I had a hard day today. I had to get up at 5am to get to Starbucks early enough to get my favorite seat. I struggled with my day trading this morning as I sipped on coffee, before heading into my client who keeps extending me in this tough economy. It was slow today because we just successfully completed a very long project. I went shopping later in the afternoon but couldn’t find anything at the outlet mall. Then my wife had the audacity to call and ask if I wanted to go to see Date Night with her. A chick flick… c’mon. I had to put off my work out until after the movie and then had a frozen DiGiorno for dinner. Yeah… I had a tough day.
I hope you can hear the sarcasm in my voice, but the funny thing is… I really was in a bad mood today. Despite all my blessings, I chose to be in a bad mood. Don’t ask me why. Then I had a chat with Victor, the janitor at Gold’s Gym. I’ve known Victor for about two years, and although I don’t know him well, he seems like a nice guy. We always stop to chat for a few minutes while I’m at the gym. Victor told me a story that made me realize how lucky I really am….
Victor is amazing. He is an immigrant from Ecuador who works very hard. It seems like he is always at the gym. Cleaning. Polishing. Mopping. Fixing the equipment. He works two jobs. His only day off is Sunday. No matter what kind of mood I’m in, I know Victor will greet me with his usual smile when I get to the gym.
Being an immigrant and working as a janitor, Victor doesn’t have a lot of money. If you’re expecting me to say that he has other blessings, you’re right. But that is not what this story is about. Victor has been in the US for almost 4 years. His family… is still in Ecuador. He talks to his wife a couple times a week and gets pictures of his kids often. His son is 7, but the last time he saw him, the last time he held him was when he was 4. He also has a younger daughter who probably doesn’t remember sitting in his lap.
Victor is here, because he loves his family. This is the only way he could help them have a better life. I think his Visa expires in a year and then he will return home. Victor’s life is not an easy life. I can’t imagine not seeing my family for 4 or 5 years. Yet here he is. Smiling. Working Hard. Trying to make a better life for his family.
So let me ask you a question. The same question I asked myself as I finished up my workout. How hard is your life? Really?
Have a nice day!