Today, I'd like to encourage you, the reader, to think about a few things, maybe even in a new way. After you read this, consider spending some time thinking about how it relates to your life, and please, share your thoughts.
I think that if you look at life, you can really boil it down to time, money, and stuff. One can measure these three by the means of value, price and cost. This may seem simplistic, but bear with me, and see if you don't see something here that resonates with you.
Let's cover a few basics, first. For the sake of this blog, I am using the following definitions:
Time- the indefinite continued progress of existence and events in the past, present, and future regarded as a whole.
Money- a current medium of exchange
Stuff- matter, materials.
Price- the amount of money expected, required, or given in payment for something.
Value- not measurable by numbers. It indicates importance, worth, or usefulness.
Cost- the amount of inputs incurred in producing a product or result.
The measure of time
When it comes to American adults, on average, we will spend more of our waking hours working than on any other single activity. Time is one commodity that all humans have in common, equal in the scientific sense, as in a minute is 60 seconds for all of us, although the amount of this commodity differs, and is ultimately unknown. What varies greatly is how we use that time. If the largest slice of the pie is dedicated to work, consider how you measure work...in value, price, and cost.
Value with work is defined by that work's importance, or usefulness. Many place value on helping people, improving their environment, making a quality product, supporting their family.
The price of work, is the amount given for it, and in this regard, means our time and money.
The cost of that work may be the toll it takes on our body, mental health, or loved ones.
We can be very intentional with how we spend our time, or think about it very little. The truth is, it the amount of it we have is the one thing over which we have very little control.
The measure of money
Many people value money for its ability to get stuff and affect our time. Some like the security it provides, the respect we think it garners, the power it gives us.
The cost of money may be determined by how it affects us as we try to acquire it. It may cost us a lot, or a little, time. It may affect our value system, our health, and our relationships.
We're going to call the price of money, for our purposes, a wash, as in $1.00 equals $1.00
The measure of stuff
Here is where things really get interesting for me, as an organizer. Stuff plays a significant role in how Americans live, for a variety of reasons.
The price of our stuff varies greatly in our culture, in particular around the holidays as big sales are being advertised. Some of us wait for a great price before we make a purchase, and others may not. Understanding pricing is a whole topic in and of itself, and not one where my specialty lies.
Although I am very personally interested in understanding how people spend their time, and value it, as an organizer the following two areas are really my sweet spot, and understanding them better is always my goal.
When people think of the cost of their belongings, they often think of the price, but according to the above working definitions, that's not really accurate. Belongings have a cost, and that cost is often significant. Stuff has weight, and I don't mean that in the scientific way, but in regards to responsibility, and our mental health. Some stuff needs to be maintained, stored, moved, acted upon. Having a lot of stuff sometimes carries a heavy emotional weight. Examining what the cost of a particular belonging is, in part, what I do.
Some of us see value in our stuff. We may have a sense a pride in the work we did to acquire it. Our belongings might be gifted to us, and stir powerful memories. Our things may simply be things we need to survive, like medications, or sustenance. The value our belongings have to us are determined BY us, and trying to understand this helps me be a better organizing professional. When we have too much stuff, sometimes we need to look closely at our value system.
See how much all of this is connected?
I have a working diagram I use to try to understand this, and spend a fair amount of time reading about these topics. It has definitely changed the way I look at my life, and influences the way I approach my career.
If you have gained any insight, or have thoughts you'd like to share, please comment below, post on my business facebook page, or give me a call. NEST Home LLC is here.