Saturday, January 2, 2010

"Find a Penny, Pick it Up...

...keep on looking, find a buck. Toss the copper to the ground, let another's luck be found." As quoted in bastardized fashion by the spectacular and super anonymous...ME.

The other day I spied a penny in the supermarket parking lot, picked it up and stashed it in my pocket, as I always do. My husband hates it when I do this and keeps on walking like he doesn't know me. What the hell? It's not like it's gum or garbage. I must interject a story about my hubby. He's very "proper" or hyper-aware of politeness or what he feels as societal pressure at times and it just cracks me up. He said he once drove by a couple of guys he'd known for years who were working on a house pounding nails, and shouted out, "Hey don't hit your thumb" and then remembered that one of the guys had cut his thumb off in a table saw accident. He related this story to me, all horrified that he'd said that. I laughed so hard I thought I'd break a rib. It wasn't so much the story that got me as it was this look of dismay and honest shame he felt, which I humored out of him as I rolled all over the floor trying in vain to regain my composure. We told this story at Christmas Eve to my family and got the same hilarious response. The laughter was deafening and hubby felt a lot better about his alleged faux pas. This is hubby in a nutshell. He's so damned funny and he never tries to be. Unlike me....

Anyhow, when I retrieved the penny hours later and inspected it, I saw it was dated 1964 - - the year of my birth. I remarked all aflutter about this to my nonplussed husband who replied "Oh ayuh."

Now, what are the chances of that happening?
"Of all the jeans pockets, in all the world, it 'walks' into mine....[swaggering inflection inferred]."
The "Megapenny Project" states that since the first penny was minted in 1787, over 300 billion pennies have been minted in the U.S. Those in current circulation are estimated by the U.S. Mint to be 140 billion. And I found one with my birthdate on it out of mega-ton of pennies?

Like everything else that has happened since I gave my old job the heave-ho, I'm seeing this numismatic find as a lucky coin-kydink. Albert Einstein said "Coincidence is God's way of remaining anonymous." In my estimation, He Who Floats My Cosmic Boat and I are at last on the same wavelength and it feels far less mysterious than ever to be handed a penny with my birthdate on it than it would have six months ago. I liken it to becoming an experienced hiker versus a woods-walker. The markers are no longer necessary as your intuition now guides you, but you glance at them, thankful nonetheless.

This penny is now bright and shiny, thanks to some elbow grease and copper cleaner, and has a place on my desk within easy reach and view. It reminds me that time has flown and continues to fly. It tells me that there are one hundred ninety-six days to my next birthday. What I accomplish between now and then is up to me.
"Do not wait; the time will never be 'just right.' Start where you stand and work with whatever tools you may have at your command, and better tools will be found as you go along." George Herbert, 1593-1633

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