Life in boxes, de-cluttering, agility, and other things.

My life is in boxes. Well, maybe that’s not fair: my stuff is in boxes. Packed, labeled, piled, stuffed. Under stairs, under beds, in a storage unit, scattered in drawers, plastic, bins. Disorganized organization. A room and a different space that will temporarily be called home. My life isn’t boxed: it’s still full and vibrant and busy. My dogs don’t mind– there are still hikes, and two meals, and a bed, and their people (plus some extra people now and another dog, too). Home has a much more fluid definition to them.

I hate moving (seriously, I have the bruises and lack of sleep to prove it). But again, maybe not entirely fair. I would love moving if it were happening under different circumstances– under our time frame, and our plan. But I’m taking it as a positive sign– a push forward that was needed. There’s actually a lot of good that can come from our current situation– first being that we’re lucky enough to have family that accepted us with open arms, and doors. That we can save for a place that may be better suited for our change of jobs and scenery. A new job and a new career path opens up in just a few weeks. It will open up so many future possibilities– so many other places we can go– maybe a different coast some day… I’m trying really hard not to be too excited and too afraid at the same time. How often those two emotions become intertwined.

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Life in boxes has got me thinking about what simplifying means. In life, in agility, in thoughts, and everything in between. When we started our move-out process I was pretty convinced that there wasn’t that much we needed to get rid of: a couple small pieces of furniture, the inevitable trash found while cleaning. It wasn’t that big of a place, how much stuff could we have? (Spoiler alert: SO MUCH). It wasn’t just a few bags of trash and an ottoman… it was a truck full– a small dumpster full. Maybe the process has me a little loopy, or ridiculously philosophical, but I started wondering where else life is cluttered where we don’t think it is. Our thoughts, our actions, our training can get cluttered.

When I started my training goals after tryouts I had a few points I wanted to work on: some turns and more defined contact criteria in the ring. I realized from some insightful instructors that my cues for turns were sometimes too cluttered. Too many signals: too soon, too late, too loud, too quiet– too much baggage attached to a simple request. I needed to simplify what I was asking for and clean up my timing. Same with our contacts in the ring. I always strived to be as black and white as I could be when it came to training, but this small de-cluttering in our handling system has made a world of difference for Bolt and I this summer. It’s something I’ll be continuing to practice, but the improvements are there– this game is about always improving, always evolving, and, I’ve found, simplifying what we ask for.

This summer hasn’t included as much showing as it usually does– something I did intentionally. A focus on life outside of competing and a focus on the nitty-gritty of agility (my favorite part). Our show schedule picks up at the end of this month since we’re still chasing some points for NAC (even with all the other qualifying scores out of the way… don’t get me started…) after choosing regionals over local AKC trials– which I’m so glad I did this year! Bolt and I will get to play at Cynosports this fall, with byes and all. Two-time regional champ, standing on boxes 3 out of 4 chances– I do love his heart and this journey we’re having together. But I will say I’ve been enjoying the hikes, adventures, oceans, sunrises and sunsets just as much (dare I say almost more? I dare, damnit!).

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Oh, there’s so much more to write and think about. I can’t believe I haven’t written in so long. But de-cluttering is important, and this post already has too much of it (the irony!).

More to come, that I’m sure.

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