The other day I caught myself telling someone I had to go grocery shopping. I don’t think it was too long after I complained that I had to go to the dentist for a routine cleaning or that I had to do a mountain of laundry.
It struck me that I often use the phrase “I have to” when I really should be saying “I get to.”
I get to go grocery shopping because I have money in my wallet and a car to get to the store. I get to go to the dentist because I have dental insurance. I get to do a mountain of laundry because we have a lot of clothes to wear and a washer and dryer.
So many others lack such luxuries. So many other people go to bed hungry, alone, and afraid for their futures.
I am blessed, and yet, when I use the words “I have to,” I sound so unappreciative of my quiet little life.
So today I am so thankful that I get to do so many things when others don’t get to.
I am thankful that I get to pay bills, cook and clean, and do laundry.
I am thankful that I get to argue with my boys over time spent playing video games.
I am thankful that I get to touch up some paint in our hallway.
I am thankful that I get to put gas in our minivan.
It is far too easy to wallow in your personal woes and lose perspective. No, it is not fun to replace worn out things, fix broken things, spend time with people we don’t like all that much doing things we don’t like to do. But consider the alternatives. If all of those people and things you complain about were gone tomorrow, how would you feel?
Show a bit of gratitude for the people and things you have in your life, instead of focusing on all that is missing or wrong. You just might get to enjoy a happier life.