This article is part of the Just 18 Summers series. A series where we examine how quickly time is evaporating. Where we start to adjust our lives to take advantage of the precious little time we have left with our children. Along those lines, I want to challenge you to evaluate what the real price of stuff is and determine if it is worth it. You see, every single item we have has a price tag on it. Not just the price we paid for it that we won’t ever recoup, but a price that goes along with taking care of it, cleaning it, storing it, and protecting it. And what is worse, that price paid comes at a cost to something else, somewhere else. This is a zero-sum game.
Price Plus Time
The various phases of life brings with them different priorities. We have a huge home that was bought in a different season of our lives and it sits on 40-some-odd acres in a picture perfect postcard setting of rural America. Besides the house and land, on it sits a barn almost as big as our house, a white picket fence around the pool in the backyard, and a steel gate out front to protect it all. And that same house is filled to the brim with stuff. Not to mention how full the barn is. What is the cost of it all? Once you realize all your extra time, money and energy is spent maintaining it, cleaning it, mowing it, painting it, renovating it and generally fussing with it, you quickly come to the realization … this price is just too high to pay.
Price Plus More Money
Maintaining a home this size with all the associated stuff costs a lot of money… money that could be better spent. In ways that build relationships and create memories. Maybe taking trips, especially going back home to visit my siblings in North Carolina. Family my children don’t really know because we haven’t been home in a while. Or even traveling to sites to learn about history and bring to life the places we are studying. Making memories. Connecting. Seeing. Doing. Yet, when you have no money left over to spend on the things you love to do, you realize the cost of this stuff is just too expensive.
Price Plus Energy
Not only is every minute and every dollar spent maintaining the stuff in, around and associated with this size home… but every ounce of energy (especially on the weekends) is spent maintaining this beautiful monster and all its sirens. Every weekend it is all hands on deck. It takes all of us to get it done. And yet there are still things not completed. Some, not even started. Some we don’t even realize they need doing until something else crops up! And when you realize you have no energy left to do the things you love doing, you know the cost is too high.
The Real Price of Stuff
Which brings us to the core problem and the real price of stuff … we have become slaves shackled to a beautiful monster that is extremely exacting. A beautiful monster who becomes more needy every day. When you are looking at your stuff and you suddenly realize you have to sacrifice what precious little time you have with your family, unable to do the things you love and want to do, to be able to afford to take care of it and maintain it… then you know in your heart the price is too high and it’s time to make dramatic changes.
You’ve heard the adage… time is money. However, in reality, time is so much more than money. Time is a fleeting commodity. More money can always be made or earned, however, more time cannot be bought! Therefore, we are choosing to spend this commodity more wisely! The Real Price of this lifestyle is just a price we are not willing to pay.
We are starting a dramatic shift in lifestyle, in focus, in purpose… Join us as we navigate this unfamiliar territory!
Until next time….
If you are curious what led us to even start this evaluation process, be sure to read the first article in this series.