How often do you catch yourself thinking, “If I was doing ______, I’d be much happier”? Why do we do this to ourselves! Thoughts like these will only take us out of the present and there are so many beautiful moments in front of us in whatever season.
I have a dear friend who reminds me of this often. She has a fairly prescriptive lifestyle with a part time, work from home job and stays home with her two small kids. It could be so easy for her to see days as commonplace or uneventful, but I can’t tell you the last time I’ve talked to her and she didn’t share the highlight of her day with me. Finding small joys keeps us going -- does it not?
When you’re having a bad day, what’s the first thing you do? Try to look for the silver lining. When your friend is having a bad day, what do you say? “Well, at least so and so happened!” We crave these little ‘pockets of joy’, if you will. And we should try to find them! Our lives are not made of one big event after another. They’re made of baby events, one memory at a time.
You see, there are little bits and pieces in each day that collectively make our lives joyous. It’s when your roommate cleans the dishes for you. When your spouse leaves a note on the counter for you to read before work. When you see someone holding a door open for the elderly. There is happiness all around! But joy is a choice -- and it’s one of the easiest to slip if you’re not intentional about choosing it.
You may look right over that clean sink or not think twice about the elderly being helped. But I guarantee you that if you look for the vibrancy in the mundane, for those small pockets of joy that are meant just for you, you will see them much more than you think.
No longer will you be thinking “If I was doing ______, I’d be much happier”. Instead you’ll be noticing the beauty around you, or better yet, thinking to yourself, “What can I do to make my current situation better?” And if that isn’t a stance of confidence, I don’t know what is.
So here’s the challenge for you and I: Every day, let’s find one spark of neon yellow in the black and white. Let’s look for one scene, one interaction, one moment that makes us think “Wow! That didn’t happen yesterday, and it probably won’t happen tomorrow. That was specifically for me today.”
I think when we see things like that, we will see every day as a gift and as a joy.