I read an article about how “wellness” is the lucrative new thing to sell to women, but you’ll have to take my word for it, because I suddenly have no memory of where I read this article.

The gist of it (I think…?) was that lifestyle companies like magazines, retail, etc are always trying to find trendy new ways to convince women to shell out cash in order to level up their lives. And right now “wellness” is that trendy new way. Athleisure clothing. Juice cleanses. Fitness classes. Specialty foods. Yoga retreats. All of these are sold as solutions to problems women are told they have, and they can be pretty expensive solutions.

The article struck a chord with me, because I think a lot about self-care these days. Getting better at self-care is a stop on my personal route to wellness, but I can’t seem to extricate self-care from spending money. Like last week, after I unpacked from a generally tense family vacation and re-packed for a conference that would take me out of town and away from my wife for five days, I treated myself to a manicure and pedicure. It was a way to relax after surviving my family vacation, and prepare me to confidently (ha) network with other strangers in my field for many days in a row. And it cost $50.

I went for a hike over the weekend and thought, “free wellness!” And then I started adding the cost of my shoes, my workout clothes, my very stylish fannypack, the gas it took to get me to the trailhead–nothing sabotages that feeling of wellness like realizing everything costs something.

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