How much do you cost?

I ask because I just spent $23 on three bottles of juice.

That seems pretty stupid.

I realize I don’t have the answer to this. I don’t know how much my existence costs per day. How much do the choices I’ve made in my life cost? I’m sure it’s not an answer that can be defined by money, but at least it’s a place to start.

You would think we’d all have that number in our head. Not what your life is worth, that’s undoubtedly high to you. I simply mean what does it cost on a Tuesday for you to be on Earth?

I know how much things cost. Especially this fancy juice. I know what I spend on things every month. Every year. But per day? Not sure. How much does this oxygen I’m breathing cost per day? Exactly? How much opportunity cost am I spending to do one thing and not the other? What is the cost on my health? What is my cost to the people I care about?

After I write this, I plan to do the math. However, I already know I won’t like the answers.

I know I need to start with the tangible stuff. I struggle with “stuff envy.” And worse, I like to believe I “own” things or I’ve “finished paying them off.” Honestly, I don’t own anything outright. I’m just holding on to it for as long as I can. Besides, to own anything requires a place to put it, and you’ll never stop paying a tax on that. So you’re, at best, renting it all. Freedom comes with a percentage rate. Life is a lease agreement.

Like you, I have also bought that book about “tidying up.” I try and visualize letting go of the things that don’t give me joy as I stand in my garage with boxes that I don’t know the contents of. What does that time cost me?

I remember growing up and wanting to “earn at least what my parents had.” Not the salary number, but the suburban home, car, yard combination. That goal was flawed. The stuff you own ends up owning you or insert your favorite quote from Brad Pitt’s character in Fight Club. What has that chase cost me? Or my family?

Even the innocuous choices you make can be expensive. I’m not even sure if money is the way to measure this daily cost. The chase for what you think you should own, be, do, and achieve has a price tag. A price that you can’t just pay with a salary.

I don’t want to pass these same achievement goals on to my child. I want her to understand her cost per day. I want her to live a full life, I just don’t want anyone else defining that daily amount for her. I have a hunch, that the lower you keep that daily number while remaining happy, the better off you are.

I want her to be ok with buying all the juice she wants.

(The irony of working in advertising is not lost within this meandering jibber jabber.)

FYI, the juice is delicious.

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