If you saw a person dressed up like a clown at a business event, wouldn’t it make you look twice? That’s what everyone seemed to do at this event I attended. For three days, this woman dressed up in very colorful outfits, complete with matching wigs, crazy makeup, and interesting shoes. At first people wondered what was up and if I hadn’t talked with her myself, I would probably still be wondering. But I’m glad I met her (and I’m sorry I can’t remember her name now but the story is still the same).
When we started talking with her, she took off a silicone bracelet that had the words “I GET TO” embossed on it. After talking with her awhile, we found out that her daughter had been really sick for a long time and was in and out of hospitals. Apparently when the daughter did attend school, they used to have crazy dress-up day and she was sad that she would miss it while she was in the hospital. So her mom decided to take crazy dress-up day to her in the hospital every week. After a long illness, the girl died. The mom said she wanted to keep her daughter’s memory alive so she did crazy dress-up day one day a week. It didn’t matter where she was or what she had to do, she still dressed up silly. Then we asked what the bracelet saying meant. “I get to” meant she had her daughter with her for as long as she did but when it came time for her to go, the mom was able to let her go up.
She let me keep her bracelet and my whole family uses it. If I start to complain about little stupid things, my mom will hand me the bracelet. Believe it or not, wearing it even if just for a little while does make me think about all the things I should be thankful for and the fact that I GET TO for lots of things. After I have a reality check, I’ll put it back on my dresser. Sometimes I’ll see Mom wearing it and I know it’s usually because she’s glad that she has me, even though I make her crazy sometimes. (After all, I’m a normal teenager.) Dad would wear it but it doesn’t fit on his wrist so he just has to remember to think I GET TO when he feels bummed about something.
The reason I shared this story with you is because there are so many times when everyone complains about little stupid things. It’s easy to do, especially for kids because no matter how good of life we have, it seems we can always find something to gripe about. Wearing the I GET TO bracelet for awhile makes a big difference.
Sometimes we tell each other as many examples as we can think of, like:
I GET TO do homework because kids in some countries don’t even get to go to school.
I GET TO pick weeds in the yard because some people are homeless and don’t even have a house.
I GET TO argue with my son (that would be for Mom) because he is a healthy, happy teenager.
I GET TO travel and be away from my family (this would be for Dad) because I have a good job which provides for my family at a time when many people are unemployed.
Well, you get the point. No matter what’s happening in your life, you can always find something to be thankful for. So even if you don’t have an I GET TO bracelet, find some other object and write those words on it. Put it in a place that you see every day and when you start to think that your situation stinks, remind yourself that you get to.