I LOVE the 4th of July.
And I was worried because this year, pretty much everything was cancelled – Coronavirus style.
No neighborhood pancake breakfasts.
No small town festivals.
No big, dramatic fireworks display over a stadium at dusk.
Even our family BBQ had a much shorter guest list than normal.
But I still love the holiday and I was determined to make it fun.
My family wore red, white and blue. We got out the streamer headbands and light up glasses. I put out the star-spangled placemats and we blasted my patriotic playlist from my husband’s boombox perched atop our minivan.
My kids did sparklers in grandma’s driveway and threw pop-its at each others flip-flopped toes.
Husband lit off a string of mini fountains in concert with several other families doing the same thing on the circular street where my parents live.
The night was ablaze with hope and fun and freedom and love.
I saw it in my family, in my parents’ neighbors’ families and all around me on the drive back home. Throughout the Salt Lake valley we watched professional grade aerial fireworks lighting up the sky. It was as if nothing had been cancelled at all. In fact, there may have been even more displays this year than in years past when we all left that sort of thing to chambers of commerce and baseball stadiums.
Because despite the limitations of social distancing, the people in the Salt Lake Valley were still united in love for country and love for each other.
Yes – there has been a lot of opportunity for division in 2020 thus far.
Do we wear masks or not?
Which song is most appropriate as our national anthem?
Who’s supposed to be watching these kids when summer camps and schools are closed indefinitely?
Who is racist and who deserves a longer turn at the mic?
There’s a lot to debate. That’s for sure.
I’m certain that there is a LOT we could clean up and change as a nation.
I also know there is a lot to celebrate and that we, as Americans, sometimes forget how much we have in common.
By far, the majority of us believe in freedom for ALL.
We love our families. We want to be happy and make memories together.
We may have differing ideas of how to get there, but WAY more often than not the destination we desire is exactly the same.
I know that’s true for us as Americans. And from what I’ve seen – in nearly 20 years as a therapist and now as a coach – it’s true for the vast majority of marriages as well.
What if you believed that you and your husband are on the same page more often than not?
What might be different if you were convinced that you were heading the same place – even if your routes look alarmingly different?
I know that even when your differences seem to be speaking the loudest, there’s common ground in your marriage. And I know that common ground is an excellent place to start building the stable home you’ve always wanted. For you. For your kids. For your family.
Look for common ground and you’ll find it. Every time.