Friends, Family, Health: Which is worth sacrificing, courtesy of David Sedaris

Months ago, I was reading a book! I really need to read more books. It wasn’t the greatest or most prolific of manifestos I was going through. This was Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls by David Sedaris.

If you’re familiar with Sedaris’ work, you’ll know this isn’t exactly the best resource to find life advice. That wasn’t my intention on reading it but in one of the earlier chapters I came away with one particular part which I’ve held with me: for better or worse.

It has been a while since I read the passage so please excuse me if I get anything wrong (and also for maybe farting).

Sedaris is visiting with a friend who says in order to be successful in their craft, a person has to sacrifice one of these three categories: friends, family, or health. As Sedaris will typically do, he puts down a candid response in the pages about the discussion. He rarely holds back on how he feels about situations in a humorous way. The discussion goes into what the friend, Sedaris, and possibly another person there in the room would sacrifice for their craft. They have some differing opinions. I think Sedaris even questions if he sacrificed all three of them.

This had me thinking: which would I give up?

Would you sacrifice friends to be the best you can at your craft?

I think I have already given up on this one. I don’t have many friends. Frankly, I might not have any left. I even forgot the mailman’s name. I think it’s Lenny. The people who would tell a story and refer to me as a friend or vice versa are doing it for the sake of ease. Saying “a friend from high school I lost touch with around five years ago” is too long of a description.

A moment these friends will never forget. They also will never talk to each other ever again.

Friends are fine but the problem is they are all over the place. Unless you live nearby or all have the same hobbies, interests, goals, etc. it’s tough to keep up with all of them. Gathering together with old friends isn’t enjoyable because you’ve all usually outgrown each other. There’s too much talk about what happened in the past and boring talk about what you have planned for the future.

The friends category is the easiest to get rid of completely and come back with a whole new group of bozos. Some people need friends in life. I’m not one of them. It’s an easy choice when it comes to sacrificing them.

Would you sacrifice family to be the best you can at your craft?

Family can be similar to friends. The main difference between them is you don’t pick the pool of people who are considered your family. That’s chosen for you by a series of marriages and lustful nights in Las Vegas.

If it weren’t for Las Vegas, you never would have been born.

Regardless of your situation, family is probably important even if it doesn’t include every member of your tree. If the Fast and Furious movies taught us anything, it’s to value those we consider family members. This can even include people who aren’t technically family but have a deep enough connection to you where you’d consider them such.

My family is quite small and I don’t think this one really applies as much until you’re married and have children. I wouldn’t sacrifice my wife or any future children to be the best I can be at anything so friends remain in the lead as the one I’m putting in the guillotine of life.

Would you sacrifice health to be the best you can at your craft?

Health is a tricky one. We always think we’re making the healthiest choices when we’re really not. I try to eat right, exercise, and do other things to be healthy while ignoring other problems like my decade-long hip pain.

Our scars remind us that the past is real. Our daily hip pain reminds us that there is more agony ahead.

This category to sacrifice might not seem to fit with the others. But it was one of the choices given. Health is a much broader category. As we’ve seen with famous artists, health is often left behind in favor of being better.

I wouldn’t choose to sacrifice my health in order to be better at anything but I definitely sometimes do. People are resilient. We don’t see the years of our life or the future pain we’ll feel because of our choices listed out. Each day, we do make a couple of decisions that will definitely cause us to sacrifice our health. I’d have to put health in the middle of this list of sacrifices not by choice but by the knowledge of knowing it will get neglected.

It may seem silly to sacrifice anything to be better at your craft. It is ridiculous when you think about it. There isn’t much in life more important than health or family. For some people, friends are right there, too. 

If you’re interested in reading the book, you can use our affiliate link to purchase Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls or any of Sedaris’ other books, and let me know what you think. It would be a big help if you do use the link as we could possibly receive a portion of commission.Thank you in advance!

Below are affiliate links to products we use and recommend. By using those links, we may receive a small commission from your purchase. Using these links does not affect the price.

The book that convinced us to start investing and being more proactive with our money and lives: The Only Investment Guide You’ll Ever Need by Andrew Tobias

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3 thoughts on “Friends, Family, Health: Which is worth sacrificing, courtesy of David Sedaris

    1. So as my retirement fund goes up with age and my health declines I’m actually getting poorer. Ahhh!

      Thanks for the comment!


      1. 😅😅😅 my observation is that young people don’t bother about their health when chasing $… but when they get burnt out in later years, they would have to spend $$$ to recuperate, which is kind of an irony.

        Liked by 1 person

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