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When The Dog Peed Up The Furniture For The 1000th Time...

This morning I got frustrated. I could feel anger and irritation rising within me from my guts all the way into my head which was starting to pound. At the moment Joey (my husband) is beyond busy. He's working very hard and getting his company back on its feet after a year with hardly any work due to COVID. When I say busy I mean very early mornings and late nights, working all weekend and only enough time for maybe a quick dinner together before he needs to rest and sleep. He's exhausted and has very little time for anything else. From past experience I know this wont last long. Like may things it is transient, fleeting, a snapshot in time.

We live in an ancient and pretty little cottage that badly needs renovation work. The 1990's kitchen with its peeling paint, leaking roof and falling apart cupboards is difficult to cook in and difficult to keep clean. There are half finished DIY jobs and floorboards with gaping holes in them. Carpet that needs replacing and windows that need fixing. Garden walls that are falling down. Damp. We have a list, and it isn't endless, but it is LONG.

Very recently we rescued another dog from Cyprus. Bear is very gentle, affectionate, sweet and happy. He loves our cat and he gets on really well with our other rescue Tarka. But it is still early days and he has taken to marking in the house. Everywhere. It is also the time of year for dogs to shed and this dog is shedding so much fur its a wonder if he has any left on him! I hoover every. Single. Day.

Its been a working weekend for both of us. I am working on teaching qualification assignments, marking students homework and preparing handouts for their lesson on Monday. I don't get paid for this extra work but I do enjoy it, it brings out the eternal student in me. The students I'm teaching come from difficult backgrounds. Most are single mothers, have had run ins with the police and dropped out of school. Teaching them has been difficult, and frustrating. Its been a huge learning curve for me. A day with them is like herding swearing cats that have constant relationship drama and health and childcare issues. I'm lucky if they turn up to class at all. The last three weeks I have had texts the night before class with (sometimes genuine, and sometimes not) excuses as to why they cant make it in tomorrow. The class is half a day, once a week.

This morning I got frustrated. Dammit, I started to get angry. Having fed the dogs and put them outside for a wee, I turned around and noticed that Bear had sprayed his wee all over a brand new spot. A spot that yesterday I had hoovered and cleaned. If you have ever experienced it male dog pee smells. Bad.

Two seconds later I got a text from one of the girls on the course: "I cant come in tomorrow...." I got that feeling in my gut and could feel my heart beating in my ears, I felt myself getting angry, I felt it rising within me, swiftly like a wave.

But instead of letting it all come out, I stopped. I didn't shout at my sweet dog, who has no idea about cleaning and keeping house, and who may be nervous and unsettled in his new surroundings. Shouting would only make it worse, and perhaps even make him scared of me.

I didn't bark at the poor girl who's daughter had broken her leg and who had no family to help her with childcare and who had never actually had any role models to show her what commitment and hard work could achieve.

I didn't have an internal argument with Joey for not being here to help me keep the house clean and tidy, to do the DIY jobs and to mop up the dog wee.

I stopped.

I closed my eyes and took a breath.

I stepped outside of myself and began to see that none of these things were about me.

Sure in similar situations I have got in right old moods and ranted and raved or had a cry, and all of these things can be good ways to vent your feelings. But today, I stopped. I breathed long and slow. I realised that getting angry and frustrated was only ever going to hurt me. That stress has such a huge physical impact on the body, more than we really know.

I saw that none of these things truly affected me, because I had the choice. The choice to get angry, or the choice to be calm and just accept these things as part of the fabric of life. I was never able to do this before. This is one of the true gifts that yoga and meditation has given me, to be able to be the witness to myself. To become objective and step outside of yourself just for a moment, to be able to see the bigger picture. This happens when you commit to a practice that allows you to have some time to be still and quiet. It happens when you allow yourself some time for self-inquiry, when you allow yourself to just be.

So when the dog pees up the furniture for the 1001th time, I'm not going to take it personally, because it isn't personal. I'm going to step o

outside of myself and realise that maybe I'm tired and I need to take a break from all that pee mopping and other stuff. Maybe I need to order some Adaptil and enzyme spray online, and make a cup of tea and have a moment to be still. A moment just to be.

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