In the average week I have more amazing stuff happen to me than pretty much anybody could hope for. In the last 10 days alone I have had a number of pretty unique things happen while I’ve been at work. Here is just a sample:
I met a guy who is one of the executives in the Green Bay Packers offices. He had a ring on and I asked him about it. He quickly took it off and handed it to me and said try it on. It was a Super Bowl XLV ring worth $75,000 and made of titanium and diamonds. Being a Lions fan I had to do a double take, but I must admit it was pretty cool having that ring on my finger.
Today I saw a woman who works for a big hedge fund. Last fall when I saw her last I was about to leave for Paris. She had just returned from her honeymoon in Paris and insisted at that point on sending me some ideas for the trip. Moreover she had her boss give me a gigantic tip which literally changed the flavor of our whole vacation because I often thought, “Well this is a bit expensive, but we have all that extra money from that tip…” I shared a few pictures of the trip with her and she was so excited it was like she was on her honeymoon again.
Last week I met a guy who owns a dairy company in Massachusetts. I asked him if he was a Patriots fan and if he was going to the Super Bowl. He said he wasn’t originally going to go, but Mr. Kraft (owner of the Patriots) had invited him to join him in his box so he was going to make the journey. After more conversation I found out he was a minority owner of the Boston Red Sox and he invited me to come out this summer and go to a Red Sox game at Fenway Park. After watching “Moneyball” last week my girlfriend said, “I hope we can go to Fenway Park someday.” Law of attraction in action in a hurry I would say.
Today I got to visit with a lovely lady who used to come to lunch every week with her husband. He died suddenly a little bit over a year ago, but she still comes in once every couple of months. Today she told me she has been reading my blog and she is astounded at how good my writing is. I was humbled by her kind words and very touched.
And then in another story, today I got to feel more appreciated than anybody usually has a chance to feel. About 11 a.m I was doing my usual “thing”. I was getting comfortable in my tuxedo. I was checking on the reservations for the day. I was planning the seating. And at about 11:10 a.m. a gentleman walked in with a carry-on bag looking to check in for lunch. I looked at my watch and he quickly said, “I know I’m early. I just was hoping to check my bag and wait for my 12:30 p.m. reservation?”
I told him I wasn’t checking my watch to send him away but rather that he was welcome to wait in the bar until we were ready to seat, much like I would do on any regular day at the podium. He asked if he could get a salad because he was on East coast time and was starving. I brought him an All Greens salad, a bread basket and butter and he sat along the windows and ate his salad while I went about my set up. A few minutes later he came up and started asking me questions about the restaurant. Who owned it? How long it had been open? Was it a corporation? How long had I worked here?
About a half an hour later I got paged for a phone call. I picked up the phone and heard, “Hey Jim. This is Rich Melman (owner of Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises) . I’m not sure if you’re aware but there is a guy named Michael sitting in the bar and he just called me at the office and told me he was watching you get ready for the day, and that you got him a salad and that he thought you were the most amazing guy. I agree. I can’t thank you enough for all that you do for us.”
In an average day most people hope to get any indication that what they are doing is of purpose. I am pretty much at the point where I do what I do both at Joe’s and everywhere else because I love to do it, because it is the right thing to do, and because I feel appreciated everyday. On this day I was lucky enough to feel more appreciated than normal.
I’m sitting at home right now watching a public TV documentary about Marvin Gaye. By many accounts, in a peripheral way one might think that the life of a hugely famous Top 40/Motown singing star is charmed, to be envied and nearly perfect. And then you are reminded that he was alone, miserable, and he was shot to death by his father…but as they said in the documentary he died many years before that, emotionally spent, tortured and brilliant.
Everyday life is what you make of it. Today (and most everyday) I choose to remember that my life is awesome, just the way it is. And it will remain that way as long as I choose to let it. Now off to bed and to dream. Happy that my dreams are not the only place that I can feel that my life is a fantasy. It actually happens in the everyday…