This post is inspired in part by the holiday - Thanksgiving - and an article I read in Runner's World several months ago. I don't remember the title or the author, but the gist of it was about changing the language of our own thought processes to have a more positive lookout on the tasks that lay before us. But not in a lame, reciting affirmations in front of the mirror, kind of way. It's just making one simple change to our internal dialogue: every time you think "I have to...", think, "I get to."
In the context of running, making this change certainly makes it easier to make it out the door. I get to wake up. I get to put on my sneakers. I get to go run. This tends to automatically make me think of the people who don't have the same opportunity I do to hit the pavement, and I naturally start to appreciate the run that much more.
But if I take it a step further and apply this thinking to other aspects of my life, well, things look pretty damn good.
For me, it's "I got to work today." On a day when people were lined up outside of soup kitchens because they're unemployed and can't afford a turkey dinner for their families, homeless, or both, I got the opportunity to pick up a busy shift. Now, I won't lie and say that by hour 6 of the non-stop Turkey frenzy, I wasn't hoping that people would eventually tire of entering the front door, but I won't soon worry about if I'll be able to afford groceries next week, or when I'll have my next hot meal. The people I took care of today took care of me, and for that, I'm extremely grateful.
And now, I get to clack away on my laptop like I've come to some sort of world-altering realization, I get to enjoy a glass (or 2) of wine, I get to watch my husband play his video game, and in the morning, I get to be the first person my daughter smiles at when I open her door. Life is good. (Hey, that's a nice little slogan. No wonder that T-shirt company makes a fortune.)