What I Deserve

Lately I have heard a lot of people make comments about things they have done for themselves and followed it up with ” I deserve this!”

A new dress is bought, a fine meal is consumed, a grand vacation is planned and the comment is ” I deserve this!” I have seen this several times on Facebook in the past few months and I have heard it with my own ears even more times. “I deserve this.”

Maybe they do. We all are working hard, putting in long hours and worrying about lots of difficult things in a day. I just have a hard time thinking of myself as deserving such fine things.

Now don’t get me wrong. I love new dresses, fine meals, and fancy vacations. I am not so sure that I “deserve” them, though. And I certainly don’t have any more justification than some other person who can’t just splurge on some of these luxuries.

In the big scheme of things, I do not do anything extraordinary. I do try to do the right thing, but we should all do that without expectations of rewards. And lots of times I fail miserably at doing the right thing anyway.

I try not to waste time and I work hard at anything I do. But I am hardly down in the mines or saving lives or anything super difficult. Teaching kids has its rough moments, but nothing terribly dangerous or life threatening. Writing is pretty safe, except for the occasional dumb comment I get.

I am the queen of worrying, but in reality I have a roof over my head, nice clothes on my back, healthy food to eat and a nice car to drive. That in and of itself is WAY more than I “deserve.” To say I “deserve” more is just too much.

I don’t deserve the meals I get, but I am thankful for them. I don’t deserve the family I have, I am just grateful they are there. I don’t deserve to have the home I live in or the car I drive, I just marvel at the fact they are in my life.

What do I deserve? I shudder to think! When I complain, forget to help someone, am concerned about myself over everyone else, buy more than I need, or am lazy- THANK GOD I do NOT get what I deserve!

I get so much more grace than I deserve. There are so many wonderful people and things in my life that I have done nothing to deserve. The fact that I am a woman today rather than 1oo years ago is amazing. The fact that I live in this country and not somewhere that is in crisis where I would have to dodge war to get groceries or somewhere where there is little food and I would go to bed hungry each night is a miracle. The fact that I am well off enough to occasionally take a vacation or have a fine meal in a new dress is more than so many have, even in my own community. The fact that I am 60 years old and healthy enough to function is wealth beyond measure.

And why do I live here, right now, and have what I have? Because I already have been provided a lot more than I deserve. And I don’t know why.

What do I deserve? I would be scared to know. I am just thankful for what I have. I will leave the question of what I deserve to someone else to decide. Do I deserve all I have? I would say the answer is no. I am grateful anyway.

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Marietta is a graduate of the University of Montevallo with a BFA in musical theater. She has been performing for over 50 years on the stage and continues to perform, direct and teach. Marietta is married to Tim, has a son named Jon, and a cat named Penny.