Worth it

August 5th, 2007

I made $318 on my garage sale on Saturday. All of it will go straight into my daughter’s savings account. Was it worth it?

I spent the better part of a week sorting out stuff, cleaning, hauling and pricing it. Was it worth it?

I spent $11 on a city license and $25 on a classified ad. Was it worth it?

I spent 30 minutes scraping petrified Elmo stickers off a hand-me-down Barbie SUV so I could sell it for $2. Was it worth it?

I spent 7 hours in 90 degree heat peddling piles of junk off the pavement. Was it worth it?

Of course it wasn’t worth it.

Is this man worth $252 million? Maybe today you think so.

Is this man even worth $400,000 a year? Hmmpf.

For that matter, is this woman really worth $260 million, no matter how much worthwhile work you might think she does?

Of course they aren’t worth it. Because nothing is worth it. Because worth doesn’t really exist. It’s just a figment. A fickle, fleeting, baseless phantasm of (usually) self-serving judgment. It’s an imaginary yardstick to measure the imaginary value of the imaginary differences between us. It’s one more way in which we separate ourselves, by a value judgment, from life as it is, from what we are.

Because there are no coincidences, today there was an article in the paper about a whole valley of impoverished millionaires, not one of them able to be satisfied, all of them blaming external circumstances for their relentless anxiety about not being worth enough. I’m afraid they’ll never find enough worth. They’ll never acquire satisfaction. It can’t be got.

That’s why all this talk about the worth of this versus that, child versus childless, working versus staying at home, work-life balance, the Mommy Wars (yeah, sure) and all the attitudes and platitudes about the various ways we live just wears me out. It’s simply another unwelcome invitation to kink up our wrinkles and knit up our britches, and that, dear readers, isn’t wor


  1. As always, thoughtful insight and wisdom that doesn’t forsake the daily life in the name of enlightenment.
    Your words come to me, again and again, as meditations, nourishment that feeds me and often gets me to laugh.
    You always keep it real.
    I am so grateful.

    Comment by bella — August 6, 2007 @ 1:48 pm

  2. I love it! I was thinking something along the same lines recently about “deserving it”…

    I got your book, BTW, but haven’t read it yet. I am leaving this Thursday though for a weekend trip with many plane flights. I plan to flaunt it at other passengers and make them crazy with desire for my cool reading material.

    Comment by Mary P Jones (MPJ) — August 6, 2007 @ 10:08 pm

  3. Ah, one of my favorite topics! Thanks, as always. My brain fights on this one. I see what others have, and constantly feel like a have-not. Yet, I realize I have all the haves I need.

    Comment by Shawn — August 7, 2007 @ 2:14 pm

  4. Yes! You remind me — I read somewhere that multi-million dollr lottery winners, after a short period of time, return to their baseline emotional state.

    Comment by Leah — August 17, 2007 @ 3:51 am

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