My 3 cents, for what it’s worth…

This morning while reconciling my bank account, I discovered I was $0.03 off…meaning I had somehow managed to make it appear I had 3 extra pennies which the bank didn’t show. Horrors.

It reminded me of a period of time about 5 years ago, right after I was divorced and moved out on my own, when I discovered a $0.23 difference.

Perhaps preoccupied with the monumental task of getting my life in order and/or too much partying and debauchery, I let it slide. For a long time. Occasionally I would revisit my account and spot the 23 cent difference, shrug it off, pretend it was nothing. And it was…nothing. If 23 cents can make or break you, I think you have some serious problems which transcend the perfect and delightful fulfillment of a balanced checkbook. Once in a while I would try to backtrack and deconstruct my checking account…get to the bottom of those 23 cents. Put it to bed once and for all. But I never could because as time dragged on and I incurred new charges and expenditures, that 23 cent snafu became buried deeper and deeper in the historical salt mine of my checking account. If I had nipped it in the bud it would have been simple to remedy. Months later it had become a Sisyphean task that was proving unworthwhile of my precious drinking time. My life was a chaotic mess.

Those 23 cents: unimportant, insignificant. A low-grade bothersome disjunction in my life. But it was bothersome, for I have not forgotten it. Apparently…considering it burst back into my mind this morning as I contemplated today’s 3 cent dichotomy.

This is an important lesson to consider…even the smallest inconsistencies within one’s life, if allowed to fester, disrupt the harmony of a peaceful existence. That 23 cent difference, laughable on paper, incurred 500% interest, compounded daily, in terms of emotional and intellectual drain upon my life. And I didn’t realize it. In denial and blind, I looked past the difference and didn’t allow myself to experience the self-awareness that by allowing the difference to continue unabated, I was signaling the Gods of Peace that I was not ready for their gift.

Many times, the attainment of a goal supersedes the path itself. If you spend too much time examining your path and agonizing over which forks to take, which rocks and holes to avoid, you’ll never reach your destination. So when I made the decision that my goal was more important than a trifling 23 cents, I merely wrote it off. I entered an offsetting line and pulverized that 23 cents into non-existence once and for all! And moved on with my life.

This morning, I tracked down the 3 cents immediately and now I’m balanced. The quest to avoid imbalance…don’t let it become lost in the bustle of daily maintenance.