It's easy to hate the Genn family. They have more talent, wit, celebrity, insight, self confidence, good looks, money and work ethic than an artist's colony full of Jolie-Pitts and Dalai Lamas. But to make matters worse, they truly seem to appreciate it -- and each other -- as evidenced in today's Robert Genn letter: Step by step, a path. It makes me hate them even more in spite of the fact that I really like them.
Envy is a small, mean little thing that I don't often feel (or so I like to tell myself). After reading such a celebratory letter I (a) felt deep admiration and (b) wanted to kick the wall. I'm tired, I'll admit, after a stretch of hard work. My tank is as empty as my bank account and I often wonder if the struggle is worth it. Then I read the rest of my email. I've been having a conversation with my old friend Steve, a man very much like Robert Genn, about, coincidentally enough, the education of his kids. He'd taken the time to look at some of the work I'd just finished and told me exactly what I needed to hear right now, using the same keyword (path) that Bob used in his letter: "... the textures are amazing... from the grass to the sky and the fence. I felt I could walk along it and lean into it and let my eyes wander over the landscape! If you ever questioned your direction in life I would say you are walking the right path!"
Message received loud and clear. The irony was not wasted on me and I kicked myself instead of the wall. Thanks for the lessons in gratitude, Steve and Bob.