Today is my birthday. I get to turn 29 today.
I get to wake up early to the birds outside my window – my favorite one currently sounds like a baby pterodactyl that hasn’t eaten for a week. I get to go in to work. I get to sit through some all day meetings and then I get to come home on the bus. I get to wait for my wife to get home from work and greet me, and then I get to go out for an easy, casual dinner at a local alehouse. I get to go home and go to sleep in my bed with my wife curled up next to me.
I get a lot of things today, and every day.
I get to think about the significance (or lack thereof) of the astrological sign that I was born under from a logical point of view.
Last week I read a great piece in Runner’s World magazine about the power of perspective. I’m not typically one for inspirational drivel, and in general I will try to spare my readers of that sort of thing, but this brief little one page piece struck a resonant chord with both me and my wife.
It was written by Kristin Armstrong, who has such a hectic life that she could barely find time to run (replace run with exercise or your favorite hobby for you non-runners out there) and it had become a chore for her. So she decided to change her perspective. Like many others (myself included), she ran through her crazy days repeating a common part of all her tasks in her head –
- I have to get up early to run
- I have to wake my kids up
- I have to make breakfast for my kids and husband
- I have to take my kids to school
- I have to go to work
- I have to grocery shop
- I have to take care of the pets
- I have to clean the house
- I have to prep food for dinner
- I have to pick my kids up from school
- I have to take them to sports
- I have to cook dinner for my family
- I have to pick up the kitchen
- I have to put the kids to sleep
…and so on. Sounds rough, doesn’t it? Exhausting. And I’m sure we can all relate. But these are all the kind of tasks that we ourselves have chosen to fill our lives with, and why? Because they are the things we want out of life. So simple, and yet so easy to forget.
Granted, some of those tasks may still be mundane and tedious and not the favorite parts of life. But in general, the reason why we’re doing them is because they are part of establishing the kind of life that we want to live. It is so easy to lose sight of this in normal day to day minutiae. The big picture vanishes without a trace.
A mere one word change in these thoughts can do wonders for your attitude about them, and focus your mind more presently on the positives in your life.
You don’t have to do those things. Nobody has to do anything. You get to.
You get to wake up early and run. You get to make breakfast for your family. You get to take your kids to school. You get to go to work. You get to prepare dinner for them. It’s amazing how big a difference that one word makes here.
So today, I get to turn 29. I’m certainly not the child I once was, but I don’t feel old. I simply ward off old-ness by continuing to do new and exciting things in my life regularly. I believe one really only feels old when they feel stagnant in their life. For me, there is no “old” when so many things are still so new.
I get to take a moment to reflect on the things I get to do in my life.
- I get to learn to love and know food more and more each day.
- I get to have two wonderful sets of parents (one of which I inherited at my wedding last year) who are nearby and I see frequently. And I get to have a huge extended family that I love to be around – even during massive egg wars (our Easter celebration devolved just a smidge the other day) or while politely listening to their latest extravagantly luxurious vacation stories without strangling them.
- I get to have friends to play music with on a frequent basis. Having music as such a big part of my life is very enriching, and I love making music with friends and family.
- I get to be the most physically fit I’ve ever been in my life. I get to run all the time and I love this, and I get to run races and soon – marathons. So painfully awesome.
- I get to blog about food and have an outlet for my writing, while creating a community of people who are interested in the same things I am passionate about. I love you guys! Seriously, the blog has only been around a little over a month and I never expected it to go so well. I am really enjoying writing for my readers, and for myself, and the discussions it has created.
- I get to suffer through this damn cast on my wrist. Wait, what? Okay, yes, it still COMPLETELY SUCKS, but it’s teaching me a new kind of patience and it’s an entirely new experience for me. Honestly, if I went through my whole life without ever breaking a bone in my body I’d feel like I must have done things all wrong.
- I get to be a part of a wonderful marriage that keeps my head and my heart in the clouds. I am a lucky man for what I have received in love, and I am a lucky man for what I am able to give. Amanda is a great woman.
Alright, I think I’ve sufficiently cheesed this place up at this point so I’ll leave it at that.
So do you get me?
What do you get to do today?