When I Realized the Value of Money

I’ll never forget March of 2016, the month I drove and worked way too much. The way it normally works is if someone says “Hey, can you play March 9th?” I check my calendar and if the date is empty I mark it and commit. I just committed to way too much this time and it really wore me out.

There was one day during the month where I was going to be driving about two and a half hours both directions to make some decent money. I didn’t at all feel like making the drive. I wasn’t even that excited to play the gig. I don’t mind driving long distances and the gig was a good and fun gig, I was just so tired and worn out from the amount of work I’d been doing already that the only thing I wanted to do was sit on my couch and relax.

This moment caused an important realization. This gig paid well, but did it pay as well as sitting on my couch right now would? Absolutely not. Sitting on my couch instead of getting in my car for a gig I wasn’t excited for with the amount of exhaustion I had going on was worth $300, maybe $400. Like if I could have paid to not to do the gig, I would have paid up to $400 at that moment.

Money is nothing more than a tool that enables us to craft the things we want into our lives. Without a direction money is nothing more than potential. I needed rest more than I needed more potential. I’d made good money for the month already and there was good money waiting for me in coming weeks. I had the potential I needed. My living expenses were more than covered, I didn’t need the money from this gig. I didn’t need more potential, I needed to rest.

The value of money is giving us the potential to do what we want with it. It’s a means to an end, it’s not an end. The end that I wanted was to vegetate on my couch but the end I was going to get instead was more means. This is backwards.

We’ve got to be guardians of our time, no one else is going to guard it for us. If we guard it well we can avoid burnout, if we don’t we might have to drive two and a half hours to a gig instead of recharge our batteries.