So what’s more important than $$$, you say? Great question! Parsing the ins and outs of this can be awfully confusing, since so many of the things I value (eating quality food, spending time with my husband and kids, traveling) are all related to the Almighty Dollar. How do I reconcile this with actively rejecting the concept of finding my sense of security in my bottom line? I’m still figuring this out.
One thing I find important is reminding myself that this moment in which I exist is the only “guarantee” I have. I’m not promised a tomorrow. And as a medical student, and now a resident, I have become an expert in delaying gratification, which research shows may actually work against me in some circumstances. I want to believe that the experience of joy is available to all despite our financial situation, and I can tell you the activities that I find most restorative are ones that don’t cost much or any money: walking in the morning with my kids, making healthy food, playing games with my husband, reading books, learning a new skill, building relationships with friends and neighbors, taking care of my patients.
So here we are, at the beginning of our journey to understand our financial life, and I want to pause to ask you and me to take the next few days and really think about all the things in your life that you value that don’t involve money.Writing this post reminded me of one of my favorite articles from the student newspaper at my undergraduate institution written by Humza Chaudhry: “I suggest an exercise. Lie down, wherever you can find the nearest clean place, and look straight up. Be still. You are now dead. Your money doesn’t go with you. Your mom, dad, sisters, brothers, girlfriends, boyfriends and kids have left you ashes to ashes, dust to dust and you are alone with nothing but your own soul, your accomplishments and blunders–and, whether you like it or not, God, but we won’t deal with that now. If you had one more hour to live, what would you do? What if you had a day, week, month or year? What about 10 years? Ask yourself, in the peaceful and still paralysis of death, does that car or job matter now? What does your mother think of you? Will people feel the burden of your loss or will they lose a burden by it? Glory be to the one who gave us all a measured-out life, and by his greatest of names I swear to you that anything you are attached to now, which did not come up within the first 15 seconds of your pseudo-passing from this world is a waste of your time.”
If you had to sit down and write out what your top three values are–things that you want expressed in your daily lifestyle–what would they be? Am I in denial when I both reject the concept of the supreme importance of money while at the same time devoting a blog to it? I might need your help in maintaining perspective and self-awareness concerning these matters as we continue on. But right now, my joys are calling me and I must go ❤