Replacing “I have to” with “I get to”.
With all the hustle and bustle getting our homes in order for the possibility of quarantine, “I have to” and “we need to” have peppered my thoughts and have guided Roger and me as we try to figure out what we are actually going to need over the coming months if we are quarantined, or worse, if we end up getting sick.
For thirty years, I’ve prepped for hurricanes, and the possibility of being without services for a couple of weeks, but I’ve never prepped for the possibly of being sick and quarantined for up to two months! It appears that stores will remain open, if they can keep the stock on their shelves, so I’m hopeful that if things get dicier, we can still count on that. The utilities department here have pledged to keep things going and give a reprieve to those in financial need, so there’s that.
And, there is also the possibility that this won’t be nearly as bad as we think. I’ve always taken the approach that you prepare for the worst and hope for the best, and I’ve been lucky so far, knock on wood.
“I have to” has an urgency to it. It may even hold a little emotional charge. “I have to” feels obligatory, and I don’t know about you, but obligations don’t always feel super great.
When you shift your words to “I get to” something magic seems to happen. There’s a sense of excitement, and anticipation, it’s like seizing the opportunity. I remember saying “I get to” when I was small. It always came with a little bounce and feelings of glee. Try it…see how it feels.
In my newsletter last Saturday, I spoke of slow living. The idea of slowing down, and paying attention to the little things. My regular readers know that appreciating the small things in life is a common theme here, so when I came across a journalling prompt that suggested replacing the words “I have to” with “I get to” I dove in with gusto, as you might imagine.
So as we prepare for the coming weeks, I’ve shifted my words and mindset about seizing the opportunity.
- I get to make sure my family has staples and food on hand in case of emergency.
- I get to make sure my home is a haven, a soft place to land for us.
- I get to express love as I take action to do the best I can for my family.
- I get to spend quiet time at home.
- At least for a while, I get to turn off my alarm clock and get up when I feel like it.
- I get to go out walking on a near by trail—it is in keeping with social distancing guidelines and gets me outside to enjoy nature for an hour or so.
- I get to focus my attention inwardly, rather than outwardly.
- I get to organize my office and clean out my garage…
- I get to express my love for my family through my actions.
And, I get more time to write to you.