I was with a long-time client of mine last night, just catching up over drinks. He recently changed jobs and has an impressive and prestigious position now.
But, knowing him, that’s not unexpected, as he comes from an affluent New York real estate family and is someone I’ve always respected as smart and hard working.
He’s also happily married to his college sweetheart (who was a D1 athlete) and they have three kids.
‘Plenty of money, happy family.
On the outside, it all looks perfect.
Sounds like another talented, young, successful guy, right? Simply charging through life with all the trappings to show for it.
Around age three, they noticed that their first son was having difficulty communicating and a few other issues. It turned out that he was autistic. With their second child, their daughter, everything looked normal and healthy coming into the final month of their pregnancy, However, she had an issue in utero and was born with Cerebral Palsy.
They love them both ever-the-more and give them a wonderful home. But it was a lot for them – so much to handle with family and career.
And then came the “bonus” baby, unplanned and with a whole lot of concern and even fear. And rightfully so. I mean after all; would she be healthy and “normal”?
Well, she was born perfectly healthy with no issues just a normal kid. Of course, he never used the word “normal,” he just conveyed that he understood all-too-well how others would see child development.
Their situation has given he and his wife unfathomable challenges, but also the gift of golden perspective, too.
As we ordered another round, what struck me most was none of the things that I had already known about this incredible family, but the way he described their situation. I’d never once heard him complain, nor had his wife. They were always positive, kind, and emitted nothing but gratitude.
As we departed, shook hands as clients and then hugged as close friends, I thought about his words a lot as I headed to my Uber.
If he could be that positive and thankful, why couldn’t I?
What exactly do I have to complain about?
What EXACTLY is so hard about MY life?
I know that, in my heart of hearts, I’m incredibly thankful for the gifts of this life, and I don’t lack in gratitude at all.
It’s just nice to have a reminder of that every once in a while, and that’s what the perspective of seeing someone’s life form the inside looking out can provide.
‘Not a bad way to end the week – or spend our days!