I’m tired. My throat hurts. My nose is half stuffy, half runny. The Sudafed hasn’t kicked in yet, and all I want is a cup of hot coffee and a fuzzy blanket. Crummy morning, right? Surprisingly, no.

This morning while driving to work, I broke out of my usual reverie (read: morning head fog) and took note of my surroundings. The sky was my very favorite color of midnight blue, and the sun had just begun to rise. The fall air lent a clarity to the rural skies that only occurs in this kind of cool weather, when most people wax nostalgic for the summer that just passed. Warm in my car and surrounded by the crisp dawn skies, I felt lucky just to be there.

Once in a while, instead of taking inventory of the things I have to do or worrying what I’m going to say, I just need to stop and look around. A deep breath and a few minutes of basking in appreciation of things out of the control of my own hand can calm my soul. Ultimately, it makes me more productive.

I once had a boss who would tell me to walk away from a project whenever he saw me struggling with it. He didn’t mean forever, just until the next day. My instinct was to just grind it out and force the work, so his advice went against my grain. It almost never failed, however, that when I shifted focus to something else, the pieces of the puzzle would come together easily upon my return. Kind of like my sunrise today.

Take a minute and look around. Regardless of what you’re doing, I’m pretty sure it’ll help.

P.S. Thanks for the photo, Tim Freiburger. I think you’ve had this sunrise thing figured out for a long time.

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