Woman with coins in hand
Photo: © 2009 Jupiterimages Corporation
Everywhere we look these days there seems to be difficulty and trouble. Our world has become like a roller coaster in many ways. Prices are up, the Dow is down, grocery costs are rising, the dollars in our wallet are shrinking, heating oil is up, the temperature is falling. And although we feel hopeful, there are days when our spirits sink.

Words about money have penetrated our language. Words like debt, bankruptcy, downturn, deficit and depression are now used frequently with ease and familiarity. But, the money word I don't hear enough of is "change."

There are the coins that pool at the bottom of your purse, lie in a drawer or stack up in a jar on the nightstand. Each time we throw a coin in the jar, it adds up. When we finally get around to taking our change to the bank and the teller hands us a $20 bill, we see that those single pieces really added up.
The other kind of change is what happens when we turn our focus away from the roller coaster ride and on to the small things in our lives that add up to lots of joy and happiness. Like the individual pieces of change in our purses and jars that add up, so will joy and happiness when we positively change the way we view our lives and situation.

The truth is that most of us are dealing with the fallout of the financial crisis in one way or another. We are all in this together. We each have the power to move from awful to awe-filled. We can chose to focus on what we have instead of what we do not have, what our blessings are instead of our curses and what we kept as opposed to what we have lost.

There are lots of ways to bring joy, happiness, peace, laughter, hope and comfort into your life, and they cost absolutely nothing. They are free. There is no charge.

Really ask yourself, "What are the best things in life?" Make a list of the top 25 things in your life. I'll bet they aren't things at all. They are the people in your life and the moments you share with the ones you love that will fill this list. Your list, like mine, will be overflowing with all the seemingly small stuff that adds up to be priceless.

Every day there are trillions of treasures that cost nothing, and they enrich our lives in countless ways. When we turn our attention to counting and embracing the small things in front of us, we feel like a million bucks.

Have fun celebrating, discovering, inventing and sharing the things that you love to do that cost nothing.