The Second Price

There’s a blog I enjoy a lot called Raptitude. Raptitude is “a blog about getting better at being human.” Yesterday’s reading, Everything Must be Paid for Twice, really resonated with me. The “second price” of everything is the effort we must expend to enjoy, or benefit from, the things we buy – or even, extrapolating here, the relationships we embark upon.

For instance, in his post, he talks about buying a book. The first price is the cost of the book. The purchase gives you happiness – you have this new book you’ve been wanting to read! But the second price is the cost of time and effort in reading it. You can’t fully benefit from the purchase of the book until you expend the time and energy to actually read it. And yet, convincing ourselves to actually spend that time/focus/energy is sometimes really hard.

This extends to lots of things. The tarot journal I bought at Christmas, the budgeting, yoga and menu planning apps, the treadmill, the garden, all my beautiful, colorful yarn, and even the puzzles and games I have bought over the years. I have books I’ve never read, games that have never even been opened, summer plants that I could have wintered over with proper care but that I let die. The treadmill – while it got a lot of use at first – has sat unused for all of the winter, when it should get the most use.

But using them, getting use out of them, costs that second price: effort. Attention. Perseverance. It’s easier to let myself do things with a low second price – play phone games, zone out to television, lose myself in social media – than to expend the effort of the second price that these things demand.

And yet it is that very effort that makes the first price so worthwhile, and every time I expend it, I am glad that I did. I have recent examples: finishing my year-ahead reading in my tarot journal, using my specialty winter gear to hike in blisteringly cold weather, completing my budget in the new app I downloaded. I finished an afghan I’ve been working on forever and discovered new games that I love. Cooking delicious meals.

Our latest Ticket to Ride game.
Winter hiking.
A year of perseverance – worth every minute to see my Mom smile when I gave it to her.
The year ahead.

Other things – things that feel like they demand a higher price, like the treadmill and the yoga app and the sock organizer (lol) – well, I just need to remind myself that the first price is only worth it if I pay the second price – and it is the effort that the second price takes that makes it all worthwhile.

So what about relationships? How does this apply?

For me, the first price of finding a new kink/D/s relationship, was vulnerability. Allowing myself to be open to a new relationship, to the angst and potential rejection and pain it could bring. That was a steep first price, but, ultimately, one I paid… as I always will.

And the second price? Why the work, of course, in developing and embracing a healthy D/s dynamic. But oh how the work makes it worth it.

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