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Paying the Price
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I've been thinking lately about the cost of things, how I have paid the price for what I wanted, and am still paying. I'm not talking about money (although that is surely part of it), but the price in terms of use of leisure time, in terms of loss (or gain) in self-esteem and emotional health, in terms of friendships maintained (or relinquished), and so on.

There's a price for every choice. Were it always a financial cost, it would be easy to calculate. I could buy this bottle of juice diluted by grape juice for $2.49, or I could purchase this other bottle of 100% pure juice for $3.49, or the same juice, only organic, for $4.29.

Those kinds of choices are balanced against the unseen weight (or lack) of money in my pocket, other items I could purchase (or bills paid) with the same money, a whole range of nearly instantaneous weightings, the daily ones made so often that they are nearly automatic.

Other life choices can have a much higher cost. I chose to attend this University; I opted to serve two years in the Peace Corps, I selected education as my career path. All the choices had (and have) benefits and costs.

I decided to marry this person, not the other; the cost benefit analysis including not only supporting him for 20 years, but also the not easily calculated value of companionship and opportunities for growth, the addition of family-in-law, and on and on.

How do you calculate the values of life when there are so many variables and the costs can be so terrible? How can you weight the scales, so that additional value outweighs the increased cost? Can you foresee enough to make a rational choice?

I think back after several decades of life choices and wonder how I had the courage to take to the path of life instead of being overwhelmed, cowering in my bed in indecision.

I guess they call it faith or resilience. And if I had known then, what I know now, would I have made the same choices? Yes and no.

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