i think a lot about how lucky i am. how good my life is. how amazing the people around me are. i think A LOT about it.
because i notice that the people around me are cool. they are smart and funny and they get my sense of humor and make me laugh and laugh with me.
mostly these are the people i work with, the ones i see day in and day out. the ones who always seem to work doubles. i am constantly impressed with my staff. constantly. i meet their mothers. i watch their kids grow up. i even have a mother/ daughter that both work there now…. and a mother/ son.
i want to write about how much i am humbled and in awe but i know it will just sound sappy. that’s one of my big flaws. i’m a softy and a sap.
i paint and make stained glass windows. i hope that my joy is apparent in the things i make. my contentment is so complete that i push it out every day by way of art. i love the studio. i spend more hours there than the bed some days. hard work produces results. i want brightness. i want light. i want everything to shine.
how many people get to do what i do for a living? how many people are truly happy and excited to get up each day? i don’t know because i only have this one body and mind i inhabit, but i feel deep down it would be rare to enjoy the days as much as i do. it’s got a lot to do with my amazing wife. she teaches me so many things. it’s got a lot to do with my smart funny kids. i know that i am doing something right when i look at them. my mom has a big influence over me. she is strong and solid and a mentor. if you then add in the people who work for me, five days a week, and mostly always smiling and happy to be in their skin…. if you weigh that in you would find it’s hard to compete with this level of contentment.
i do often times feel guilty that i have it so good. but i spend a lot of time in an attitude of thanksgiving. the feeling of being thankful can overcome the feeling of guilt.
religion is a big part of my youth. understanding the life of christ is the biggest part of my spiritual foundation. understanding the value of humility, love and kindness, faith, forgiveness, and thanksgiving. these are the building blocks of my happiness and contentment.
i wrote and ranted last night from 11:45 – 1am about a frustration i was having. i put it in drafts so i could sleep on it and read it over in the morning. this morning i decided to leave it sit where it was.
i asked a couple of women tonight, as they walked to their car after their meal, how was their night and experience? one women said “it was fine.” and the other said “…but the service was slow.” and i asked “did you sit out back or up front?” and the woman replied “out back.” i said “well, you know we don’t really have any service back there as it the take out seating option.” and she said “well it took 45 minutes to get our food.” i apologized and explained that saturday nights were our busiest night, (but i had been in the kitchen on and off all night and didn’t think anything had taken longer then 35 minutes.) the other woman then said how good the food was and good night.
i can appreciate that sometimes my time gets wasted. elon musk wasted a couple hours of my life one night waiting on his “model X launch” party online back at the end of september 2015, and when
seems like a jerk move but hey: 1. there could be a lot more to the story and 2. how useful is complaining?
i love to complain about stuff. when i see stupidity and inefficiency i can get my complain train ON. but i shouldn’t. i have way more to be happy about than i have to be pissed off about. by focusing on the good i set an example to those around me. i set an example to my kids. my employees. my friends. i want to be the guy who spends more time happy than unhappy. the guy who you are glad to see not avoiding interaction with. i can learn to dwell on the good.
tonight i left work proper and ended up in the studio finishing up a new stained glass window. in the photo above the window i finished belongs in the top left corner, but on the right side of the double square. this work in the studio is strangely enough part of my job because all these windows are at my restaurant.
going to work is fun. i enjoy the people who work there. each one has their own unique personality and quirks. the customers are fun. they look around and they “get it. ” they appreciate the work i put in and they tell me as much. the food makes me happy. i take pictures of food and it’s like taking pictures of art. the job becomes food becomes photo becomes art. i come home and make more art in the studio, but for the restaurant, and for the customers and employees. no part of this entire scenario is a bummer. each part of the machine is in sync.
there is certainly no book or meme or quote that can make your life work like this. there is no advice or blog post or 7 step solution to really making a person happy and engaged. i write about all the things i think of as i think of them just hoping that some tidbit might help someone else unlock the safe filled with answers. i know that being thankful is beneficial. i know that much. even if you can’t be thankful about a hundred things, you can find one thing to be thankful about. being thankful about one thing leads to better outcomes. maybe that’t the best advice i can offer on the subject…
but maybe it’s all luck. maybe i’m lucky because i was born in jacksonville in 1968 as a white male to a dysfunctional family. maybe that’s why i feel so contented.
my hands came here to write and my head didn’t know i had anything to say. i try to just stay open for expression. i may feel guilty and be lucky. i may feel lucky and be guilty. but the older i get the more i think of luck and guilt as things i make up to explain other things.
i am thankful. i want to express gratitude tonight. my mom is on the mend. she is here to live another year on the earth with me. my kids are vibrant. my days are full to overflowing.