Events of the past few weeks have reminded me about habits. They can build or break us. Unfortunately Doug’s habits have just about broken me. Let me set the scene.

Two ex-military people decide to get a dog. Not just a dog but a big dog. They like a good human name so Doug it is. Douglas when behaviour dictates. They decide that poo is gross and make Doug walk across 10 metres of good, sweet smelling grass to a patch of astro turf conveniently positioned (for them) in the furtherest corner of their yard.

Doug probably thinks they are idiots but nevertheless goes along with the plan, pooing and weeing with military precision. Life is sweet smelling. That is until the idiots decide to renovate the backyard. Up comes the good, sweet smelling grass. It’s replaced with a pit of mud.

The idiots now realise how good their training was. Doug won’t go anywhere else. Nope. Nowhere.

Damn you Doug.

Can’t you see these are extenuating circumstances? There is rain, there is mud.You are big. I am little. I have mopped the floors 15 times already. And that’s just today. You can see where this is headed can’t you?

The idiots start carrying Doug over the mud pit to the poo pit. Not just once but many, many times.  The idiots provide hours of entertainment for the pool builders and the landscape gardeners. Did I mention Doug is big.

Damn you Douglas.

Then then idiots wised up. They moved the poo pit. Terribly soul destroying job but Doug happy and idiots happy (after 15 showers). They are not looking forward to relocating the poo pit once the mud pit has gone.

In hindsight maybe they should have let Doug do a few sneaky poos on the grass. Maybe Doug should not have been so stubborn.  Maybe they all could have softened a little and met in the middle.

For nearly five years I could be found on a yoga mat between 4 and 6am every weekday morning. Without fail. No early marks, no days off. There was a staunchness to my habit. It worked perfectly, just like the perfectly positioned astro turf.

Then kids came along. Free time became unpredictable. I tried to keep my habit for awhile. It made me cranky when inevitably it didn’t pan out as it once had. The mud pit of life had arrived. Undoubtedly messy but also the start of something wonderful.

Now my eyes are on the intention, rather than the habit. The intention is to find some time to ground, to connect, to move my body, regardless of time. My staunchness now rotates around the intention, however that happens.

Perhaps this works because I have five years of a staunch habit to fall back on. Maybe it would have worked anyway, if I picked yoga up later in life and just let it seep into the corners, practicing here and there. Either way, soft or hard, the intention is the same.

When our intention was trying to keep beautiful grass, we created a really hard habit to maintain. Now the intention is keeping a beautiful dog.

A damn good dog.