The Dime at the Fair

Our county fair was scheduled every August, and if we were lucky, our dad would take us for an evening after farm chores were done.

I loved the barns, the merry-go-round music, carny voices, and the smell of mini-donuts.

One year, my dad gave me a dime to spend. So I grasped it in my little girl’s hand and went in search of a good carnival game to try my luck.

I am a saver, always have been. I like a few bucks in the bank. But, when I stop and remember my younger self, I see a young girl who did not like risk.

How then did I spend that dime years ago? After a walk around the fairgrounds, scoping out the competition, I stood up to the yellow duck tent and picked two yellow ducks out of the water. These ducks were unique as they each had a number on the underside. A prize to match the number.

The prizes? I cannot remember, but the excitement of holding on to the dime and not wanting to let go is forever in my memory.

I found that a tight-fisted approach would not always serve me well as a young adult. I lost out on an opportunity because of my risk-averse nature. So what to do?

I needed new information to change, and the latest news did not belong to anyone in my circle. So I expanded my circle to include books written by successful money people, signed up for a few classes on finance, attended seminars, and put myself out there asking questions.

This was so hard!

I remember waiting in line at an event; my palms were sweating, my knees were weak, and I sure hoped no one would talk to me. I just wanted to find my padded chair seat and gather the strength to stay until the end. Sometimes I walked out before the speaker left the stage; other times, I paused to listen to what the attendees around me had to say about the event.

I knew, though, that if I wanted to learn about money, I had to show up and pay attention to what was being said. Both on stage and in the audience.

And I bought books. From authors, I hadn’t heard of before.

But what really cemented it for me? First, I had to follow the steps in what I learned. Action, move and cause something to happen without knowing the outcome.

Risk, little by little, baby step by baby step, I expanded from the saver to include the investor.

That little silver dime at the fair? A special memory.

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