Small Talk, Big Gratitude

The Keurig machine in our office is definitely the place to be (really, how much fun could gathering around the water cooler ever have been, anyway?). Zen-skewing coworker with her tea and I with my decidedly un-zen coffee had a brief, peaceful conversation yesterday. 

Coworker: “Anything new in your life?” 

Me: “Not really, the usual.” 

Coworker: “Well, same ol’ can be a good thing.”  

Me: “Yeah, sometimes. You?”  

Coworker: “Eh, some stuff going on. A friend of mine is struggling.”  

Me: “Oh…I’m sorry. That can be hard.”  

Coworker: “Yes. You want to help, but sometimes you can’t. It just makes me grateful to be alive — to be standing here, having tea.”  

Me: “Yep. It’s the little things.”  

Coworker: “It is the little things. Because if you wait for the big things to make you happy…”  

Me: “…then good luck.” 

Coworker: “Yep. Good luck.”   

I walked back to my office and identified something new to be thankful for, with practically every step I took: 

I’m in mostly-good health. I have some insanely sore muscles from working out this week, but they’re indicative of my mobility. I’m often hungry, but never because of a food shortage – ever. I’m safe. I’m warm. I’m employed, and by an awesome ad agency that I enjoy coming to each day. I have a bed to sleep in under a roof at night, and not a slab of cold concrete under an overpass. I have transportation. I have people who understand me, who accept me, who love me.  

Sort of puts any ridiculous funk into proper perspective. And the funny thing is that everything above is stuff that most of us probably take for granted daily…stuff which we might consider “the little things,” but things which, if we didn’t have them, would make our lives feel like they’re close to over. We may want more, and more isn’t necessarily a bad thing. But compared to what others have — others who lack so many of the things I mentioned above — we have so much. 

And I am so thankful. 

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