When I vacation anywhere outside of a major city I immediately recognize how much fresher the air smells. I took note of this on my recent trip to the Poconos. Why don’t we make an effort to bring fresh air and cool breezes into our home or workplace more often, instead of reserving our efforts for vacation or spring cleaning?
When I was in graduate school, one of my professors stated that paperweights are essentially obsolete at this point because nobody opens their windows anymore—it's mostly true. When it starts to get a bit warm a fan or the air conditioner are often turned on before a window is opened—especially in a work environment. When the weather is ideal, often windows remain closed, yet we long to be outside. Unless you have exceptionally terrible allergies or live in a particularly nosey area why not open the windows more often?
One reason may be a concern with outdoor pollution, but indoor pollution can be just as harmful, if not worse. Off-gassing from new furniture, carpets or cleaning chemicals aren’t exactly healthy. Also, let’s not forget about mold—have you ever walked into a house that has that damp, moldy smell? The first thing you want to do is open a window to get rid of that odor.
Another reason windows aren’t opened nearly as much as they should is likely due to habit. We get so caught up in what we need to get done during the week that we pay attention to views, but not our other senses. There’s a reason why people like to sit out on porches, on rooftops, on docks or on boats. It’s often about the view, but it’s also about the smells, the air on your skin and the sounds. Habits can be changed. Next time the weather is favorable, open the windows and take notice of how great it is.
I’ve noticed how much more present I am when I have the windows open in my studio . I notice the birds chirping, I take notice when people walk by, I see the delivery truck pull up—all of these things force me to look up from my desk. An a business owner, it’s tough to not work for hours straight without stretching my legs, getting a drink of water or simply giving my eyes a rest. We could all probably use more breaks during our busy days and having a stronger connection with the outdoors can help us do that.
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