Lessons from an Expensive Water Filter

Yesterday, I bought a (fairly pricey) water filter. And some vitamins. And a shower filter.

Thursday, I bought a protein shake for late night healthy snacking.

Tuesday, I bought a natural fiber dry brush.

Last week, I bought a rebounder (I LOVE IT, btw).

Today, I sat here thinking,

Oh my god what am I doing??

The answer came to me, almost immediately: taking care of my health.

Investing in your health

I have recently made a few investments that have been a little scary, at first (tip: I never actually hit “buy” on something until I feel CONFIDENT and GOOD about it, and at peace with the money I am spending. I never spend from anxiety/fear. And I journal and/or make a pros/cons list, if I’m struggling to get to that point), that have made me second-guess what I am doing. Whether I “should” be buying them.

But the reality is:

our health and wellbeing often suffer because of things that we know we should buy/do, but don’t really want to pay for (or actually do)

Need evidence?

  • Gym memberships.
  • Yoga classes.
  • Water filters.
  • Healthy food.
  • Tools that make it easier to cook/prepare/store the healthy food.
  • Meditations.
  • Supplements.
  • Wellness appointments.
  • Getting that spot checked.
  • Getting your teeth cleaned.
  • New socks/underwear to replace the old stuff.
  • Better pillows that don’t make your neck stiff.
  • New tennis shoes that don't hurt your feet.
  • Taking a vacation (or staycation), so that you can really decompress.
  • Life/wellness coaching and/or therapy/other emotional support.
  • ….and the list goes on.

We tell ourselves they are not that important. We make do with what we have. We put off getting the new thing for our health because it’s not an emergency. Or because it's not a life or death "need." We try to be rational. We try to budget. We often don’t choose to do these things, until they are a last resort. A lot of things, we decide to “wait and see” or rationalize that we don’t “need them that badly.”

And I’m not saying any of this isn't normal! Of course you can’t always just go out and buy everything, especially not all at once. Of course you have bills, and expenses. So I’m absolutely not minimizing any of that.

But here’s what I am saying:

Your health is so important.

YOU are so important.

Your life is so important.

Your quality of life is so important.

And while it may not be possible right now to just go out and buy all of the things that we could ever desire, what we CAN do is consciously consider things that maybe we tend to bypass a little more quickly, and evaluate how important they really are (or maybe aren’t), to our health...and then take radical responsibility for whether we choose to buy them or not. 

Why this water filter?

For example, my newly-purchased Berkey water filter. I’ve heard for years (and by years, I mean probably a decade) that Berkeys are THE top tier water filter. It’s pricey. But also:

  1. I needed to replace the filters on my existing unit, anyway.
  2. Arizona has terrible water.
  3. At a 6,000 gallon lifespan for Berkey filters, I’ll be replacing them simply due to time (after a few years they could probably use a refresh, right?), before I even hit the max usage…which will save me money, time, and headaches in the long run.

And one of my favorite things was, in this new era of installment billing (from services such as Afterpay), I’m able to pay it off in 4 biweekly installments, instead of all at once.

With all of these factors, PLUS prioritizing my health in a way that I never have before (even though I’ve been very health-conscious for most of my life), it seemed like a pretty straightforward solution: and a sound investment. Of course, that doesn’t mean it would be for you. I used a moderately-priced countertop filter for years, and was very happy with it. Some people use a Britta - and if that’s your current ability + comfort level, that is a great option.

You get to choose

Do what you can. With what you have. With YOUR best interests in mind. Don’t push them to the side. If they are not feasible right now, or if they are *truly* not that important, it’s okay. But give the idea of them and how they may affect your health and wellbeing the space they deserve, so that you can make that choice honestly, with your best interest in mind

When we are not feeling well, we cannot be our best selves. And that is a disservice to everyone: to you, to your family, to your friends, to your work, to your calling.

Don't just go into auto-pilot when you make decisions regarding your health and wellbeing. It's not frivolous to want to have shoes that don't make your feet (and knees, and shins) hurt when you wear them. It's not crazy to buy a new pillow so that you sleep more soundly. It's not selfish to pay for the yoga classes you love and that help you blow off steam and stay fit. If you decide you aren't going to choose them right now, be honest with yourself and acknowledge that you're not feeling like you need to prioritize that right now. But also, be honest with yourself about how it may affect your health and wellbeing. And trust yourself: you'll know when it's the right decision for you.

Ask yourself

  • How can you care for yourself a little more today?
  • What things would you do/purchase, if money wasn’t an issue?
  • Which of those things would really help your quality of life and/or your health and wellbeing?
  • How can you rearrange funds (or find some new funds: think yard sales, consigning items, selling things you’re no longer using on Ebay…) to get that? Start small! Maybe it’s even something like a new shower head that costs $10-15 at a big box store. I’m not even going to tell you how long I kept a shower head that sprayed WAY too hard, even though I hated it, until I finally got one of the removable sprayers, in anticipation of my surgery and limited range of motion.
  • How will you feel, once you are recognizing your needs and making small (or big) adjustments, that can really affect your quality of life?