The people in my neighborhood

One of the unsung benefits of working from home is that it gives you insight into a world you miss while you’re at the office: Your own neighborhood. All the people that keep things rolling while you’re away. I’m coming to appreciate these people in a way I never did before.

My mail carrier has a smile and wave for everyone. When my daughter was a toddler, she used to love waiting in the driveway around mail delivery time, and our mail carrier never disappointed her. When I worked in an office, I couldn’t have picked my mail carrier out of a lineup.

One day recently, we didn’t get the mail out soon enough and missed pickup. On her way back past (we live on a dead-end street), she noticed our flag up and did a U turn to collect our outgoing mail.

I’ve heard bad things about our trash collection company, but aside from the fact that we never get pickup on holiday weeks (even though our collection day is Thursday, which is almost never a holiday…sure, that makes sense), I have no complaints. Once, R didn’t get the can to the curb in time, so the truck passed us. R ran out to set the can out, and one of the collection guys got out to help him manually empty it into the truck. Another morning, some trash fell out while our can was being emptied. The collector (same guy) hopped out to pick up the trash and pop it back in our can before moving on.

These are little things, sure. But they’re things that keep my household going. Small acts of consideration. Evidence that people in often thankless jobs do, indeed, give a crap.

With all the negativity we are bombarded with on a daily basis, I need moments like that. And if I worked in an office, I’d miss them.

I’m thankful for the big things, sure. Job, home, family. But you can’t overlook the power of little acts of kindness.

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