It’s 7:00pm on the fourth of July and I just finished my run. I started from my house and did the 3 mile version of my run down to the Fiserv Forum. That means I just stop about half a mile before I get there and turn around and go home. I wasn’t in a great mood to start, which is probably why I was getting irritated so quickly. I saw a bunch of ridiculous things and had plenty of opportunity to judge the people I ran by. I got to the turn around spot and stopped for a minute to stretch and also mentally prepare a little for the run back home. Some punk 9 year old said something slick to me about 2 minutes before, I had to dodge people shooting off fireworks and run past huge groups of people blocking the sidewalks. As I was about to turn around a car with a loud exhaust was pulling up the stoplight I was stretching next to. After more initial irritation about the the lack of mufflers I realized it was my neighbor Tony coming home from work. He has had a rough go at it for awhile it was good to see he was working again, especially today because of the holiday pay. I know he could use the money and I know he has been stressed financially.
It was strange running back to the house. After seeing him all of the irritation and aggravation of seeing people doing things I didn’t understand went away. About 12 hours earlier in the day we drove out to another lake to work on our swimming. The was nothing to be aggravated about there. It was a quaint, perfect suburban neighborhood. On the run home, I appreciated more than ever the strange world my family and I find ourselves in. I know I would quickly forget what it’s like here and acclimate to a cookie cutter, well manicured subdivision, but I am proud of our decision not to do that. Ironically, there is a whole lot more beauty in the mess within our inner city neighborhood than any of the suburban neighborhoods I have been in. I forgot that for a mile and a half today. Seeing Tony reminded me that we are in charge of how we perceive what goes on around us. I spent the first half of my run judging my neighbors and the second half remembering why they are no better than I am.