Life lessons from my co-workers

I have a semi-dreadful job coding legal documents all day. I work with mainly good people though, and one well dressed co-worker who wears Hermes ties, a New Yorker, gave me two excellent pieces of life advice. He said to be grateful for what you have. He learned that after his first child was born.

I still fall into my familiar patterns of seeing all that I don’t have. These days though, when I catch myself, I’m reminded of what he said. I am beyond blessed with all that I do have. I’m reminded I need to write down what I am grateful for. I’m grateful for my good health, a flexible job near my home, a kind and generous landlord, living close to the beach, and lots more.

Then he told me to make small changes to get the life you want. Seriously, I am nowhere near having the life I want. I ask myself, “What small changes can I make?” I was stuck because I didn’t know. After awhile though, I started to change my ways. Instead of often eating meals with family, I decided to cook more at home. In this way I’m moving a little closer to the life I want.

When I told him how this person makes more money than me, he said, “I don’t count other people’s money.” Well said. These days, I see those people who are wealthier and richer than me, and I do get jealous, but I remind myself, “I don’t count other people’s money” either.

Another man in my office taught me an important lesson. I snapped at him one day because I was in a bad mood. Even though I had done that, he told me my brake light was out the next day. He saw me leave the parking lot and noticed the light wasn’t working. The day after that, he bought me a packet of two brake lights for my car. I wasn’t at work that day, and I went to the mechanic to get a new light. When I got to work and saw the two lights he bought me, I was incredibly touched by his kindness. We went to my car that day, and he replaced my other brake light because it might stop working soon, and I put the spare light bulb in my glove compartment. Now, I theoretically know how to change my own brake light because he showed me how to do it!

He said I didn’t own him anything because I had brought him an orange and peeled it for him, and I gained access to ice on a day when he really needed it, and it was not readily available. I learned that the more you give, the more you receive. I don’t always agree with his politics, but he always takes the high road in workplace squabbles. It reminds me to not stoop to a lower level and to take the high road myself.

I’m grateful for my co-workers, and there’s never a dull day at my semi-dreadful day job.

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