Nearly every morning around six or six-thirty, I walk. I walk the neighborhood of my work building. Once I pass the medical facilities and insurance offices, I walk the street that leads into a residential area, a well-to-do residential area. Some of these half-a-million dollar homes are for sale.
I speculate, “What would it be like to live in one of these homes?” Manicured landscape, home office, stonework entryway, stained glass windows, roomy garages, spacious living quarters . . .
But then I notice that nearly every house looks onto the street and onto the walls of or into the rooms of the neighbors’ houses. They are built very close to one another. I don’t like that.
I also notice that nearly every house has no curtains or blinds on its windows. I know because I look in those windows. Peering into lighted rooms from a dark street at six in the morning has become my secret activity. Although I myself am a secret snoop, I prefer blinds or curtains or both.
Another thing I notice is that while I admire the lovely landscapes, my own pattern of unruly and wild gardening would definitely be out of place. I would have to hire a gardener. Rats! I do take some joy in getting my hands dirty.
Speaking of dirt, there would certainly be a lot of space to have to sweep and mop and dust and scrub. I would have to hire a housekeeper. I wouldn’t mind that, but then I would need more income. I would have to work more hours. I don’t like that.
I could continue with all that I have noticed about these homes, but what I have come to realize from all my noticing is that I wouldn’t be any happier there than where I am now.
So there really is a benefit to early mornings and walking. It is called the realization of contentment. Walking the wealthy neighborhood allows me to peek into a foreign way of living, delivers my soul from envy, and drops me into a life of contentment.