What’s the difference between “get to” and “have to”? It’s really only a few letters, right? Two simple phrases, both easily tossed around to describe tasks we enjoy or loathe, respectively. What if I told you there’s a whole universe between the two?
Let me explain. As this whole shutdown began my roommate and I joked about setting a cruise schedule, complete with bingo and formal night for the duration. The other day I drunkenly added “Yoga in the Solarium” to my Google Calendar for 2:00pm on Tuesday, with the hope of actually buckling down and doing some yoga. Did I? Nope. Sure didn’t. I went to Chick-fil-a instead.
And if I let it, that’s what a lot of my days will look like during this time: wake up, porch, couch, phone, food, repeat. Because: I “have to” stay inside. I “have to” stay away from people. I “have to” work less. I “have to” make myself do yoga.
That’s where I found myself yesterday. “Having to” do yoga on the front porch of the gorgeous two-story beach house on stilts that I am lucky enough to live in. “Having to” listen to the ocean and the birds while I was trying to relax and be in my own head.
And then it hit me! I am not a HAVE TO person. If you’ve met me you’ve heard me say, “I don’t have to do anything, except pay taxes and die. And I’ll withhold my taxes if I want.” It’s true. I don’t have to do a god damn thing. I don’t have to be quiet or sit down or shut up or play small or ignore the adventure.
Do I love the yoga studio I frequent? Sure do!
Were there distractions on my front porch that I don’t usually experience in the quiet room at Rebel Soul? Yup! One neighbor was banging on his house and another was mowing his lawn.
Was it hard to make myself do the damn thing, despite the desire to Netflix it on the couch? Sure was. I got dressed for yoga an hour before “class” and had to set a mental time schedule so I’d remember to walk downstairs on do it.
But if I found every goddamn reason why doing something annoyed me? Well let’s just say I’d probably never leave the house. Instead, I choose to embrace it all, every single day, good and bad, come what may. Let me tell you “getting to” do things sure has lead me to some of the most amazing experiences of my entire life.
It’s not just about changing your phrasing. It’s about changing your mindset.
Read that again.
What if we saw our privilege, and embraced it for exactly what it is? An advantage to choose. We get to choose how we react to, how we embrace, how we enjoy this whole life; every adventure from the mundane to the exciting and everything in-between.
So do you “have to”, or do you “get to”?
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Drop a comment below and tell me what you get to do today.