What’s It Worth?

“Dreams do come true, if only we wish hard enough.
You can have anything in life if you will sacrifice everything else for it.”

— M. Barrie (Peter Pan)


What’s it worth to you?  You know what I mean, that one thing you couldn’t imagine your life without.  You probably don’t even realize the ways you’ve sacrificed to keep it, what you’ve given up, how you’ve positioned yourself all around it.  Maybe it’s your mortgage if you’re a proud homeowner, or a beloved dog for whom you will foot any outrageous vet bill, or your weekly massage that you somehow squeeze into your budget.  For me, it’s traveling.  No matter what, I put aside a little money each month to take a trip, even if it’s nothing too exciting.  Last month, I went to Detroit.

“You’re always going somewhere,” the ladies at my office remarked, like it was a bad thing.  “How do you afford it?”

“I just save money for it,” I explained.  “I budget every month for at least one trip.”  I’ve situated my entire lifestyle around an ability to travel freely.  I’d love a pet, but I know it means sticking around to take care of it.  I don’t have a family to support, and I live far from where I grew up, which means taking trips “back home” at least a couple of times a year.  In my budget, traveling always attracts money.

I grew up with people all around me telling me to travel.  My mother lamented endlessly (especially post-divorce) that she hadn’t gone to Ireland on a semester abroad with her best friend so she could stay home and be near my (future) dad.  “Don’t be like me,” she warned, so I took every opportunity to go to Europe, certain that I’d rather be homesick than heartsick.

This isn’t about traveling cheaply.  You can travel on a dime, if you want to, and there are over ten million hits on Google that will tell you how to do that.  This is about sacrifice: what’s that one thing that you’d give it all up for?

Maybe it’s $150 shoes or a $40 chicken.  Let’s face it, where you invest your money, you invest your values.  And if you’re not doing that, maybe it’s time to reprioritize or to make sacrifices in other areas of your life to follow your passion.

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