One downside to sending our kids to a very elite private school is that they don’t always feel proud of the fact that we are solidly middle class. Some of their friends have mansion-type apartments.
At a conversation on race at their school the other night, an African American male teacher, Mr. V., said that throughout his whole high school experience as a student at the school, he never once brought a friend home.
I told CoCo that. She said she doesn’t bring friends home either. But. ahem, she does. We are a fun family. I mentioned a half-dozen times in the last month her friends have stopped over.
This whole convo started because CoCo had been saying, as she does fairly regularly, “We need new floors. Let’s get those dark brown wooden floorboards.” She’s fixated on the inadequacy of our apartment floors.
“Honey, we need so much more than new floors. We need to fix that patchy paint job where the super fixed a leak two years ago. The laundry area is a mess.” I could start a to-do list but that’s not what I wanted to say.
We have a beautiful, big apartment. We make it more beautiful all the time. I wish I was more dedicated to interior design. We have Anna come once a week. But we need more household help. Chris cannot really pick up like he used to.
I have been working a ton. I feel a sense of frustration at the amount I work and the little I get paid. Yet. Yet. I love my work. I love what I do so much. I love teaching and writing and editing. And my clients are amazing. I learn so much. And so, in this way, I am a little like CoCo, wanting more, wanting nicer, loving those luxury brands. Yet. I want to feel grateful for all that we have. Not all that we don’t have.
When I was doing the art handling work, I told my friend David Pullman who was working alongside me I couldn’t do the work any more because it paid too little. He said, “Every drop fills the bucket.” I love that.
Every drop of gratitude fills my bucket. My bucket gets filled, not by things, but by kind words and encouragement. Not by criticism, but by specific praise.
Check out this prezi on Bucket Filling