Choosing to see the joy (at 4.30 am)

I recently learnt an important life lesson at 4.30 am one dark snowy morning. An odd time to get a gentle nudge in the guts I know, but sometimes messages come when we least expect them, right? 

Anyway, this is what happened ...

My overworked husband finally (and rather noisily) came to bed at 2.30 am and ended any chance I had of slipping back into my deep and comfortable sleep. After tossing and turning for two hours, I dragged a blanket out to the couch to wait for daylight.

I flicked on the TV (which I rarely do), and for just a split second before the channel changed, I saw five words written in a scrolling font on a white card – a prop in whichever show was airing at that hour:

“Choose to see the joy.”

I quickly snapped awake because while I had no context for the message within the TV program, I had plenty of context for it in my own life. After all, here I was sitting on the couch, tired, cranky and simmering at the thought of missed sleep and an exhausting day ahead.

“Choose to see the joy.” 

That short message was inviting me – daring me – to flip my thinking from what was wrong (hours of missed sleep, a cold room, and a tired, grumpy start to the day) to what was right (being alive, snow falling outside, kids on holidays, there being nowhere I really had to be that day).

And as I did switched my focus from dark to light (or grumpy to joyful), I could feel myself start to relax, release, let go, smile, enjoy … and I discovered yet again that actively finding and focusing on the goodness in the moment can make me much happier: it can transform my mood and my outlook for the entire day.

Pretty big stuff for 4.30 am ...

Do you remember to flip your thinking when you're in a funk? Is there anything you could see in a brighter light right now?

Natalie Bartley