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You Should Be Grateful for the Things You’re Unhappy About

I work in a building that rents offices with shared public spaces to different small companies and entrepreneurs, and while it can be a little noisier than I’d personally like it to be sometimes, there are the occasional upsides to having these “neighbors” around.

Yesterday, while making myself a cup of coffee in the shared kitchenette a young electrical engineer, who I hadn’t seen for some time, came in and we started chatting.

“How are you doing?” I asked him and was taken aback to hear his kvetchy answer, “I’m ok but I’ve got too much work…”

That’s where I stopped him, because seriously- you’re a small business owner and you have too much work. That is NOT a problem! Find a way to solve the issue, but never complain about having too much work.

Of course I didn’t rebuke him but I did remind him that having too much work is way better than the opposite.


At that moment a woman, who I haven’t seen around before but who seemed to know the engineer, walked in and had apparently overheard our conversation. “It’s just like my mother always says, you should always be grateful for the things you’re unhappy about.”

What? Wait.

Please explain.

She told us that whenever her mother called and she told her what’s going on in her life or rather, she would complain to her about things like having too much work, or that the kids are driving her crazy and the house is a mess her mother reminded her that these are all wonderful things. “You have a job. You have children. You have a house to live in”.

Who among us doesn’t feel overwhelmed with all the stress of the minutiae of our lives? I’ll admit that I feel perpetually overwhelmed. There is always more to do than I can handle and the constant juggling gets toilsome. But, you know what? A chance encounter in the coffee room with a stranger just put it all back into perspective.

© 2021 Carol Morris

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