When my son, Wyatt, was around three years old, my husband and I were driving him to swimming lessons when I noticed a red pickup in front of us driving erratically.
“Lookout! Whoever’s driving that red pickup truck is a nut!” I said.
From his car seat in the back Wyatt piped up, “That red pickup is goin’ nutty nutty!”
From the front seat we laughed on cue, and from that point on for about a year any time we went anywhere, Wyatt served as The Red Pickup Patrol.
Go to town for groceries — he’d see two or three or ten red pickups.
Take a road trip to visit the grandparents in Nebraska — it seemed like he’d see hundreds of red pickups.
And if one of those pickup zipped pass us on the interstate or zoomed around a corner, he’d say, “There’s that red pickup goin’ nutty-nutty again!”
Wyatt showed me the truth — we find what we look for.
When we looked for red pickups, red pickups were everywhere!
This morning, while running some errands, I decided to look for little blue coupes.
Not two miles down the road — there was a little blue coupe coming down the on-ramp and another one at a stoplight.
But the exact same principle holds true with our daily lives. We find what we teach ourselves to look for.
If we make habits of looking for people and situations that slight and belittle us — things that make us feel “less than” — we will find them in heaps, loads, and buckets.
It’s a twist on “be careful what you wish for,” be mindful of what you look for.
Seven years ago today — August 1, 2012 — I started my public journey toward #ThisDaysJoy with the first post I made on my Facebook timeline by recording a small, joyful moment in what was otherwise a glum and grumpy day.
Watching the cat run through the house and try to turn a quick corner on hardwood floors.
That first post was spontaneous, but looking for a small bright spot the next day was intentional.
Watching the zinnias and cosmos in the flower garden bob their heads in the breeze.
And so was the third day, and the fourth, and each and every day since then.
It’s about being intentional and seeing the difference that good intention makes in everyday living.
It’s about making a habit of looking for joy the way a three-year-old looks for red pickup trucks.