Well here we are a few weeks into the new year and things are looking pretty darn good!
We finally made the move to Virginia in step 1 of our plan to totally shake up our lives and pretty much start all over again. Some may view this as a bad thing, but it has been awesome!
Driving in Richmond is completely different than driving in San Antonio. It took Jerry a couple of months to adjust to seeing trees instead of billboards along the highways. On more than one occasion he thought we had gone to far and were in the boondocks only to be surprised to find a mall hidden right behind the trees. Now that the leaves have fallen, we can really see behind the wooded areas that were lush when we moved here and it is surprising to see how much is there.
In San Antonio, and actually all of Texas, when you are driving on the highways you are constantly assaulted and distracted by concrete, billboards, traffic on access roads and store signs advertising whatever needless item they are hawking this week, not to mention all of the neon “Going Out of Business” staked into the ground every three feet. It is actually a much more relaxing drive around town looking at trees instead of concrete; on a majority of highways, you don’t even see opposing traffic as the wooded medians that separate you from the neighborhoods and access ramps are also located in the middle of the highways making the roads have a “One Way” kind of feel to them.
It is hard to imagine a year ago how we would be today. Changing our lifestyle is much easier to do than we thought it would be, of course, it entailed moving across the country… We decided not to have cable, so we don’t see commercials or any other types of TV advertising/product placements; we aren’t constantly bombarded by signage for fast food and other “bad” things whenever we leave our street and even on the drive to and from work we don’t see a lot of restaurants and advertising. For my drive into downtown, I actually see NO fast food, etc… Jerry doesn’t see any until he is off the highway and actually on the road to his office. We live in an older section of the city with a lot of restored Victorian and Sears homes and also no fast food. It is really amazing how much the constant advertising we were exposed to before impacted our lives.
Jerry and I have both started cooking more and enjoying it. We actually drink a lot of blended veggie & juice smoothies and bought a juicer. We go to the farmers market for locally grown produce, meat and dairy. Even the large chains like Wal-Mart, Kroger & Martins (groceries) have a locally grown section. So we buy local as much as we can, it’s little harder in winter, so we are experimenting with different veggies and frozen fruits and by next year, I think we will be better equipped for eating seasonally.
By chance, we rented a house that is within walking distance of Forest Hills Lake Park, so we try to take the dogs walking a few times a week and we enjoy hiking through the hills and over to the James River. We live in an urban area, but it doesn’t feel urban. We have a coffee shop to walk to that always has different local bands playing. During the warmer months the park has concerts every week for “Sunday in the Park” with different varieties of music.
Overall the lifestyle is much healthier and Jerry and I are embracing and loving it!! Richmond definitely has an “Austin-esque” feel without the 9 months of summer and 90+ degree days.
2012 is on track to be one of our best years yet! We are much happier, getting healthier and as soon as we find positions in our career fields instead of just “jobs”, everything will be near perfect!