Green River Star -

By Lu Sweet
Western Wyoming Community College 

Closing the blinds or keeping them open

 


I usually run home from work every day, rain or shine. I started this practice over a year ago when we decided not to put any more money into the old car I was driving to and from work in. Sometimes I run to AND from work, but usually just home in the evenings after work. We had a mild enough winter in Rock Springs, so I did run in snow and cold but it really wasn’t that bad. It’s only 25 minutes home because even though I am not super speedy, it’s not quite 2.5 miles.

To distract me from the hills I must run up, I look at my surroundings even though they are the same most every day, as I don’t change up my route too much. It’s also a good time for me to decompress from my day or think of ‘ways to solve problems’ and get in an extra workout. It’s become my “me time.” Recently though, I noticed something I really hadn’t noticed in all my trips home before. I noticed how so many people have their blinds closed no matter the time of day I am running. It didn’t bother me before, but now it has me thinking. It reminded me of a sign I once saw that said, “I just saw three joggers outside and it inspired me to get up and close the blinds.”

When I was growing up, we knew all our neighbors very well. We knew them by name and who had cookies. We knew their pets and they knew us. Literally, we knew everyone in our three-or-four-block radius neighborhood. I am sad to say this is not the case today. I know some of my neighbors, but others not so much and some I have never even said ‘hello’ to. I miss how it used to be when I was growing up, but we as a society do tend to operate more in our own silos than we used to.

I was fortunate that growing up, one set of grandparents literally lived only a couple blocks away. I was always visiting them. After my Grandpa passed away, I was over at Gramma’s house even more than before, spending time with her and helping her with chores. As Gram got older, I made sure to go over to her house at least two or three times a day, once in the morning, once in the middle of the day and once at night. When I would arrive at her house mid-morning and her blinds weren’t yet open, I often thought the worst-that she had passed in her sleep and I would walk in and find her gone. Thankfully that never happened. Somedays she was just moving a bit slower and hadn’t quite gotten around to opening the blinds yet.

The reason I bring up the idea of “open blinds” is really quite simple. Every day Gramma would make her bed and open her blinds. She once told me that she started her day off with a made bed because, that way she knew she had already accomplished one thing in her day. She also opened her blinds, unless the sun was extremely hot, because she wanted to see the world outside and be a part of it. It’s as if she were almost quoting George Bernard Shaw who said, “Better keep yourself clean and bright; you are the window through which you must see this world.”

I try not to go through my days with blinders on. I know some people who do. They see things their way and theirs alone. As for me, I absolutely know that I do not know everything and have so much to learn from others around me. Helen Keller said, “The only thing worse than being blind is having sight but no vision.’

I think it is important as we go through our days, to re-evaluate how we see the world around us, each other and ourselves in this big world. I like to keep myself open rather than closed off from others. I feel that by doing so I am making the most of every day and every opportunity that may come my way. As Tom Peters said, “If a window of opportunity appears, don’t pull down the shade.’

If you read this article and you see me running, whether you are seeing me from your front room window, your car window or if you too are traveling somewhere via foot or bicycle, please wave or holler at me and get my attention. I would love to see you and wave back. Have a great day and remember to open the blinds once in a while.

 

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