Posted on Leave a comment

We Get To

I got to walk with a friend on this bitter cold day.

Ceasar F. Barajas says, about meditating, “Remember. We don’t have to. We get to.” What a beautiful philosophy for the whole of life.

I’ve been thinking about this for a while, and trying to remember to switch my “have to” to a “get to” whenever possible. It really does change everything about all those pesky things on your To Do List, things you’d rather not be doing but most likely do in order to enjoy something else.

I decided I didn’t like this painting so I got to paint over it.

Think about it. If we’re not homeless or refugeed or living in a wartorn place, we can most likely change anything we think we have to do into something we are lucky to be able to do. This includes paying taxes and bills, exercising, taking medicine, buying groceries, scraping the ice off the car morning after morning, taking care of our dogs or loved ones, just about anything you can think of. All of these chores, responsibilities and so many more of the things we do can be reframed into privileges, things we wouldn’t get to do if we weren’t privileged in some way.

And it really does flip a little switch in your brain (heart and body) when you catch yourself and say “get to,” instead of “have to.” I get to put gas in the car, even though I’m already late for something, simply because I am able to drive and I actually own a car and I can afford to buy gas. So, great! I may be running late for something else I get to do because I get to fill up my car with gas first.

Lately, I get to cook food for Miles, whom I love, because he has kidney problems now and refuses to eat the packaged kidney diet food. More worry and more cooking. Geez. It gets old. Yet another thing to do. But I have a beautiful dog that I love. And I am able to do something about his problem. I have a stove and pots and pans and I can afford to buy sweet potatoes, rice, etc. and I know how to cook them–so whenever I feel a bit overwhelmed or crabby or impatient about having one more thing to take care of, I get to remember that I get to do it for him.

Try it!

“To say you have no choice is to relieve yourself of responsibility.” ― Patrick Ness, Monsters of Men

“What separates privilege from entitlement is gratitude.” ― Brené Brown

“You may believe that you are responsible for what you do, but not for what you think. The truth is that you are responsible for what you think, because it is only at this level that you can exercise choice. What you do comes from what you think. ”― Marianne Williamson, A Return to Love

If you’re looking for my cards or art, you’ll find all of that on my website. If you enjoy these letters, feel free to forward this one to anyone you think might like it. And if someone forwarded this one to you, you can sign up here to receive the letters right in your Inbox. Finally, you’ll find past letters and poems here.

Thanks for listening,

P.S. MerryThoughts is the name of my first book, out of print at the moment. The word is a British one, referring both to a wishbone and to the ritual of breaking the wishbone with the intention of either having a wish granted or being the one who marries first, thus the “merry thoughts.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *