Semantics: “Get to” vs “Have to”

Recently, a viewer in our live stream pointed out that when I talk about my job as a librarian, I always use the phrase, “I get to…”  For example, I often say “I get to go to work” instead of “I have to go to work.”  I also tend to use this same language when I talk about fiber arts.

In fact, this conversation made me focus on the language I use when I talk about the parts of my life:  “I have to make a grocery list,” “I get to go to PlyAway,” “I have to water my garden.”  Typically, these are subconscious, automatic responses, but it speaks to the way you think about what you do.

As much as I love my garden, I don’t get joy from having to take time out of my day to water it every day.  On the other hand, I do find joy and pride in the work I do for the library.  I take joy in my work in the fiber world.  There are some days I get to write blog posts and some days I have to.

For me, the moment when it is time to stop and evaluate what I’m doing is when my “get tos” begin to be outweighed by my “have tos.”  And sometimes I wait way too long to evaluate because it is something that brought me joy at one time.

What I may be getting at… stop and think about how you talk about fiber arts.  Do you get to spend time knitting/crocheting or do you have to finish commissions?  Do you get to or have to learn a new technique?  Do you find your fiber tasks bring you more or less joy?

And it isn’t so much about the exact words, but the meaning behind the words; a positive and a negative connotation.

What do you “get” to do versus “have” to do?


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