Changing from “Have to” to “Get to”

love2eatinpa, 22 April 2010, 38 comments
Categories: Uncategorized
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This is a cross post on We are the Real Deal today.

I recently read this great article by Kristin Armstrong (ex of famous cycler Lance Armstrong) in the May edition of Runner’s World magazine.

It was a great message to everyone, that Armstrong applied to both running/working out and her life.

Basically Armstrong said that in a world where most of us feel the weight of our responsibilities pressing down on us, we find ourselves saying “I have to do this” or “I have to do that”. She realized that there are people who are sick or struggling in some other way who would love the opportunity to do the things we feel we have to do.

So Armstrong decided to try to tweak her thoughts a bit. She said that instead of thinking or saying, I have to finish this project or I have to pick up my kids, to instead think – I get to work on this assignment, I get to pick up my kids, I get to help them with their homework, I get to buy groceries and make dinner for my family.

She said that at first it felt a lttle forced and silly, but after a few days it became more natural to her. She felt freer, more thoughtful and more aware of why she does what she does.

Armstrong said that “Perhaps I had become so encumbered with my to-dos that I forget to be thankful for the opportunity to do them. I realized that it’s possible to have a reawakening about the beauty in our lives, to understand that we are so damn lucky to be healthy, to have people to love and the ability to care for them.”

She went on to say that gratitude is contaigious. It’s the smallest thing, but it has the power of something big.

I found this to be quite moving. I am someone who is always rushing and multi-tasking to check things off my to-do list. I feel like I have to get everything I have to do now, because surely something else will be added to the list tomorrow. I often feel stressed and overwhelmed because I feel like I have so much to do. I can honestly say that I don’t feel the gratitude in all the things that I feel like I have to do.

But Armstrong is so right in offering this great way to look at things. I am lucky that I get work to do, have healthy children who I get to schlep to their sporting events, that I get to go the gym, that I have options of what foods to put in my body, and that my body is able to carry groceries, cook meals and do laundry. These are all things that I’m grateful for.

To take it a step further… for many of us, we feel like we have to look a certain way or be a certain weight / size based upon what society expects of us. We get caught up in what we feel we have to do based on something that doesn’t even come from within ourselves.

We perhaps should strive to be grateful for all the great things that we and our bodies get to do. We get to keep trying to make good choices in what we eat and we get to excercise when we want to. We get to indulge in pampering or treats when we can or want to.

Each day we get the opportunity to make changes to better ourselves, to improve our health and our lives. We get the choice to improve our body, mind and spirit. We don’t have to, but we get to choose each morning when we wake up.

Anything in your life that you can change from a “have to” to a “get to?”

One Day at a Time... Nurture myself... Awareness... Letting Go... Listen to my Body

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Comments

38 Responses, Leave a Reply
  1. SirenOfFire
    22 April 2010, 5:56 pm

    Hi, different name this time 😉 but this post is great as usual. I suppose that I could look at my math classes that I need to take in order to finish my Psych degree as I GET to take them and not that I HAVE to take them. Finishing my degree will allow me to get a job and go further in my education and also we will be getting married when I am done with my Bachelor’s!

    [Reply]

    love2eatinpa Reply:

    sounds like a great plan of what you GET TO do!!!

    [Reply]

    SirenOfFire Reply:

    Thank you!

    [Reply]

  2. Lisa
    22 April 2010, 7:38 pm

    That is quite brilliant actually. I wonder how much easier out “to do” list would be if we changed the way we look at it. I get to exercise because I have a body that can. I get to eat healthy because I can afford to buy healthy foods. What a great great idea….I’m truly going to use this. I just love reading your blog 🙂
    .-= Lisa´s last blog ..Less Calories, Yummy Food, Goals =-.

    [Reply]

    love2eatinpa Reply:

    i’m so glad it struck a chord with you!

    [Reply]

  3. My Lipstick Life
    22 April 2010, 9:19 pm

    This is just want I needed to hear as lately I have been bogged down with “have to” feelings about my daily exercise commitment. I look forward to applying this to my daily thoughts 🙂 Thanks for sharing!
    .-= My Lipstick Life´s last blog ..Same Old, Same Old =-.

    [Reply]

    love2eatinpa Reply:

    i’m happy that it helped you! i’m happy that i GET TO write these blogs. =)

    [Reply]

  4. Kyle
    22 April 2010, 9:21 pm

    Food for thought…thanks.
    .-= Kyle´s last blog ..Take a Hike Giveaway Winner! =-.

    [Reply]

    love2eatinpa Reply:

    you’re welcome!

    [Reply]

  5. Bobbie @Anonymous Fat Girl
    23 April 2010, 10:16 am

    Wow what a great idea. I truly believe in positive thinking and how our thoughts can really set the tone to our overall health and being. I need to subscribe to Runner’s World in a bad way. Mostly I read online.
    .-= Bobbie @Anonymous Fat Girl´s last blog ..Sometimes life (and weight loss) just isn’t fair =-.

    [Reply]

    love2eatinpa Reply:

    i have had a subscription for years. as i’m sure you see on-line it has great info on training, gear, nutrition, you name it. they also have some really insprirational articles. i loved kristen’s idea and wanted to share it.

    [Reply]

  6. Margarita Tartakovsky
    23 April 2010, 11:12 am

    Awesome post, and very inspiring! I honestly can make these changes for everything. When you get stressed out and your to-do list creates tunnel vision, it’s tough to be thankful.

    I can absolutely apply this to my work: I get the opportunity every day to write about topics I feel are important and I love to write. That’s a huge gift. I’m also surrounded by wonderful people who love me. That’s a huge gift, too. And being able to get outside and ride my bike is something I get to do thanks to my body. Same thing with more rigorous workouts, which I really enjoy. My body helps me to feel strong and even sometimes invincible.

    Again, really great post!! Thanks!
    .-= Margarita Tartakovsky´s last blog ..Eating, Managing Stress & Healthy Coping: Q&A with Lyndsay Elliott =-.

    [Reply]

    love2eatinpa Reply:

    i’m glad the post resonated with you. it is tough to be thankful when your plate is overflowing with things you think you “have to” do. but the truth is, we are lucky we “get to” do them. others would trade with us in a heartbeat.

    [Reply]

  7. Holly
    23 April 2010, 12:42 pm

    Wow, that is a great idea to change around negative thinking! I’ve started to do this a little bit, to an extent. Like, when I leave my full-time job and think about how much I don’t want to go to my part-time job, I just remind myself that I’d MUCH rather be doing that then my full-time job! 🙂 I think it’s a wonderful way to make a negative a positive. I’m going to try stating it like her!

    Fun fact about Kristin….she qualified for Boston the same year as I did, and she was in my corral! (Yes, I’m a stalker and looked her up, LOL). I was actually about 10 feet behind her most of the way (she had her name on the back of her shirt). She’s an amazing writer!
    .-= Holly´s last blog ..When Did You Become Aware? =-.

    [Reply]

    love2eatinpa Reply:

    i really loved that perspective she offered, what a great way to look at things!

    wow! you ran boston!!!! i’m so impressed (can you see me bowing like “i’m not worthy”?) how cool you were right behind her! i love her writing and am so glad that she has done so well for herself after divorcing lance.

    [Reply]

  8. melissa
    23 April 2010, 1:43 pm

    What wonderful post! I love your blog == I love your honesty and candor. Thank you for sharing this idea about reframing one’s thoughts from “have to” to “get to”.. So great. It’s so easy to get wrapped up in the minutae of daily tasks, losing sight of the big picture and how much we really have to be grateful for.

    [Reply]

    love2eatinpa Reply:

    aw, thanks so much for your kind words, melissa!

    i agree, i know i lose sight of the big picture often and have to pull back and see all the great things that i’m very forunate to have in my life.

    [Reply]

  9. Rita
    23 April 2010, 2:39 pm

    Love the magazine too 🙂 It was a great article and oh so true. And a great post as always!
    .-= Rita´s last blog ..Fast and Loose Calorie Counting =-.

    [Reply]

    love2eatinpa Reply:

    i’ve been a suscriber for over 10 years and still get good info from the mag. i really enjoying reading kristen’s stuff, i guess because she is a runner and a mom, so i can relate.

    [Reply]

  10. SirenOfFire
    23 April 2010, 3:47 pm

    Just in case you were concerned, this is Jill…just wanting more anonymity in the interwebs. 🙂
    .-= SirenOfFire´s last blog ..SirenOfFire: @deserthibiscus i dont have any messengers but thanks =-.

    [Reply]

    love2eatinpa Reply:

    lol! thanks, i could see that on my admin screen. =)

    [Reply]

  11. Jess
    23 April 2010, 3:58 pm

    This is a beautiful post. I absolutely LOVE it. I think a lot of us in first world countries forget to appreciate the things we take for granted. I can for sure tell you that I appreciate the fact that I get to drink water straight from the tap without fear of catching some disease, that I get fresh water to drink at all. I think traveling in Southeast Asia for 7 months made me realize all the simple things in life (like having free toilet paper in public bathrooms, like air-conditioning, like a proper house).

    I get to go to the gym, with clean equipment and friendly people. I get to feel the earth beneath my feet as I run. I get to see my parents every morning. I get to feel the sunshine beat down on my face when I walk outside.

    It’s a beautiful day and I get to enjoy it 🙂
    .-= Jess´s last blog ..Day 81: Stepping Outside the Box =-.

    [Reply]

    love2eatinpa Reply:

    thanks for the fabulous comment! all those “get to’s” we do often take for granted, but we are all awfully lucky.

    [Reply]

  12. Diane Fit to the Finish
    23 April 2010, 7:50 pm

    This is just what I needed! I can easily fall into the “have to” syndrome and need to remember that I should be thankful and grateful for all the opportunities I have.

    Every morning I get to watch all seven kids come tumbling down the stairs. What a blessing.
    .-= Diane Fit to the Finish´s last blog ..It’s About The Whole You =-.

    [Reply]

    love2eatinpa Reply:

    i love the mental image of seven kids tumbling down the stairs!

    [Reply]

    SirenOfFire Reply:

    lol me too, and also that kids song about the
    ants go marching 2 by 2…hurrah hurrah is
    what I hear in my head too 🙂

    [Reply]

    love2eatinpa Reply:

    lol!

  13. SirenOfFire
    23 April 2010, 9:53 pm

    hehe im in an extra good mood today (got more sleep because I didn’t wake up
    sick at all today!)
    .-= SirenOfFire´s last blog ..SirenOfFire: @deserthibiscus i dont have any messengers but thanks =-.

    [Reply]

    love2eatinpa Reply:

    good for you!

    [Reply]

  14. karen@fitnessjourney
    24 April 2010, 9:43 am

    I can totally relate to this. My sister has a form of muscular dystrophy and I often think she would love to have my ability to workout, clean the house, run a bunch of errands, etc… all in the same day without the need to take breaks or ask for help.
    .-= karen@fitnessjourney´s last blog ..The Healthy Backyard Barbecue =-.

    [Reply]

    love2eatinpa Reply:

    i hear ya, all the stuff that you take for granted and perhaps even complain about, your sister would love to be able to do. it’s great that you “get it.” =)

    [Reply]

  15. Jody - Fit at 52
    24 April 2010, 12:45 pm

    What a great post!!!! I certainly don’t have to worry about coming over here to read though! I want to! 🙂
    .-= Jody – Fit at 52´s last blog ..Reunion Pic! Stimulus Package – Saturday Funny! =-.

    [Reply]

    love2eatinpa Reply:

    aw, thanks, jody!

    [Reply]

  16. Karen @ Waisting Time
    24 April 2010, 2:39 pm

    It is amazing what just a tiny tweak can do to how we view things. Thanks for sharing that:)
    .-= Karen @ Waisting Time´s last blog ..I’m Leaaavving on a Jet Plane =-.

    [Reply]

    love2eatinpa Reply:

    it’s amazing what our minds can do, good and bad!

    hey, are you home? or are you sneaking in computer time while you are away? =)

    [Reply]

  17. Pharmacy technician book
    26 April 2010, 11:50 pm

    My cousin recommended this blog and she was totally right keep up the fantastic work!

    [Reply]

    love2eatinpa Reply:

    thanks!

    [Reply]

  18. […] Tweak your thoughts from “have to” to “get to.” […]

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