Monday Musings: What’s It Worth?

Nothing is worth your life.

I was crouched down, my camera pointed at a seagull, trying to snap the perfect moment. I took a step forward and stumbled, just as a wave crashed against the sand. I didn’t realize the tide was coming in and the next wave got closer and higher than I was expecting. I hadn’t even paid attention to see if there were any current warnings for sneaker waves- something that happens often enough for me to know to check. Life can change in an instant.

I’d like to think that it goes without saying that this excludes if your child’s life is in danger or other similar circumstances.

But a picture of a seagull? Probably not.

I started to think about the sandy drop-off, the sneaker waves, and the distraction of the seagull.

It’s easy to focus on something short-term. To get so wrapped up in it, that all else is brushed aside. I thought about the bigger picture of this: regular drive-thru meals at the expense of your health, a vacation you pay for long after you’ve returned home, having car payment after car payment to have the newest car. It’s easy to trade your health- physical, emotional, or financial- for short-term gain.

Would you trade your life for it? I used to not think this way. I’ve always been frugal and never bought anything new, but it was more out of necessity than anything else. I hadn’t heard the term “financial independence”. I thought people worked until they were old and then they retired and hopefully could enjoy some years before they died. I didn’t think about the extra time and money a new car costs. Essentially, you trade your time for money and money for goods. You trade your time for money and money for goods. How much time could you have if you focused on enriching your life, instead of trading your moments for stuff?

Had I never been a seagull, if it were the last seagull on the planet, perhaps it would have been worth the risk.

Definitely not an award-winning photograph worth my life!

One of the best books I’ve read that goes into depth on this is Your Money or Your Life by Vicki Robin and Joe Dominguez.

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