It’s a political year, friends. So give me a minute to scramble up on my soapbox while I enter the fray.
There’s a lot of talk about change these days. Change with a purpose is a good thing. It’s time for big change, ladies and gentlemen. And I am going to propose a sweeping change for the American people — no, a sweeping change for the people of the world.
I’m not talking about ending taxes, or cutting social programs, or combating global climate change. I’m not talking about reform of labor laws, or a change to the legislative process. I’m not advocating a repeal of the Part 33 Rewrite of the Telecommunications Act. I’m not going to open that can of worms. Nor am I going to discuss NAFTA.
No, it’s not NAFTA I’m after. It’s “hafta”.
Friends, it’s time we stop allowing ourselves to be overwhelmed and stressed by all the things we hafta do. It’s time to stand strong and declare that hafta is done, finished and over. There are no more things we hafta do. There are only things we choose to do.
The other morning, a beautiful, blue spring morning, I was driving along enjoying the blooming dogwoods, the eye-popping redbuds and the luminous rhododendrons along my route. At a stoplight, I spied a fit, spandex-clad woman pushing a jogging stroller. Her face was drawn up in a scowl, her body was tight, and she was pushing that stroller like Sisyphus with his rock. Only she was running downhill.
“Where’s the joy?” was my first thought. There she was, on a staggeringly beautiful morning, out with her baby in the sunshine! What’s not to like? But it was as if she was doing penance, or submitting to a purgative. Her body language transmitted, “I am doing this only because I have to. Everyone knows a baby has to be out in the fresh air at least twice a day. I can’t wait until this is over.”
How different if that woman were to turn her point-of-view around and say, “I am the luckiest woman on the face of the planet to have the opportunity to be out with my darling child on such a gorgeous morning.” Imagine her body language under those circumstances.
Imagine your own.
What if your to-do list was blank, and the only things you had to do were things you are happy to do? That you choose to do? That give you energy and buoy your mood? Or, to use an idea of my friend and fellow coach Sharon Pfleiger, what if you could spend your time solely on the things on your “Get-To List”? As in “I get to plant my garden” or “I get to spend time with my best friend”, or, my favorite, “I get to say what I feel.”
Sure, there are things we don’t like to do. Personally, I’m not too fond of trash duty. However, it must be done. I try to do this chore quickly and efficiently so I don’t spend a ton of time on it. The recycling is sorted during the week, the bins are taken to the curb every Tuesday, and the compost pile gets a donation nearly daily. Could be yucky stuff. By not putting it off, or extending the amount of time it takes to finish the task, I make it easy — which frees up time for me to do something I really like. Something from my get-to list.
Like take a walk with my kid.
When you find yourself so governed by have-tos that you have no time for get-tos, then it’s time for change. It’s time for hope. It’s time, ladies and gentlemen, to repeal HAFTA.