Every Sunday morning feels a little like Christmas to me. I’m excited to get up because I have butterflies waiting to find out what you thought of that day's Sunday Paper. I try to view it as a gift to you, the readers, each week.
I make my coffee, sit by the fire in my backyard, and I wait. I can hear the birds chirping. There is no sound from neighbors or cars on the street like there is during the week. I swear, I can even hear the clouds passing by.
I close my eyes. I breathe in and out. I count my blessings. Then, as I sit there sipping my coffee, I open my phone like a child on Christmas morning. I usually have a few messages from friends on the East Coast who have already read the newsletter. I’m so grateful when friends take the time to drop me a line about what struck them or got them thinking that Sunday morning. Hearing their thoughts is akin to that feeling you get when someone opens your present and says they liked it.
I then read through The Sunday Paper myself for the umpteenth time and give thanks that so many people contribute and share their life’s work with us in our collective mission of moving humanity forward. There isn’t one Sunday when I’m not grateful for that gift.
The other day, my friend Karen asked me what brings me joy these days. "What are you jazzed about?" she asked. That’s a good question to ask yourself. It’s a good question to ask a friend. What puts a smile on your face? What pops you out of bed in the morning? What gives you butterflies? What are you excited about?
So on this Sunday, I want you to know that I’m jazzed that so many of you come up to me about this mission-driven newsletter. I am excited that so many of you think enough about what we are putting out into the world that you buy us a "cup of coffee" every week to encourage us to carry on. I’m so happy that I get to talk to people like Bob Goff and Mark Groves whose lives and work share the mission of The Sunday Paper.
And, I’m so jazzed that I get to wake up every day in the United States of America. I really am. I know lately everyone has been focusing on everything that’s wrong with our country, but in my mind it’s still THE greatest place on earth. It’s still the place where everyone wants to move to build a life for their families and fulfill their dreams. I wouldn’t trade living here for anywhere else in the world.
Before you say, “Well, easy for you to say…” might I suggest you turn that around on yourself. We live in a free country. We live in a country where you can wake up every day and get to work on making your dreams a reality. We have a free press. We get to vote. We get to be involved. We get to use our voices. We have freedoms other people die for! We even (unfortunately or fortunately) get to decide for ourselves whether or not we want to wear a mask.
You are free. Think about that. (Although, I know many people in our country still don't feel free, as Stephen "tWitch" Boss pointed out in the conversation below.)
So, even though the beaches are closed where I live, and even though the fireworks were canceled and large July 4th gatherings were banned, I’m still giving thanks for living in California and in America. I’m still giving thanks to all of you who make me feel excited on Sunday mornings. I’m giving thanks for my health, my kids, my hopes and my dreams. These are what bring me joy. These are what get me jazzed to wake up each morning.
I’m excited for each day I get to make myself better and make my country better. I’m even feeling jazzed that I get to wear a mask. I get to choose. Lucky me. Lucky us.
I hope this Fourth of July weekend that you are feeling lucky and grateful to be alive, wherever you are. I hope you can find something that gets you jazzed and makes your Sunday feel as exciting as Christmas morning.