I Get To

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    Barbara Usack

    I love the concept of re-framing, and turning “I have to” into “I get to.” I don’t have to go food shopping. I am fortunate enough to be able to put food on my plate, so I get to go food shopping, even though it might be tight… It’s a retraining of our brains, and it is not an easy task, but I think I’m starting to get the hang of it!

    I am happy that I get to post about this now because I have been given the time. Instead of getting to go to the bank and stop my credit & debit cards and get replacements, then go to motor vehicle for a new license (my wallet was lost/stolen yesterday)*, I get to wait for a friend to come and try to jump start my car that won’t start!

    I have the luxury of a license and the ability to drive a car (that usually runs!) I have enough money in the bank that I can use my debit/credit cards to keep said food on the table. I get to run these errands because I am blessed with so much. It’s all about the way we look at things, for sure.

    “I have to do the laundry,” or “I get to do the laundry (because I have clothes to wear, and family to love that also have clothes to wear)?”
    “I have to go to work,” or “I get to go to work (to make the money to pay the bills for all the things I get to have)?” (Quite frankly, I’d be happy to say either right now! Hahaha)
    So remember, next time you are begrudgingly saying “I have to…”, think about why you are doing it. What have you been blessed with that gives you the opportunity to do that drudgery?! Then say “I get to…!”

    *Update: I got the call that my wallet was found before arriving at the DMV, and in retrieving it met a wonderful person. And my car has worked fine ever since that one incident that prevented me from getting to the DMV earlier. So “I get to” keep on keepin’ on! It sure seems that everything happens for a reason!



    That was a great post, you provided such a refreshing outlook on life! Also, I am so glad that things worked out for you after all!


    Barbara – thanks for such a great post.
    This is exactly why I’ve joined this community, to discover new ideas and ways of looking at the world. In a time where ‘first-world-problems’ are increasingly sucking the life out of life, I found it like a little light bulb going off to look at things from your perspective.
    I am pretty lucky and now I just have to see it that way!
    Thanks again,


    Barbara ~~

    You have given me a reason to think outside my ‘box of liberty and freedom’ once again and remember how my world was turned up-side-down when my funds were frozen because of fraud. Actually had to depend on the goodness of others to feed myself, with less than three quarters of a tank of petrol I walked to the grocery store for other items. Getting to work required me to walk three miles using ‘Pat and Charles’ and then catch a ride to get there. During my two weeks of limbo, it rained every single day; which only added to my misery. I had to hand wash my laundry and hang them up in the apartment to dry, using a cion laundry was not an option. Once the fraud investigation cleared, it cost me thirty dollars to reactivate my account. Oh yeah, I can relate to you, Barbara. THANK YOU and I am so pleased that your life has been restored.


    Hi, I’m new to this forum, and when I came across Barbara’s reframing concept, I loved it.

    I’m wondering if there are ways to apply it to interpersonal issues, like strongly opposed opinions on an office project team, where the project success is important to the entire team. Or even more, in working toward eliminating negative feelings/jealousy about a coworker.

    Could anyone offer suggestions on how that kind of ‘I get to” reframing might sound?

    This forum is terrific–thanks for your help.


    This was a great post read! ‘I get to’ is something we all should remember to say—when i find myself saying, ‘i have to’ It sounds like i’m complaining! Thank you for this refresher as this helps in everyday life.

    Barbara Usack

    Thank you so much! I’m glad you liked it. I find it to be so true. I’m also sorry that I didn’t see your reply until now!

    Barbara Usack

    K, thank you so much for your response. I just noticed the replies today. I’m so sorry!

    I can certainly relate to the life-suckingness (poetic license there – I like it!) of our ‘first-world-problems’ as you said. The reframing has to be done on a regular basis, that’s for sure. And it’s a reminder to me, too!

    Barbara Usack

    Bob, what an adventure! Oh, I’m sure it didn’t feel like that at the time, but as you wrote it seems to all be in the past. What a gift to find others who reach out to help us, isn’t it? I hope your life has become, well, a little more mundane!

    I apologize for the delay in responding. Somehow I missed all of these posts. Thank you so much for your response and sharing your story. I was just talking with my daughter today about this… No matter how bad things seem for us at any one given time, there are people much, much worse off than we. And somehow we always seem to get through it somehow. I’m glad you did too.

    Barbara Usack

    Hmm… You’ve got me thinking. Although I haven’t been in the workforce proper for a long time (I’m trying to get back into it), there have been plenty of difficult people in my life!

    An office project team with strongly opposed opinions? First, I have found that the people with the ‘loudest bark’ are usually the most insecure. It is possible that the strongest opinions are held by people afraid of being wrong or of being seen as ‘less than’ when compared to their teammates. Diplomatically speaking, I think I would first try to see and mirror back the value in each and every opinion expressed, stroking each ego, if you will. Once everyone feels heard and valued, it may be easier to discuss pros and cons of each opinion as how it relates to the team or final project outcome. “I get to” be the voice of reason, the one who makes everyone feel heard and helps each one understand the value of the other opinions, not just their own. How lucky am I to be able to do that, and how lucky are they to have me helping them?!!

    Working toward eliminating negative feelings/jealousy about a coworker is easier because the only person involved would be me. There is no dealing with others, trying to change people’s minds or opinions, only figuring out why I feel negatively or jealous of someone. What is it about me (or the other person) that is causing me to feel that way? Once I know why I feel that way, I can work on looking at myself differently – often as others see me, not as I see myself. We can tend to be much harder on ourselves than we ever are on others! What is it about *me* that is causing me to feel less than or intimidated or jealous of another, and what can I do to change me, or the way that I view myself, to be the person I am proud of so there is no need to be jealous of anyone? “I get to” look more closely at myself, to learn something and to grow. “I get to” feel better about myself by understanding the cause of my feelings and having a chance to change them. And possibly I may even “get to” make a new friend out of the deal.

    I’m not sure if I have been of any help, but that is what I would do in the situations you have described as I understand them!

    Barbara Usack

    You are so right, MadiePie. Complaining is negative energy, isn’t it?

    I just did an experiment. As I was reading your post I ‘heard’ the words in my head, so I said them out loud and got the same effect. Just saying “I have to” is a heavy phrase. It has negative energy attached to it, I guess. “I get to” comes out much lighter. Try saying each of them with a smile. For some reason, “I get to” is much easier to say when smiling! For me, anyway.

    And since I choose to smile as often as I can, I’m going to put on that smile right now and proclaim that I am getting off my computer because “I get to” go wash the dishes, then “I get to” go get a good night’s rest!

    Thank you for the reminder. I really needed that this evening!


    Actually, this is a pretty good kickstart–thank you. I know it requires some creativity in finding different ways to look at things to find the positive angle, and I’m rusty at that right now.

    It’s funny, after thinking about this for a few days, I suddenly remembered how the old children’s novel “Pollyanna” was among my favorite reads as a child (40+ years ago). I was intrigued with the concept of “the Glad Game” and how it could present a different perspective on situations. Such a simple concept with life-changing effects, and it took a child to teach the adults how to play the game.

    It is also interesting that “I get to feel better about myself” is one of the least attractive and motivational statements to me. I have much work to do on why I seem to fear feeling better about myself. . .

    Thank you!


    Wow, the smile is also a very good idea (even though I can feel my mind resisting it already). I like having concrete actions to work with.

    Barbara Usack

    Peace57, my journey was a long one. I suffered from depression my entire life (without knowing it) until about 10 years ago. We ALL deserve to feel good about ourselves. As long as we are doing the best we can with what we have at that particular moment, of course. Sometimes that is just survival. Only we know what we are capable of, and what we are afraid of. Sometimes we need others to help us find it.

    There is always room for improvement! One foot in front of the other. Celebrate the small steps it takes to get to where you want or need to be. Your last post is one of those steps!

    Barbara Usack

    I have found that when I resist something it is for two reasons.
    1) It is unhealthy for me.
    2) It is out of my comfort zone and usually something that I *need* to be doing!

    It’s hard to push myself sometimes (or more often), but I have found that the effort is always worth it. No matter how long it takes me to get there…

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