I do not have to do yard work. I get to do yard work because I live in a house that has a yard. In Florida, I lived in a friend’s dining room that was too small for a twin bed. I slept on a cot and hung sheets over the doors for privacy.
I do not have to work. I get to work. I make enough to own a house, and I do not have to work two jobs (or three or four or five, all of which I’ve done before).
I do not have to eat. I get to eat. I was so broke when I lived in California, I went to bed early to forget my stomach pangs. I couldn’t afford the heat. I put on a hoodie. Then, I took the curtains off the rods and laid them on top of my blankets.
I do not have to piss. I get to piss. Once, I saw my friend in tears because his kidneys were shutting down. It took him half an hour to finish on the toilet.
I do not have to drop the kids off at daycare. I get to drop the kids off at daycare. They’re surrounded by some of the most loving people I’ve ever met.
I do not have to write. I get to write. I spent 20 years thinking I had to pen a masterpiece. Now, I know it isn’t the publication that matters, but the act of writing itself.
I do not have to feed the dog. I get to feed the dog – a small creature that would fight another animal to the death in order to protect me.
The world does not take from us. Until the very end, it only ever gives.