Tony Leighton is a Canadian writer happily retired and attempting to help others feel the same.

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Two notes in response to “What we have to do we also get to do.”

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Incremental physical loss is a shortcut to the "get to" perspective. Mine was eyesight, which was not good from age six. I had to deal with it, but I get to see. These days, nearly two decades on, it's about managing the progressive, never-ending after effects of radiation therapy 19 years ago. But I get to be alive. Grateful? You bet. In those years, I've bought a house, met and married my true love, and helped raise two beautiful girls.

One of those girls has to be in a wheelchair, and others have to look after her every physical need. But she gets to be part of the world.

Living in Victoria, amid thousands of retirees, is a daily reminder about get to/have to: every sidewalk and crosswalk is a study in how bodies age and slow and keep fighting to move forward. They shuffle, creep, and limp. They are stooped, twisted, bent, and weary. They use canes and walkers and scooters. In some, the pain is palpable. They have to struggle. But they get to keep moving.

Glass more than half full. Always.

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Years ago I stole something from the movie All That Jazz: "It's showtime, folks!"

Instead of moaning and cursing when my alarm went off on a work day, I practiced a cheery, "It's showtime, folks!" and bounced out of bed before I had a chance to hit the snooze button or roll over and return to sleep. I mean, why torture yourself?

 

Vocabuteria: swimmingly

What we have to do we also get to do.