I feel like such an idiot. As I scurried around getting ready for my weekly aqua-therapy appointment, I thought it might be nice to get a haircut this afternoon. I opened my desk drawer, where I carefully hid my birthday money only to discover it was missing. Hmmm, I must have put it in my file. No money there either. Think, Amy, think! I had to leave to make it to the pool on time, but clearly I would be more distracted by the missing $69 dollars ($40 cash/$29 check).
I looked through my trash, threw things about, and still no money. I remembered I put it in an envelope for safe-keeping. Then it dawned on me—it’s the envelope I threw out the other day when I was cleaning my desk area! How could I be so stupid? I tossed $69 in the trash with a yogurt container, old press materials, and non-working pens. Talking about casting pearls before swine. Oh, wait, I can’t afford to buy pearls because I threw my money away! The money I was going to use to get a haircut and pay my AAA dues for this year. Gone.
I’m tempted to dive into the dumpster and go through every trash bag until I find mine. Then I’m going to rip that sucker apart and look for my money. Of course, that trash is long gone. I saw the trash company haul it away the other day. Yet I’m desperate; I need that money. I hurt for that money. It feels like nothing else matters in the entire world except that money.
At least if it would have went somewhere useful like to the Blood: Water Mission so that 69 people could have clean water for a year or to the Salvation Army, which is hurting for donations. Anywhere except the county landfill. Why, oh why, am I so careless? And why am I so hard on myself for being careless? I didn’t intend to throw it away; it was an accident. No one is hurt and nothing is damaged. It’s just money.
It’s just money.
My reaction is astonishing, yet human. However, I don’t react with the same fervor to the dire situations around me. Then again, if I did, I probably would be so upset all the time I’d be barely able to function. Where is my outrage about the situation in Sudan? Or about the homeless people on the streets who really need $69 smackers? What does AAA matter to a person who’s never even owned a care? And my hair—really?
I’m so careful with money. I use coupons, scour the ads for sales, and try to stretch my dollars as best I can. Yet in an instant, it’s gone because of my own carelessness. How is that I’m both careful and careless? I keep reminding myself—I’m just human and it’s just money.
My hair can wait another month or two and I can scrounge together money for those AAA membership dues. I just wish the lost dollars would magically appear, so that my misery would disappear. There is value in this lesson—not only do I need to be more careful with my trash, but I need to suck this up and move on.
And to remember—I am only human and it is only money.