#65 Use More Than Dollar Signs To Assess Value

This past year your father and I have had to consistently ask ourselves what things in our life have the most value. We certainly aren’t made of money and when bills pile up, namely those student loans that allowed us to experience some great years that helped to shape who we would become–both in and out of the classroom–it is often easy to start adding $ signs to find value in the things around us. If that wasn’t enough, the media, internet, advertising, and just about every piece of printed material out there is in one way or another telling us to place value in life’s monetary gains and “status symbols”.

I won’t lie, a Corvette would be nice, and probably have at least some temporary value to me. However, every time we sit down and really talk about it, your father and I consistently find that the most valuable things–the things WE want to invest in– have no dollar value attached to them. The things we find most valuable to us always tends to be our faith in God, our positive relationship with each other, YOU and being active participants in your life our pets (and yes they DO require a dollar commitment), satisfaction withour jobs, and also our relationship with friends and family.

Before I start sounding like a feel-good family TV show (or maybe I’m too late for that), let me tell you that keeping the VERY valuable things the center of our focus isn’t always easy. THey aren’t valuable in a measurable way that perhaps an expensive piece of jewelry or set of new top of the line golf clubs are. However, their value is measured in the way these things make us feel, the way they keep our hearts living passionately, the way that they give us constant peace of mind.

Whenever I contemplate getting a higher paying job — that would allow us some “valuable”items – I realize that it would take me away form you and also away from a job that I have now that I really love. No amount of money could make me feel as good as spending a day with you–and working at a job where I feel I really have a chance to make a difference in the world.

My rambling is about done. What I’m trying to say is to always make sure when you consider what is valuable to you — look deeper than the attached % sign. WE all love new “things” — and I’m not telling you to never splurge. Just always remember that value can be measured in laughter, hugs, kisses, hear warming (and a few heart-wrenching) moments — it can be measured in time with a good companion and in so many ways that dollar signs can never add up to.

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#57 Don’t Use The Distance Around Your Hips or Number On A Scale As The Value Of Your Worth

There is something to be said about weight and body size in relation to health. However there is no reason that you should let physical numbers determine your value as a human being.

Women (and men too!) are under pressure every day to look and be shaped a certain way. What that shape is, depends on a lot of things including peers, career, and the media. According to your father’s career he should be rather rotund from eating a lot of donuts but if you ask GQ he should be lean and wearing jeans that cost a couple hundred bucks. However neither of those expectations will ever define or fit your father.

I never want you to fall under the illusion that the only thing valuable about you is your size because it couldn’t be further from the truth. As you get older you will feel it–that pressure to fit some mental image of the way you should look that often times is unrealistic. I just want you to remember that value comes from relationships with friends and family, a faith in what you believe, leaving a mark on this world that will last forever, and living your life with your heart. Obesity isn’t healthy and it can lead to an early death, but plenty of young women have succumb to the illness and tragedy of going too far the other way. Every minute that you spend looking in a mirror criticizing your growing and changing body is one that you are missing out on a world of opportunity away from your reflection.

Already as your mom there is no value that can be placed on your head. You are irreplaceable to me and to God. You need to be irreplaceable to yourself as well. I want you to be healthy and I understand that neither you or I will always love our appearances–I also want you to know that there is much more to your life and to your worth than what you wake up and see in a mirror.