by Dave Markwell

The front windows of my little CrossFit gym in Des Moines look out upon a busy street. I see many things through these windows. I see friends driving by. I see walkers and talkers and people scooping up their dog’s poop from the sidewalk. I see kids riding bikes and skateboards and scooters. I see young mothers pushing strollers and old mothers pushing walkers. I see my neighboring business owners cleaning their windows and sweeping the parking areas in front of their stores. I see life.
Through the cold glass of my silent fishbowl, I see the world spinning and human beings engaged in the acts of living life. It’s a unique perch from which to view the world. As a non-participating voyeur, I enjoy imagining the conversations and destinations and the day dreams of the day-dreamers who travel past my window. It’s fun to see all the ants marching, dutifully and skillfully navigating the world’s potholes. It makes me proud to be a part of the human race.

Looking out the fishbowl of my home, I have seen many things as well. I have seen my son as a little boy playing with his toys in the yard, making noises while crashing his Matchbox cars and digging holes for no reason. I have seen my baby daughter toddling in the grass, tasting a night crawler before getting run over by our dog, Diego. I have seen friends laughing and my wife lying back in a lounge chair reading a book. These things I have seen have brought me smiles and occasionally a moist eye.

Taking a moment to simply observe our world, we see important things. While engaged in our own hustling and bustling, it is difficult to see much at all. Stopping is the key. Stopping and watching and thinking and dreaming our own dreams and seeing that many of the things in our dreams we already possess is necessary. A fishbowl provides a good spot from which to take stock of life.

Our culture tends to support action over observation. I think we need both. Stopping and recognizing the wonderful, goofy, perfectly imperfect world we live in makes our journey outside of the fishbowl a little more fun. It puts some gas in the tank for our journeys and allows us to share our good bits with our fellow travelers. This is not wasted time.

[EDITOR’S NOTE:”Feel Good Friday” is a regular column written by Des Moines resident Dave Markwell, who just published his first book called “A Feel Good Life” (buy it on Amazon here). Dave also extols to all neighbors: “Enjoy where we live. Put your feet on the pavement and truly feel how great it is to live here!” Also, you can “friend” Dave on Facebook here. Or work out with him at his exercise company Waterland CrossFit!]

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