and the faeries
~ creativity
~ being alive, right now!
~ books
~ love
~ dogs

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