For the last several evenings I have been trying to sort and count our leftover coins. For months they have been slowly accumulating in a variety of vessels scattered across the tops of furniture pieces in our room. This is an activity that takes place about once a year. There was a time when our kids found this act to be a unique form of entertainment and would chime in, but now it’s just me.
So… as if I do not have enough to do this time of year, I dove in. After about 7 minutes, I started thinking of ways to make it more rewarding. Here is what I came up with. What if each coin type had a correlation with events in our lives.
Pennies: taken for granted, the bottom denominator, all other coins are multiples of this coin, the most common. What if pennies represented the day-to-day things in our lives. Things that happen with so much frequency we fail to recognize the role they serve like doing the dishes, dusting the end tables or folding t-shirts. Pennies, currently made of copper, tarnish over time. So can our recognition for something as simple as the importance of having a meal together with family.
Nickels: a little thicker, a little bigger and carrying more weight. The nickel has more presence. It features a shinny finish with super smooth edges. Five times more buying power then the penny but still second to last in fiscal potency. Let’s say the weekends are the nickels in our lives. They happen with a little less frequency. We would trade 5 week days for one Saturday. When we go out on the weekend we shine, like a nickel.
The dime: the smallest of them all. Thin, shiny and a little rough around the edges. Fiscally wicked for size. One nice, dense, tight little package. The dimes in our lives might be the quick moments of exhilaration we have all encountered, planned or not. The surprise bouquet of wild flowers delivered to your work place. The incredible “death by chocolate” dessert at that one lakeside restaurant. The first kiss on the second date. The time your friend let you take his 911 Carrera out for a romp down Lakeshore Drive.
Last but far from least, the quarter. The coin of substance. Unmistakably identified in your pocket. It only takes 4 to make a dollar. Wielding enough buying power to acquire many needed things. Worth every penny. For me the life events that mimic a quarter are those that dreams are made of, but not ones that are so rare they only happen once. Yet still special enough to maintain some residual sticking power. Celebrating a 15 year anniversary. Watching a daughter perform after a week at equestrian camp. A vacation in the Rocky Mountains.
An equally interesting correlation can be made between coins and how we organize our hours, our days, our homes. Give it a shot and let us know what you come up with.
I am still not done with the task, but I am amazed at how much value there is to the rolls of coins I have already counted. I’ve thought about buying an automated coin sorter, but I’m not sure it would be that much more efficient. I believe the best result is one from being engaged. The same is true for living a full life, the pennies, nickels, dimes and the quarters are all adding up to a lot of wealth, and you are the one doing the counting. Can the experiences in our lives be measured on a fiscal scale… absolutely not. But sometimes looking at things differently reveals a new view.