Everything’s got a price

August 5, 2014

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The price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for it. ~Henry David Thoreau

Everything is a tradeoff.


If you want to make buckets of money, you may have to work so much you have little life outside of work.

If you want a family, it may impact your career plans.

If you want a full and rich life, career may not be the top priority.

If you long to travel the world, you may have to cut corners in other areas of your life.

If you want a huge, expensive house, other things won’t be within reach.

There’s no such thing as “having it all” and I think sometimes, we forget that.

We believe we’re supposed to work hard, tweet a zillion times a day, be a great wife and mother, get more education, work for charities….

..need I go on?

When I saw that Thoreau quote I knew what he meant.

Life is not about the 40-hour a week slog. Or getting 20,000 Twitter followers.

It’s not about relating to your friends on Facebook and being too busy for your family.


It really is about stopping to smell the flowers.

We should remember that.

35 comments on “Everything’s got a price
  1. It’s all about choice–unfortunately many people don’t pause to think it all the way through and find themselves stuck in a lifestyle that isn’t as fulfilling as it seemed.

  2. Nick says:

    Really powerful last lines.

  3. Last night while walking the dog I had that same exact realization. When I”m IN THE MOMENT, smelling the roses, I realize how much more important it is than all the rest. So….more dog walks for me!

  4. I keep typing things, then deleting them. I’m not too busy for my family. Nor do I want 20k twitter followers. I just want peace in my life. And I tend to run from situations that aren’t peaceful. And somehow what is really important to me feels like it’s slipping through my fingers. Yeah, this was a profound read before finishing my first cup of joe! xo

  5. Roz Warren says:

    and that’s why I retired from the practice of law to work in a public library. Less money, but more fun. And unlike legal work, you can’t take library work home with you! (At least not the kind I do — checking books in and out)

  6. Barbara says:

    Same sentiment abides here. It’s why we sold the house and closed the company in 2012 and have been living in 440 sq feet of RV – living much simpler but richer. Closer to what feels like life to us..

  7. Yes. So very much yes. Love this.

  8. kim tackett says:

    and maybe even plant a few new flowers!

  9. Ray says:

    Very well said and something that should be obvious to everyone. Unfortunately I think there are many who do not have a clue.

  10. Molly Darden says:

    Thanks for posting this reminder, Carol! This is so true!

    For me, a retiree, returning to the basics of life keeps me feeling grounded, in harmony with nature. That’s why I hang my clothes on the line — summer, fall winter and spring; grow as much of my food as I can, eat sparingly, take care of my home and garden, and even pressure wash my house as needed.

    By staying busy and productive, I have time for friends and family to drop in, and I don’t fret if they’re busy elsewhere. I’m healthy and fit, with few regrets. It’s a good life.

  11. Karen says:

    So true, Carol. I was thinking about this last night–everything we’ve done comes at a price, and the question is whether it’s worth it. So far, so good….

  12. Lana says:

    When I was younger I was told that I could “have it all”. I soon found out that that’s not possible. But if you focus on the things that are most important to you, you will have all you need.

  13. Ryder Ziebarth says:

    I think I like the word” exchange” better than “price.” Kind of like the old Weight Watchers system.

  14. Ellen Dolgen says:

    This is great, Carol. I think finding the right balance is the challenge. When your business is on the internet – you could conceivably work 24/7. I have made subtle but powerful changes in my life so that I am present wherever I am at the time. We make choices every day. I think as I approach 61 – I am more aware of the significance of my choices. A balanced life is a healthy life.

  15. penpen says:

    Sometimes when I hear what others are doing–renting an apartment in Florence for a month; taking cooking lessons in Vermont; starting a graduate degree–my tongue hangs out. I want to do it all.. It takes a few deep breaths to remember what leaves me with a feeling of peace and a sense of personal accomplishment. What others are doing sounds great but it may not be for me. Thanks for the reminder that I may find the price to high.

  16. So true. Lots of great food for thought here.

  17. Bola says:

    Just poignant! We all need to make a hbit of revisiting out priorities and the reason why we strive for those goals.

  18. Ruth Curran says:

    and some days the cost-benefit analysis is out of whack. Stopping right now to take a breath and appreciate a moment or 2! Thanks Carol.

  19. Esther says:

    Great reminder: “It really is about stopping to smell the flowers.” Thank you 🙂

  20. Nora says:

    Lots of great thoughts.

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