Running in Circles

Posts 04

Have you ever had the feeling that you can’t win?  That no good deed goes unpunished?  That’s how this week has rolled at my house.  My daughter sent the opening salvo.  I was working at the computer the other day when she came into the house.  My back was to her.  My older daughter exclaimed, “Oh my goodness!  WHAT HAPPENED TO YOU?”  Naturally, this comment got my attention.  I swiveled around and was met with the image of a very wet, very muddy, and very distressed 11- year- old.


She was trying to do something good.  Her class had been learning about taking care of the environment.  She asked if she and her friends could go pick up trash in the woods behind our house.  They wandered off the trail and over to the edge of the creek.  When she leaned over to pick something up, the iPhone that Santa brought this Christmas fell out of her pocket and went for a swim. Not a short swim either.  Fifty minutes after splashdown she showed up in my kitchen.  She was desperate to solve this problem.


Teamwork is best in these kinds of situations so we gathered up her sisters and went down to the creek. It was a lost cause.  She didn’t appreciate the irony of polluting the creek with an electronic device while trying to rid the creek of trash.  Her good deed went wrong.


Been there, right? Best intentions and all of that stuff? To make matters worse in her mind, she was now responsible for replacing the phone.  My husband and I are working really hard to promote financial literacy for the kids.  One way we do this is teaching them about insurance.  They were all offered (parent provided) insurance for their gadgets. It comes at the low price of $1 per month.  It covers things like breakage, theft, or loss of phone.  She refused to buy the insurance, preferring to hold on to her $1. I tried diligently to convince her to buy a policy.  To no avail. She was not going to waste her money on something as nontangible as insurance.


This was a hard lesson. She sat in bed that night and cried. She couldn’t see a way out.  She didn’t have enough money to replace the phone. She was overwhelmed.  I empathized.  Overwhelmed is a big emotion.  It can paralyze you if you aren’t careful.  Adults get overwhelmed sometimes with really serious subjects. Disease. Divorce.  Foreclosure.  Unemployment.  But in her world, this was a really big deal.  Her emotions were true.


By the next morning, my little girl had a plan.  One that I didn’t think would work.  She was going to sell her hand drawn cartoons.  She took a card table and art supplies and set up shop at the front of the neighborhood. At the end of 2 days of work she had enough to cover the gap between what she had in savings and the cost of the phone.


If only it were that easy for all of us.  But as is often the case, we can learn from the little children.  She didn’t wallow in self-pity for very long.  She came up with a game plan.  She worked for it.  She was flagging cars down and pitching her artwork.  She was successful beyond my wildest dreams.  Not only is she back in the black, but another neighbor commissioned some custom work when he saw how good her cartoons were.  She didn’t get in her own way.  She didn’t stop to think…this won’t work…I’m not good enough…people will think I’m ridiculous.  She didn’t have the expectation of I CAN’T.  She wasn’t afraid to try.


“Never be afraid to try something new.  Remember, amateurs built the ark, professionals built the Titanic.” –author unknown

I’m not sure which one of us learned the bigger lesson from her experience.  I need to remember to stop sometimes and look at problems through a fresh lens, free of all my nagging feelings of self-doubt or inadequacy. It has been a busy week.  My son has taken up fishing in the creek.  He slipped and fell in.  Guess what was in his pocket?  The iPhone from Santa.  And we keep on running in the circle of life.


“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”  Galatians 6:9


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  1. Gigi says:

    Of course I loved it. I could picture the whole story as it unfolded. A very good lesson learned and I am sure shared with her friends.

  2. Diane Mundy says:

    A good lesson learned very early in her life. Sometimes it’s hard for parents not to interfere. Good job in your parenting also!
    Enjoyed your first blog of many I hope!

  3. Thank you for sharing “Running in Circles”, Amy. Closing with Galatians 6:9 was just what I needed today! You are a wonderful writer and an inspiration.
    x o

  4. Megan McMillan says:

    This is so wonderful! I had no idea she did that. A true fresh perspective!

  5. Sandra says:

    Can’t has never been in my vocabulary but just watch me
    Good for you young lady as it will be your strength as an adult.

  6. Debbie Lionetti says:

    I am happy and incredibly grateful to you for starting this blog, one which I will eagerly read. Life is all about learning lessons and you, my friend, are an amazing mother.

  7. Nicole says:

    Amy you have an amazing talent!
    What a Blessing and so thankful
    to be able to nourish my faith
    through your blog!!! Many blessings for your readers…

  8. Catherine says:

    Loved reading this, Amy! AC

  9. Jane Mazurkiewicz says:

    Congrats on your blog, Amy! I really enjoyed and will continue reading?

  10. Rochelle Chastain says:

    Love it, well done on your first blog

  11. linda says:

    Amy, I loved your story. I was so wrapped up in it I didn’t want it to end. I truly enjoyed your 1st blog. I look forward to more. What an awesome mom you are!

  12. Mary Gandy says:

    You had told me this story,but to read it made it so entertaining. I actually dropped my cell phone laughing. Thankfully not in a creek. You did a great job weaving in lesson learned.

  13. Erica says:

    Wonderfully written and inspiring!

  14. Mary Ellen Volansky says:

    Hello, I never became a parent. I hope if I had, I would have been as good as you. Either that, or I want to be your daughter. Thanks for the story. I will read more of your work.

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