“Have tos” by my definition are things that must be done no matter what else happens.
Some are required, but still fun and others, not so much.
When you work and are married with three children, you never need worry about feeling wanted because 95% of your life is occupied with “have to”.
I don’t mean this in a bad way, it’s simply the truth.
The majority of things I do throughout my day, week, year are non-negotiable. They must get done.
Children must get to school, tax forms must be filed, laundry will not wash itself, lunches must be made, employees must get paid, doctor’s appointments…I could go on forever but that would be an extremely boring post. You get my point.
There are times “have tos” are comforting. If I’m having an awful day, or life is particularly challenging, “have tos” are steady.
They tell me where I need to be so I don’t wander into oncoming traffic. They are constant and move me through whatever the difficult time may be.
Are there times throughout my life when I’ve resented “half tos”?
The right answer would be to say ,”No, absolutely not. I love my family and everything I do with them and for them is wonderful and fulfilling.”
That would be the right answer, but it’s not true.
Sure, there are times I’ve resented just about all of it. There are times I’d like to have the time to read more, think in peace more, have an extra drink and not worry about having to get up early the next morning. There are times l’d like to have nothing to do or nowhere to go, or…sleep naked. That’s a good one.
I don’t resent the actual children, but more the life and schedule we’ve laid out for them and ourselves for that matter.
Now there will be people that will say everything is negotiable. Do only the things you want to do, but those people don’t live in my head and are probably not employed. I have my own standards and admittedly create many of my “have tos”.
Halloween is just around the corner. Carving pumpkins is a “have to”. Some years we’ve done it a week in advance and others it’s been the day before, but it always gets done.
We’ve had years when we wanted to kill each other. The “someone got a better pumpkin” argument pretty much happens without fail, tears have been shed, pumpkin faces caved in due to too much carving, for some reason one pumpkin won’t light, pumpkin guts splattered on the kitchen wall…you name it, we’ve had it.
But every year, without fail, we carve pumpkins.
So I’m thinking that “have tos” must be a good thing. They move us forward and keep us focused.
I can not remember my life without them, but I’m pretty sure I’d get into trouble and really how many extra drinks should a person have.
I could also head down the melancholy path and say that some day my children will be grown and there will be very few “have tos”, but that’s obvious and I have to go pick my children up at swim and get some pumpkins.
My thoughts from the laundry room. Make sure you brush your teeth.