Thankful: Replacing “I Have To” With “I Get To”

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One trick that I picked up these year was to replace “I have to” with “I get to” when I start feeling tired, stressed, and grouchy. It’s a simple way to remind myself to be thankful for many of the everyday things we “have” to do. Here are some recent examples:

  • I get to wake up in the middle of the night to soothe a crying child.
  • I get to make a healthy(ish) dinner in between school homework and various activities/lessons and worrying that the kids get enough sleep.
  • I get to maintain my older house from peeling paint, broken appliances, overgrown trees, termites, and other pests.
  • I get to clean dog poop off in the cold rain after he steps in it without me realizing.
  • I get to make a budget, search for points redemptions, and compare prices for our upcoming summer vacation.
  • I get to drive back to school again to drop off a forgotten lunch or school project.
  • I get to help my parents with a mundane tech support task.
  • I get to remember to call my friend on their birthday.
  • I get to fly on a crowded plane across the country with young children to visit family for the holidays.
  • I get to worry about getting all of our estate planning affairs in order.

There are so many things that I “get” to do because I am healthy and able-bodied, live in a safe area, have a reliable source of income, and have a loving family. I’m always surprised at how easy it is to take such things for granted when you get engrossed in your own situation.

Happy Thanksgiving and I remain thankful for you as a reader! I hope that you find yourself surrounded by some of your own blessings this weekend.

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Comments

  1. Happy Thanksgiving Jonathan.

    Thank you very much for all the post/blogs you have done.

  2. Well said Jonathan. Thank you for for your insightful writings that “I get to” read every morning and learn from.

  3. I have been so thankful for your blog for years now.

    You are the money role model I always wanted, desperately needed and never had.

    🙂

  4. Good way to fight hedonic adaptation!

  5. Thanks for all the good content I get to read 🙂
    Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

  6. What a thoughtful and insightful column, Jonathan! I posted it on my Facebook page to share with my friends. Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family!

  7. Thank you Jonathan. It’s been a pleasure reading your blog over the years. Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family.

  8. Love the perspective. Thanks Jonathan!

  9. This is the best commentary I’ve read in a while! Thanks Jonathan! Happy Thanksgiving!

  10. Nice Job Jonathan. Thank you for for your writings efforts.

  11. I really appreciate the reversal of perspective here. I just found it, but I plan to use it.

    I find framing and the words we choose to be really powerful to how we see things.

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