Several years ago, there was a stretch of about six weeks when I found a penny every day. Yes. Every. Day. On the sidewalk. Waiting in line at the grocery. In the lining of my coat. On the floorboard of my car. It was beyond coincidence and got to the point that I started expecting to see pennies, looking forward to them, and enjoying the mini-mystery.
Had they been there all along and my heightened awareness was the reason I was seeing them now? Were they just symbolic, representing something else that was in front of me, something I just needed to pay attention to in order to appreciate it?
Before I get your hopes up, there’s no big finish to this story or even an explanation. In many ways, I think this was my 15 minutes of clarity – much like one’s 15 minutes of fame, gone as quickly as it came, leaving me with one fabulous story I can tell over and over again, to anyone who will listen. (Go ahead, ask my family. I tell it. A lot).
Seriously, I share the story because I think it’s a great illustration. And, honestly, telling it is also helpful to me. I, as much as the next person, need to be reminded now and then that my glass is half full. Okay, some days it’s a third full or only a quarter full, but at least I have a glass, right? And the gift of even the smallest coin is still one penny more than I had before I found it.
One of the bloggers I follow decided to set aside all the money she found this year, then count it on December 31, a reminder that pennies add up, just as our smallest attempts at improvement – changing ourselves or changing our world – also make a measurable difference. At last count she’d “found” more than $23! Not bad for just paying attention.
I’m going to try that, too. Find a pretty jar, use it as a daily reminder to be grateful, and start expecting good things!