A Pennies Worth of Happiness

Back when gas was under a dollar and man and his wife would spend their Friday evenings people watching at the airport. Having little money and no tv this was their entertainment. They would stop and put five dollars of gas in the car.

One Friday the man filled up his tank to the normal five dollars. When he approached the window to pay he found that he only had four dollars and ninety-nine cents. He asked the attendant if he could just give him what he had. The attendant said no he needed the one penny. Grumbling under his breath the man went back to his car and searched for the one penny. After several minutes he found it. Took it up to the window and shoved it through the slot giving the attendant a nasty look.

Driving to the airport the man was fuming. Muttering to himself and grasping the steering wheel so tight his knuckles turned white.

“Was the worth it?” His wife asked him.
“What? Worth what? What do you mean?” He replied.
“Your happiness. Was it worth that one penny?” She said.

How often do we let something small get to us and dig under our skin? Where it festers like a splinter from an old piece of wood.

Take a moment to think about one of those times…Perhaps it was when we’re driving down the freeway. I don’t know about where you are but where I am the speed limit is 65 miles per hour. Most people here do about 75 or more, yes they’re that crazy. Anyways. You’re cruising down the road doing a solid 75 and you come up on a car that is in your lane and you slow down to their speed to find them going 66 miles per hour. You’re screaming and telling them to move over. Your face is turning red and now you’re upset because someone was going slow. All the mean while, off to your left and right are lanes that have no one in them. Wide open.

We missed the lanes because we were so focused on what was in front of us. We let something small get to us. We let a slow driver take our happiness. We let hurt take our happiness.

If you’ve read some of my other posts you’ve read that, I’ve been going through a breakup. Honestly I freaking hate it. Everyone agrees with me that breakups aren’t fun. I don’t think anyone likes to go through breakups. It’s be over eight months now and I am on a constant daily struggle to move forward. I have been hung up on a relationship that no longer exists. Hung up on what is now only in my mind. I can’t control what my ex feels and what she does. I can’t make her feel something she doesn’t. Naturally I hurt from it all, anybody would. While at the same time of dealing with my first breakup, I had to deal with other relationships falling apart. People who I thought were friends turned out not be who I believed them to be.

I let so many pennies stack up and continuously buy my happiness. I’m not saying that the hurt and heartbreak I am feeling isn’t right. We all know that it’s natural to feel hurt and heartbreak.

However, I am allowing it to buy my happiness. I am allowing it to take joy from my life. I have so much to be happy about. I have to admit that I have failed to see so much of what good is still in my life.

I have a family that cares for and loves me. Two wonderful parents who are helping me get back on my own two feet and not charging me rent (always a plus!). A little sister who looks up to me and says I inspire her. A big brother, yes I am the middle, who shows me everyday what real success in life looks like.

A small number of friends (special shout out to them) who have allowed me to hurt. To vent, text late at night for hours, and process everything. They haven’t once told me to just get over it. They’ve said “you need to hurt, get it out, I am here for you.”

There’d be days where I’d wake up and it felt as if the worlds biggest penny laid upon my shoulders. I’d go to work pretending there was nothing wrong and hiding the facial expression of I don’t want to be here. I’d sit in training and find that I had to force myself to pay attention. Keep myself from drifting. I knew that I wasn’t gonna wake up one morning and all the hurt would be gone. I had to work at letting go of the pain. One morning I woke up and I heard a voice in my head say “Today, I choose to be happy.”

I repeated that all day, wrote it on my notes over and over. Today, I choose to be happy.

Choosing to be happy is something I have to work at everyday. I allow myself to still hurt, but I work at not staying hurt. I get myself refocused on something that makes me feel good. I look over my writings for Project Wednesday. I think of a new topic to write about. I message a friend and talk.

My initial purpose of writing this piece was to talk about how we should let things go and slide off our shoulders. The driver going slow in the fast lane. The coworker who is always late. When our coffee order gets messed up. All things that bother us and get under our skin.

To me my penny has been rejection. I was bullied going through school. It didn’t end until I left high school and went to college. I was never popular or well liked. I was that kid who was made fun of for being smart or listening to Frank Sinatra.

When the breakup happened and friendships feel apart I went to my priest at the time to talk and get some advice. After explaining what I had been through lately and about my past experience with rejection, he couldn’t believe one person experienced so much rejection. Everything I previously stood upon was built on rejection and it all collapsed under me.

Rejection is something we all experience and struggle with to some degree in life. It’s how we work through it that matters most. 

All it is, is a penny.

We can work with a penny. Taken one day at a time.

Most importantly. You don’t have to carry this penny on your own. If it becomes to much for you, reach out and talk. Comment below or message me. I can’t promise an answer to your questions. I can promise I’ll listen. Sometimes we just need to get our pain out.

All it is, is a penny.

Positive Vibes & God Bless

Niall Covington

Born with a genetic disorder, Niall knows what it is like to be knocked down. He has been there several times and he has been able to get back up because of faith and a small number of friends. Seeing others getting knocked down, Niall offers a hand whether he has just fallen or is on the way back up himself. Volunteering as a summer camp counselor for children, teens, and young adults with the same disorder, Niall hopes to inspire them to overcome life's road blocks. For Niall, writing for Project Wednesday is an opportunity to reach more people, and to help more.


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    Penny Freeman

    10/06/2017 at 8:33 pm

    Such a heartfelt and inspiring message Niall. You are a wonderful writer and definitely one of the kindest & most genuine people I’ve ever known. You have been an inspiration for many at NF Camp and now your words of wisdom can inspire many more. God has a plan for you…..just wait and see! Happiness is all around you , thanks for reminding me


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