Back in the day, when everyone carried cash and made change with each transaction, emptying your pockets into a jar at the end of the day was quite the lucrative operation. In months or a year, you might save up hundreds of dollars or more and never feel a thing. That is, until you picked up said jar or took it into the bank; suddenly the weight of collected change was apparent. You could feel the impact of that plinking change, a little bit at a time, amounting to something much greater.
There are days lately when I feel like I’m picking up our change jar time and again.
It can be exhilarating to weigh the coins you’ve collected–payoff for the diligence you’ve made to save and not spend, remembering to pour them out at the end of each day. Change of the other variety can be exhilarating, too, and it can undoubtedly add up to amazing payoffs.
It’s just that trading anything for something else is sacrificial in a way, and sometimes, that’s hard and heavy.
Lately, the list of things we’re trading here feels lengthy, and the payoffs aren’t so instant. Hopefully they’re long term instead.
Maybe I should be keeping a glass jar of change nearby as a visual for this season of our lives, remembering that the impact over time has potential to be really great. There’s a task for the rainy day to do list. 😉
I’m so able to appreciate change that’s visible in the moment, especially when much of my focus right now is on emotional space that isn’t quite as obvious to the naked eye. For the past few days, Jason has spent most of his “spare” time painting our living room. It’s been the same color since we moved in almost eight years ago, and while we liked the old color for a long time, the new color has us wondering why we didn’t decide on the project sooner.
My appreciation for painting projects has grown over the years, particularly because you can see and feel the difference upon impact. The more time you put in, the more a space is transformed right before you. This is the kind of change that doesn’t collect in a jar, but more like the kind you find in your pocket and run quickly to spend at the candy store. It’s sweet, and instantly gratifying.
When you’re saving a lot of change in a big ‘ol jar for some time down the road, it feels good to mix in a few impromptu stops to spend your spare pennies on something sweet along the way.
Someday the baby that’s growing here in my belly as I type will (hopefully) look back on these days before his or her arrival and smile–so many of the unknown pieces at this moment having fleshed themselves out as good and growing parts of our family story. When I think about it like that, the days and months of collecting a figurative nickel here and an abstract dime there seem worthwhile.
All of this “pocket change” we’re storing up could amount to savings we can’t possibly see or imagine now, so we’ll keep putting change away with hopes for best possible outcomes and character building as we go. Meanwhile, I’m going to take the penny candy and fresh walls as bright spots in the process, appreciating the tangible evidence that sits before me as encouragement to take one day at a time, and counting on the fact that there will be beauty around each new unknown corner and turn.