Is it Worth it? Grappling with the question of risk versus reward

Last night, Chad and I went to the movies for the first time in a year.  As people who used to go to the movies 3 times a month, this year’s long stretch was a challenge.  Even after the theaters reopened with new cleaning protocols and social distancing, we did not feel the risk was worth it.  Until it was and that happened to be last night.  We collectively had had a rough 2 weeks – nothing of tragic concern just the fact we are still living in a pandemic and life is weird. I needed to get out.  I needed to have some semblance of our old life pre-COVID.  So I started thinking “What is worth it?” 

The question of, “is it worth it,” is an interesting question that I am not sure we really embraced pre-pandemic.  But now, we find ourselves asking “Is It Worth It” almost daily.  Let’s break down the question briefly before we move on.  Is it worth it? Is what worth it?  Is going to the movies worth risking getting COVID-19?  Is this pair of shoes worth $80?  Is running that extra half mile worth the sore muscles? Is it worth it?  There are two “its” in this question, and they are in a manner cause and effect.  There is an element of risk and reward present.  Is going to the movies worth exposing ourselves to germs (risk) for a night that would restore my mental health (reward). 

I believe we will get back to a time where we don’t have to ask the “is it worth it” question so much.  I believe that time is closer than it is far away.  But before we get there, let’s decide if we should keep some element of “is it worth it” in our lives. 

Chad and I are in the midst of wedding planning and wedding saving.  Therefore, I am focused on how much money I can save to go towards our wonderful event and hopeful honeymoon.  At the same time, one of the ways my stress and anxiety likes to manifest itself is retail therapy.  But I find myself mindless scrolling a shopping site and not adding things to my cart.  It’s not worth it because I am saving for a wedding dress and a photographer.  It was worth it until the reward changed. 

I would encourage us to keep the “is it worth it” question in our minds and daily decisions.  For me, it has helped me stick to my goals and aspirations when the temptation of instant gratification creeps in.  It has helped me make some tough decisions like telling my dad I don’t think he should come see us at Christmas because of possible exposure in travel. Is it worth it can help us in our wellness and fitness as well.  Staring down a tray of pastries and asking “is it worth it” knowing I am going to be up at 3AM with stomach pain if I eat them. Pushing through that last circuit is worth it because I will feel so proud of myself for completing something my brain told me I couldn’t.  

“Is it worth it” is one of many gifts this pandemic has given to us.  Let’s not return it.

Tip shared by Jessi Chadd, a certified financial planner (CFP®) and a certified financial transitions specialist (CeFT®). Jessi lives at the intersection of wellness and wealth and enjoys helping people be well in all areas of their life including their finances. For more information on how you can improve your financial wellness, please reach Jessi at Jessi is a co-organizer for Priority Fit Camp. Each week, we publish a health and wellness tip that is shared at the Priority Fit Camp community workout. The free group class happens every Saturday at 7:50 a.m.  

Click for more info on the free Saturday group workout.