Sunday, September 27, 2009

feeling violated.

My wallet was stolen this week. Stolen right out of my purse, and I was no more than 2 feet away. I guess that's really the problem... I should have never been any distance away from my purse, but I suppose that's what cushy live in suburbia does to you... makes you feel safe.

I was at the grocery store to pick up dog food, and since it was the middle of the week, there were not many people in the store so it was quiet and uncrowded- my favorite way to shop. There was another woman on the aisle, who piqued my suspicion as she crept closer to my basket. However, I am not the type of person to automatically assume the worst, in people especially, so I didn't think too much of it. The gears started clicking in my head as I realized she was stooped over looking at a 50 lb. bag of kibble with no shopping cart to put it in. Unbeknownst to me, her little act was her cover for reaching into my purse and snagging my wallet. I hurried to my purse - suspicions heightened - only to find that my wallet was missing.

It's funny the things you think about when presented with a situation like this. Again, I take full responsibility for being naive and too trusting when it comes to other people's character. This is not the first time it has gotten me in a pickle. So I'm looking in my wallet thinking -

"Holy crap, where's my wallet?"
"Did I leave it at home?"
"Is it in the car? Did my purse spill out on the way here?"

And other various ridiculous questions to myself. When I finally resigned myself to the fact that this mystery woman had indeed taken my wallet, I began pursuit. (All of this happened in literally 30 seconds...) But of course, being quite the little expert at theft, she was long gone and so was my wallet.

Luckily, I don't have a large wallet with lots of important stuff in it. All she got was my drivers license, and 2 debit cards that I was able to cancel within 10 minutes. Of course, that didn't stop her from rushing to CVS and spending $450 first. (Who the heck can spend $450 at CVS?)

The silver lining to this situation is that apparently this woman is a "repeat offender" and they have been trying to nail her down for months. Apparently I am the first victim that has her on video. She was on video 3 times at the grocery, 1. stealing my wallet out of my purse, 2. running out the side entrance, and 3. getting in her car driving away... in all instances she was clearly holding my wallet in her right hand. They got her face on video again at CVS using my card. (Don't even get me started on why the HELL they didn't ID her for a purchase that large with a debit card.)

Anyway, the officer I have been working with has been really great, and this is apparently a pretty big deal because the DA is filing felony charges on her for the amount of $ she spent plus the theft, plus the other 4 cases they've been trying to get her on. So that's a plus.

The bank will refund the fraudulent charge when I get the paperwork filled out, and I will have to go get a new DL, but otherwise I am happy to be involved in this situation. At least my unfortunate ordeal has put me in a position to help put a pathological criminal behind bars on a felony charge.

That being said, my personal space has now been extended to a 3 feet radius around me, and my purse will no longer ride in the buggy, but will be firmly placed on my arm. Anyone not respecting this new resolution will be dealt with in whichever way I see fit. I may be a "nice person" but I certainly possess an underlying but extraordinary ability to tongue lash any potential malefactor into a puddle on the floor.

Everything happens for a reason... I just wish the things crossing my path these days didn't result in a hardening of my heart. I guess that's what it means to grow up... realizing the world is not an idealistic place where things always work out the way you want them to.

Friday, September 18, 2009

bare feet.

I used to play sports... all of them. Volleyball, Basketball, Tennis... whatever the school was doing I was doing. It was fun - at one point I was the fastest long distance runner in our program. ME: Miss I-Hate-To-Run. Unfortunately, at some point during my Tennis stint, I hurt my knee. I don't know how and I don't know precisely when it happened, but suddenly it was seemingly impossible to work out. It hurt too much and the doctors warned that if I didn't stop whatever I was doing to aggravate it, I would have to have surgery. Painful, horrible, invasive surgery. Surgery that wouldn't even guarantee that I would be able to ply sports again.

Now, don't get me wrong, I've never been that person who lives for sport. No way. But it was fun, and team sports gave me a chance to be a part of something and have friends that held the same interests. So was I devastated? Not really.

But now I'm getting older. It's more difficult to keep excess weight off without working out, and so it has started to accumulate. A couple of months ago I started working out with a trainer - at first it was good. I was feeling better and really getting back into the swing of things. Round about week 5 I started hurting really bad.

"Hello Rachael, it's me, your right knee. Did you forget about our arrangement? Apparently so... let me remind you. ZING!" And thus ensues the shooting pain under my knee cap. :(

At this point, I can't sit "indian style" on the floor anymore. I can't squat down without my right leg extended, and I won't even mention the things I can no longer "do" with hubby. It's really disappointing. Really. So I started researching. (Let me just say that I am never going to be interested in any kind of surgery unless I am unconscious and someone decides for me... plus, who can afford that right now anyway? No thanks... on to the research.)

I came across a study about feet. Yes, feet... seems unrelated, no? Apparently there is all kinds of research and evidence to support the health of your entire body tied in with your feet. Your bare feet to be specific.

Whether you believe in God or science, there is undeniable proof that our bodies were designed to operate at its best when it operates bare footed. Doctors agree that most adult foot problems would not exist were it not for the addition of shoes. While some shoes are better than others, they all do damage that could be prevented by going barefoot. Additionally, there were no recorded foot-related problems in history until the introduction of proper shoes. That's not even taking into consideration how high problems and surgery numbers have risen in the wake of high heels and pointy women's shoes. Anyway, it's all connected, feet, ankles, knees, back and neck. A vast majority of the problems like mine and other feet/leg/back problems come from this shoe thing.

Here are some websites to check out if you're interested in learning more:

In any case, the point of me sharing this with you was to tell you that I've started working out barefoot. Running the treadmill mostly, but anything else that happens to be going on I try to do barefoot. Let me just say that I found knee relief immediately.

While I hardly feel any pain at all anymore, my knee bothers me less and less every day, even though I'm working out at the same intensity for the same amount of time. Not only that, but my back hurts less (already a problem for someone like me with abnormally huge breasts for my frame), and I have fewer neck problems (an old injury stemming from a careless 5th grade school bus driver who almost threw me through the front window of the bus).

In any case, I am a believer. That sounds like it's faith... it's not faith, it's science. And I am damn glad I did it! :)

Thursday, September 17, 2009

a new day.

(picture hubby took one morning and sent from work... yes, I said "work")

I've been trying to hard to re-motivate myself. I think that maybe I'm finally on the right track. I haven't been writing much, though I've been thinking about it daily. I'm not sure where my motivation went to write, but I just haven't had it in me for whatever reason. I am working on that... I won't bore you all with the details of the past couple of months, mostly because it's just to difficult to "get caught up" when what I really need is a fresh start.

I've been working at home and helping out as much as possible with my husband's business when I can. I do think I am feeling the absence of daily personal interaction with other people. So far that's been the biggest hurdle for me in working at home. Don't get me wrong, I absolutely love the fact that I don't have to get up at 6am anymore, so I can stay in bed and watch the news/Today show until 8 and then get going on my day. Since I've been home I've also been able to develop a relationship with my treadmill that was previously nonexistent. Thus, this morning I was able to get into the smaller size jeans I've been saving for just this moment. :)

Of course, my very most favorite thing about being home is getting to enjoy my yard and garden on a daily basis. I am able to get up and enjoy the morning sun with my flowers, and take the time to water each one thoroughly and gently without having to rush out the door... or worse, not do it at all. The weather is changing here. Not much, but just enough to feel the weight of the boggy humidity lifting. That in itself is a blessing... humid air and I do not get along at all. I've also been able to take some time to plan for the next season. Shall I dig up bulbs, or should I plow out a new section for an herb garden? Hmm...

Over the past few months I have also undergone some intense emotional revelations. When I moved here after I graduated college, I was so excited about the prospect of a new life, new people, and new things to do. I absolutely love Houston and everything it has to offer. I will always look back on my time here fondly and remember all the memories through the years that have helped me to grow up, and to really understand who I am and what I want out of life. That being said, I'm ready to move on.

It's taken some time but I've finally been able to move past some of the things I've been needlessly clinging to for the past couple of years. I've always felt like I needed to be close to the city- the city is where the work is, and the city is where things "happen"... it's all I know. I no longer feel that way. I think it's because I'm so inspired by my husband who has just gone out there and gotten "it". I can see now life is what you make of it... it doesn't have to be confined to just one area, you have every piece of the puzzle to make a life within yourself without needing the big buildings, fast paced life, and pretentious expectations that a big city like this puts on you.

I feel free. And now I want to go somewhere.

Hubby and I have been discussing moving to the country. Well, here it's not really "country" so much as wooded hills and lakes that you can just disappear into. This is something he's always wanted, but I have always made it extremely clear that I was in no way interested in that. Like I said, I always felt like I needed to be close to the city... and that blind commitment kept me from being able to even imagine what it might be like to be elsewhere.

Our discussion this time was initiated by me. I'm ready, no scratch that, I'm yearning for something else. Something more private with more space and more nature. A place we can shape together to be a home for our family - the kind of place that would be magical for children to grow up. I imagine looking out my kitchen window - not at the fence shared with our neighbor - but at a huge backyard with no fence, and no visible neighbors at all. (Don't get me wrong, I love our neighbors here, but it's just a bit crowded. Nothing spoils your privacy like the neighbor talking to you through the fence when you just want to lay in the sun and daydream.)

The thing is, I no longer feel "connected" to the city. The industry I was drowning in has all but dissolved here, and it was never "my" industry anyway, I was just limping it along because I thought I was supposed to. My friends have all moved elsewhere, so there are really no people in the city that I'm connected to either. It just seems like things are finally falling in line, all the makings of a long-needed "goodbye" I guess.

It's strange to me how much I have changed in the past year. It's so easy to let the unimportant things in life go when you have someone by your side holding you up and reassuring you that everything will be okay. I've always been the kind of person who holds onto things, as if I must cling to them "just in case" something happens. Connections with people who I don't need to be connected to, connections with feelings that should have long ago been flushed, and connections with places that are now meaningless in retrospect. I can let go of past hurts, I can let go of people who are no good for my life, I can take risks that I never would have taken knowing that I have my wonderful sweet hubby standing by my side. It's a blessing that I've never felt, let alone even been able to fathom before now. Every day the two of us get stronger together, and that only makes things easier, better... it helps me grow, which is a fantastic feeling!

So I guess you could say that in the last few months I've been saying goodbye. Goodbye to the big city life bogging me down. Goodbye to the people in my life who may have been holding me back. Goodbye to the hurt memories of things past, and goodbye to all preconceptions.

I am just me, and that is all I want to be from here on out. I want to enjoy life through MY eyes, not through the eyes of someone who says it should be a certain way. I want to seek out the things that are interesting to me, not because I feel like I have to, but because I want to. I want to simplify life, not let it become complicated with unnecessary things. I want to cook, I want to create, I want to garden, I want to have babies, and I want to LIVE - not just get through the day-to-day stuck in a cubicle between 8 and 5 like everyone else I see out in the real world. There's more to life than that and I don't want to look back one day and feel like I missed it because I was blind.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

good morning america.

This morning I went outside to water my plants, check my tomatoes, and test the pool water as I always do. I enjoy the quiet of the morning, before people let their barking dogs out into their yards, before there are cars driving through the neighborhood, before the real meat of the day begins.

What was different about this morning however, was the faint addition of music wafting over the rooftops and into my backyard. Once I was able to identify this mysterious song, I recognized it immediately...

"This land is your land, this land is my land,
From California, to the New York Island,
From he Redwood Forest, to the Gulf Stream waters,
This land was made for you and me..."

I have to assume it was being broadcast from the elementary school down the street, but I found it especially heartwarming this morning as I puttered outside. :)

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

i have heart :)

Though recently I've sort of been taking an unofficial hiatus, I received a message from Harmony at "Harmony's Travels" tagging me as a part of the "I Have Heart" blog series. First, thanks to Harmony for thinking of me!! I know I've been kind of MIA lately, but I hope that situation will change very soon. In the meantime, I am taking my opportunity to share my heart with you all. :)

The instructions for this series are:
With as much creativity as you can muster, show your heart in a picture, in a poem, in a song (or music piece), a phrase or quote, an item of clothing, a place, and with a Disney Princess.

So here goes!!

1. Picture:

Photo of hubby and I. He is my heart. Though this is not the best shot we've taken together, it is a candid moment in which you can truly see the love between us, and therefore it is my favorite. He has changed my life in so many ways, it's impossible to relay that to another person. We always say that we wish there was a better way to say "I Love You" because those three small words just don't seem like enough. He's taught me to true meaning of unconditional love, and with him I am happier than I have ever been, and anticipate each new day with new excitement because I have him to share them with. Our first wedding anniversary is Sunday, September 6th, and I can say without reservation that each year with him is the best one yet. :)

2. Poem:

"So Just Kiss Me"
by Jewel

So just kiss me, and let my hair messy itself in your fingers.
Tell me nothing needs to be done,
No clocks need winding,
There is no bell without a voice needing to borrow my own.

Instead, let me steady myself in the arms of a man who will not ask me to be what he needs,
But lets me exist as I am,
A blonde flame,
A hurricane
Wrapped in a tiny body
That will come to his arms like the safest harbor for mending.

I chose this poem because I like to think that my heart is free. I am myself, and comfortable in my own skin. Though there are important people in my life, I will always be me, not someone else's version of myself. I think this poem reflects that desire and the decision to live my life true to myself, while still being able to thoroughly enjoy everything going on around me.

I think that's one of the reasons I cherish my hubby as much as I do - he is my rock and my heart, but he loves me because I am me, and he would have it no other way.

3. Song:

I have never been good at choosing one single song to pinpoint a feeling, but I think the song in my heart is Debussy's "Claire de Lune." It's simple, beautiful, and always makes me feel introspective.

There are so many songs that I love, but each one would have to embody a specific mood or time period. I gravitate toward meaningful lyrics, from The Beatles, Jewel, Cat Stevens, and the like.

4. Quote:

"Freedom is not just a dream. It's there, just on the other side of those fences that we build all by ourselves." -Anthony Hopkins

Anything is possible, I believe that in the deepest parts of my soul. However, we must first let go of our predispositions, our reservations, and anything else that may hold us back. I try to remember this every single day and live by this credo.

5. An item of clothing:

I absolutely love pajama pants. In all honesty, I would live in them if it were possible. They're so comfy, cozy, versatile, and easy. I have one pair I love most that I bought from Victoria's Secret- they're called "boyfriend pants" and they are fleece on the inside, and t-shirt material on the outside. They are baggy, long enough to cover my feet, (which is always a requirement of pj pants... long long long) and they have pockets!!

6. Place:

Home. As simple as that. Home can change based on your location, your state of mind, and your dreams. Home for now is in South Texas, but someday hubby and I dream of moving to North Carolina. The breathtaking views, nature, and traditional lifestyle is just so appealing to us. Neither of us have strong roots in any one place, so the idea of taking off and grabbing our own slice of earth is heaven. :)

7. Disney Princess

While I think most little girls dream of the Cinderella story, mine would have to be Ariel from "The Little Mermaid." Ariel wanted to see the world, as do I, and I marvel at her insatiable curiosity for life. I always secretly wished I could be a redhead too. Plus I can sing every song by heart, so it's a no brainer. haha!

That was fun, though definitely not as quick and easy to do as I thought it would be! :) Thanks again to Harmony for tagging me on this one... and for sharing HER heart too. :)