Friday, August 2, 2013

What's It Worth To You?

When I was actively looking for work, I often thought that perhaps I should apply for things like cashier in a store I liked. After all, I'd be interacting with people, which I'd like, AND I'd get a store discount. Win, win, right?

Problem was, when I did the math, I'd be paying more for the babysitting I'd need than what I 'd bring home from doing the work (and I'd have nothing left over even to use the discount!). So, in the end, it just wasn't worth it to me.

I find that almost every day presents a choice that makes me consider what something is worth to me, not just monetarily, as with the above example, but in so many other ways. Is something worth my time? Does the time give me experience or connections or a new skill? Then maybe it is worth it to me. Is something worth trying to accomplish, even if it's scary or hard? Does it get me something else, whether a concrete other thing, or simply the satisfaction of the accomplishment? If so, then maybe it is worth getting past the scary and the hard.

What I have discovered is that what something is worth to me can change from day to day. What might seem totally worth it today might be completely not a month from now. The hard part is having the vision and perspective now to anticipate the potential change in "worth it" status, or having the patience to delay the "worth it or not" decision in order to look at all the angles. It's not always possible to have either of these--so many of our decisions just happen too fast. But if it's one job to the next or one set of summer plans to the next, the time is there--it's just our responsibility to use that time to weigh all the pieces that make up "worth."

That is, if we can pin down their weights. And do the deciding. And having the luxury of being allowed to decide? That's worth more than anything.

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