This time of year I inevitably realise too late that it’s my son’s birthday coming up.

He arrived in the world 7 weeks premature, so his actual due date was December. I’m not sure if that’s why, but after the summer holidays, it suddenly seems to be almost November before I’ve realised I need to organise his party.

The shock of him arriving early was pretty traumatic for me, for several reasons, but one reason I struggled to come to terms with it, was that I’m not all that good at surprises. I like to think I am very laid back,  but really I’m not. Give me a structured routine, and clear goals and objectives, and I feel much better!

When I step out of my comfort zone, I like to be prepared, maybe have a map, directions, or a sat nav with me. I always enjoy the adventure more then. If someone else is leading I’m quite happy to follow but will probably debate the why’s and wherefores first!

This life following Jesus that I am on, isn’t quite like that. I recently set up a “quiet time” at work, having felt this was really important task God had given me. I  got quite carried away with the idea, and booked a meeting room, and advertised it through our team brief. I was really sad when noone turned up, but weirdly the next day was surprised at how peaceful and happy I felt. It was like God was happy with me trying, and he had no expectations that anyone would come. We are meeting again this week at a different time, venue and I’ve set it up differently so I think there will be 2 or 3 of us this week. I’m really looking forward to it either way, as it will be chance to sit quietly and think and pray and I think that always does me good. I’m even thinking about buying some grownup colouring books!

A friend who works in scientific publishing shared an article this week, which covered the neuroscience of happiness, and you may already be aware that being grateful is good for our wiring. It also stated the importance of naming what we need, how we are feeling for our brains to work effectively.

I think that’s what happened to me, I sat and prayed for everyone in our office, and asked for help and afterwards felt much better about my own life, and fortunate to have a job and work with really great people. Being with other Christians, has also been shown to promote happiness, just through being part of a community that focuses on gratitude and naming what we need when times are tough.

So this week if you’re feeling fed up with work, it’s worth thinking about all the other people who rely on your cog in the machine, and thinking about what other people’s lives are like and I guess just counting your blessings. Even if you don’t believe in God, it’s possibly worth thinking, is there anything I need to be grateful for this week? anything I could make amends for?  Anything I need that I could ask the universe for?

The process might just make us all much happier!

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