I’m up early despite sleeping light. Chris and I collaborate online, bringing a client closer to launch. We finish by 9am. He signs off Skype for a while, I grab my car keys. I drive the 4.7 miles into downtown Ojai, reminded by a This American Life podcast about Chinese labor conditions I too often choose to forget. I feel gratitude for my life path, my education.
I walk a block to get my coffee, passing Mexican workers listening to cheap digital music players, texting on cheap cell phones, hoping to find a day of difficult labor – carrying furniture, hauling bricks, digging up baked soil for 10 bucks an hour so they can support a family here or far south of here. I nod and say hola, not making so much eye contact that they mistake me for a prospective employer. I’m grateful I can work anywhere, not destroy my hands, my back, my neck before I’m old.
I’m on hour two of a conference call. There’s a break. The small chat in the background is mundane, banal, typical of Fortune 100 cogs in a grinding multinational wheel. I whisper thank you under my breath, grateful to have my own company, grateful to work where I choose to work.
I think – where do making one’s fortune and having good fortune intersect? How have I been given a life where I have a beautiful partner, wonderful family, great friends and outbound tickets to Panama, where we start our journey around the world? I have accepted today as a day of gratitude.