What is it worth? This is a question that I have been asking myself over and over the past few weeks. Being out of a job for even a minute is a scary thought in today’s world. Everything that we surround ourselves with has a price, a cost, a value. I look around my room right now and can add up hundreds of dollars of stuff that are probably overlooked more often than not. Could I give any of it up?
We have become so attached to so many things without even realizing it, but the reality is that we would survive without them. I think about my situation. At the first thought that I may not have a job for a few days or weeks even, my stomach turned. I felt a terror inside when I considered how I would be able to pay for things without a job. This house that I dreamed about for so long and finally have, our cars, soccer and dance classes, electronics, etc. all of these things that I can’t live without…. Or can I?
Sure, it’s easy to say that you have to have a house, but there are so many things that we could do without that have become necessities. All of these tangible things that are meaningless in the end anyways. So when money is tight, the first thing that comes to mind is what can I cut out of the budget. Each thing that crosses your mind is painful because you don’t want to cut anything. Our possessions own us! I can never stop working because there will always be a need for more stuff.
When did life become all about the things that you collect? I feel like in our pursuit for these things we are loosing sight of what we really need. I have spent the past two weeks working like a dog just to get things back in order. Money is so important that there was no other option. It was never a thought to say, “Yea times are tough, lets sell a car” or “maybe we should sell the house and move somewhere smaller.” These things were never an option. The only option was make more money and figure it out…. and so, I work.
I work and what I have realized tonight, is that I couldn’t give up all of the stuff in my life so instead I am giving up something far greater. I am cutting things out of the budget like memories, putting my children to bed at night, making dinner for my family, doing homework with Cassidy. I am cutting my budget where it really hurts. It hurts my heart.
I know that my situation is only temporary. I am destined for far greater things than slinging drinks and burgers to drunk college kids. I know that I was meant to do more. The trouble is the sacrifice that it takes to get there. I work to make money to have the things that we are so accustomed to having and each day I work, I sacrifice the moments with my family that I am accustomed to having. Oh life, you are so tricky!
I started thinking about all of this on my way home from work tonight, when I was thinking of the holidays that I would probably have to work this summer. The fact is that I don’t know if I will be able to work some of these holidays. I’m just not sure if missing a fireworks display with Cassidy and Jacob on the fourth of July is worth the hundred or so dollars that I would make at work. By agreeing to give up these memories I am placing a value on them. If I give up spending mother’s day with my family to make two hundred dollars, then I have just decided that mother’s day is only worth two hundred dollars to me.
Nope! These times in my life and my children’s lives are never going to happen again. They can not be valued by a eight hour shift of work. Even if I were making thousands of dollars, it still lessens the value of these memories that would be made. It will never be worth it to me. I want to cherish these times in life that will never happen again. I have decided that they are worth more.
Sure, I will probably still miss so moments because I am still going to work. I may even have to work a holiday, but I have to keep it in my mind always that this is temporary and that I will no longer be a slave to the money and possessions. I need to be in charge of my life and what is worth the most to me. It certainly isn’t stuff that I want to fill my life with, and a overflowing piggy bank doesn’t fill my heart. What fills my heart are the moments that are irreplaceable and priceless. There can be no value placed on these moments.
I am in search of a life that prioritizes these moments. I wonder if everyone felt that memories were more valuable than money, would we all have to work so hard? Would Sundays still be a day of rest? I believe that it would. We as a world have put too much effort into collecting stuff, whatever it may be, and we need to stop for a moment and look around at what we are missing.
I for one don’t intend on missing much more.