Have, Had & Get

“How was your weekend?” This is a question that most of us receive 10-12 times on a Monday, isn’t it? As we get back into the weeks’ chaos of meetings, conference calls, travel calendars, kids to school, practices – someone always wants to know… “How was your weekend?”

My typical response, for the sake of being funny and keeping my sanity, sounds a bit like this; “We had to go to Ohio for my daughter’s figure skating competition, then I had to shoot over and get my son’s hockey skates sharpened, we had to make sure my oldest had his basketball shoes and ball purchased for the season and I had to make lunches, sign off on homework, pack back packs and get the kids to bed early, so we could sleep, because I have to work out at 530am. Holy Christ, it really sounds like my life is some kind of depressing punishment, doesn’t it?

I use the words have and had at an alarmingly high frequency. Do you? What would happen if I replaced “HAVE” or “HAD” with “GET”?

We take part in so many busy tasks, which, if being honest, we push on ourselves (and we also push on our children). I know I’m not alone in feeling like I really have to get everyone to practice, have a workout, have to eat a vegetable, have to study with the kids, have to go on vacations, have to buy some nice clothes, have to fix some damage to the house, have to get to practices, have to hit on my wife (love you Deena), have to visit friends, have to sign up for a race, have to read a novel, have to write a novel… (Please insert a mental picture of a person screaming and holding their head at this time).

All joking aside – imagine, for just a moment, that all of those things we feel we have to accomplish, we slowed down a bit and started to switch our thinking to include the word get (instead of have or had). My wife and I get to work jobs that afford regular time with our family. We get to vacation with friends and family, get to go to sporting events with our kids, get the opportunity to read with them, get to visit friends (because we still have them), get to be together and the list goes on.

I’ve recently started applying this logic and have been paying even closer attention to what I have to do and what I get to do. This simple exercise has really opened my eyes to all of the blessings we get to experience in our lives and I respect that we’ll never know when some of these blessings might be taken away, so why waste a moment feeling forced into living. The words HAVE & HAD should be flipped off like light switches and we can begin living a more peaceful existence with who we are, what we do and who we do it with when we insert the word “get” into our laundry list of experiences.

We all GET to live life (it’s not a punishment), so let’s GET busy living and appreciating it while it happens.