Expensive Currencies…

Erin Schaden
5 min readDec 8, 2023

Time.

Energy.

Care.

Love.

These are all the very expensive currencies we spend every day. Dedicating all of the above to differing people, situations or causes in our life.

And upon closer examination, we give so freely that which is quite exquisite and expensive. And so often, we give them to people who are not capable of appreciating the truly amazing gift of our time, energy, care and love. And it seems as though, some people just can’t afford it. And perhaps sometimes neither can we.

Often times comparing things with dollars cheapens whatever you are making the comparison against. Certainly not my intent here, in fact, my intent is completely the opposite. It is to use the comparison of money to underscore that we are so much more careful with how we spend money than we are with how we spend our time, energy, caring nature or love.

For me, it helps to think of all of the above like a currency I have at my disposal. But like all currencies, there is always a limit and just like my bank account, it fluctuates on the daily. Some days I have more to spend, and other days, I just do not.

I have learned in this life that emotions and feelings have a currency all of their own. Working in the divorce field for all these years taught me that. I see people spend way too much money fighting over things that they could have just re-purchased (or not) later on. They would have spent less just buying a new one than the amount of money they spent on attorneys fighting over the old ones. Why?

Emotional currency. One that is spent and shed all over the place over things that do not really matter on a financial front, but have landed squarely in a hard place emotionally.

And so they spend their emotional currency in a very extravagant fashion and no one ever really notices how expensive it is until it is too late and they are broke, broken and reeling from the foment that is their life.

I have learned this same lesson in my own life, repeatedly. (Can one say that one has learned the lesson if the lesson keeps repeating? I am going to say yes because it is kind of learning on some sort of spiritual installment plan, I learn things but not the whole deal, just parts of it and some parts take a very long time to take hold).

So it has taken me some time to begin to think about my time as a currency I spend and to become much more careful with whom I spend my time and how much. I am equally frugal with my energy. I hoard it in some ways, reserving it for the gym, my kid, work and long walks with the dog. I have a lot of energy but regardless I still only get so much to use each day.

I have been most wasteful with my care and love. I have spent so much of both on people who really don’t give two fucks about me or my care/love. And I still can’t really tell you why. I think, and perhaps it is really more of a guess, I find people out there in the world who seem to need something that I think I have to offer. And they seem to NEED it badly and I feel badly if I don’t give it to them. Like I HAVE it and they NEED it so therefore I would be a horrible person for not giving of my love and care.

And so I do and have, to both people’s detriment often times, sometimes there are even innocent bystanders that are negatively impacted by the care/love bomb I lob into the lives of others.

So this too has become an area of work. To be more judicious in who and when I give my care and love to. I can see now (always great lessons in hindsight) that I have given foolishly and without good judgment a great deal of the time. I have forced myself upon others in some sort of arrogant notion that I have something to give the poor soul that they lack. And what I have realized far too recently, is that I am often the poor sap I think them to be.

So I have retracted myself, coiled myself back up into myself over the last few months, pulling myself back and away from those who I think need me or want me or desire me or whatever the fuck I tend to think. And what I realized is that it was never me really that was wanted or needed. It was only what I gave that was desired. I was just the vessel that brought the security or love or care or whatever. Me, in my own right, was worth almost nothing to the person. I was just the vehicle that brought the thing they wanted. And all the other parts of me, were really quite unnecessary and superfluous.

And I felt that in a way and on a level that I haven’t before. Causing me to see that the way I have spent my love and care on others has been at best foolish and foolhardy and at worst damaging to all involved.

So I pulled back all that care and love and gave it to myself. Really this time, not just self care lip service, blah, blah, blah. But really invested in myself, my interests, my health, my life. And the result has been nothing short of life changing.

So, perhaps, I have learned the lesson that there are many expensive currencies I cannot afford to spend. And there are people in this world that are never going to be able to afford them either. And it is a good idea to discern, and it is a discernment, what you can afford and who can afford you and your very expensive currencies of time, energy, care and love. And endeavor to only over spend on the truly worthy and deserving…and to believe that you are at the very front of that line, always.

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Erin Schaden

Who am I? I am all that I write, all that I learn, share and grow. Read and find out? Check out www.nakedrandomthoughts.com for more.