I was Brooklyn last week for an event for work – a standard work responsibility – and found myself post event having a few beers with my coworkers – also, fairly standard post work procedure. We were in this garage-chic hipster dive bar complete with picnic tables and craft brews on tap. We had just wrapped up one of our biggest annual events in New York, a reception in the 40/40 Club for 600 people, and the majority of whom were the university's biggest VIPS. It was a high stakes, high payoff event and we had knocked it out of the park. A beer (or 3) was definitely in order
The conversation during these post-event outings typically follows the same pattern. It starts with the normal and healthy debriefing of the event. For the most part, it's equal parts venting and laughing. The conversation usually moves next to work related issues and finally when the group winds down to only a few people the conversation gets a little deeper and a little more personal. We’re also past the “few drinks” mark which, let’s be honest, is certainly a contributing factor to the conversation shift.
So last week, the conversation shifted from work to our relationships, political views, and bigger life goals. I was with two coworkers; one of whom grew up in a town with one stop light and the other whose political views could not be more different than mine. The likelihood that our paths would have collectively crossed is slim to none but there we were sharing our fears and challenges and learning from each other.
I was chatting and having a drink with coworkers like we always do after every event. But this time, I had this moment as if I was floating above us and looking down at myself and I thought, WOW, this is really cool. Here I am, in a new-to-me city at a super cool bar, I’ve just crushed an event at the 40/40 Club (though no Bey or Blue Ivy sighting), am having a beer with some fascinating people and we’re diving into really meaningful conversation. What a privilege.
It’s recognizing these privileges and special moments that, I think, separate the happy people from the not so happy people. I’ll admit I toe the line of happy- not so happy more than I’d like. But we all do, right? The happiest people I know though find joy in everything –even the routine things we take for granted. And that’s what makes them different.
It’s easier said than done. On paper, last week was a standard work trip with the same coworkers at the same event. And we grabbed a drink afterwards. Big whoop. Instead, I’ve written the narrative that I was in Brooklyn creating memories with really remarkable people. And you know what, that just makes me a happier person.