Tuesday, September 8, 2009

The Bike

Once upon a time there was a little girl who wanted a bike. She saw other little girls with their bikes... all pink or blue and shiny, whizzing down the lane, laughing... and she was so envious. How wonderful it must be, she thought, to fly down the road, free as a bird, going all over the neighborhood on a bicycle! She'd never had a bicycle, you see, but she just *knew* it must be so magical to ride one. She imagined the freedom, the joy. She wanted to join in the fun with those other girls. She wanted a bike of her own.

So the little girl decided she would save up her money until she had enough to buy a bike. She wanted a pink one, with purple streamers... just like she'd seen in a magazine. Maybe it would have white tires and princess sparkles on it. It was fifty dollars. She knew that was a lot of money, but she was determined to save enough.

The little girl started trying to find ways to earn some cash. She had a plan! She would work and do chores and save every cent. She figured it would take her almost a year to save enough... all through the fall, the winter, the spring... but she would do it. And by next summer, she'd be flying down the hills on her new bike.

The little girl started doing some chores. She mopped and cleaned the kitchen. Her mother was delighted, and rewarded her with a five dollar bill. She was off to a great start! She washed dishes. She fed the pets. She vacuumed. And then she asked her mother for five more dollars.

"Oh, no honey. I can't give you five dollars every time you do some chores. Maybe once in awhile." She handed her daughter a dollar and went off to make dinner. "Hmmm," thought the girl. "This might be harder than I thought. I will work harder."

The next day, the little girl raked the whole yard. But her mother didn't notice. She didn't even say thank you.

The next day, the little girl swept the porch and the sidewalk, and pulled up all the weeds she could find. When her mother didn't notice that, either, the girl asked her if she could get some pay. "No, dear, not now." And her mother wandered off to read a book.

The little girl was determined. She spent the entire next week doing chores. She washed the dishes, cleared the table, and picked up the living room every night. At the end of the week, her Mom gave her a quarter.

The little girl was sad. She'd worked so hard, but all she had to show for it was $6.25. She stuck her money in her pocket and walked down the street. Suddenly, she heard the a familiar jingle: it was the ice cream truck! She ran over, staring at the colorful pictures of ice cream bars and cones on the side of the truck. Should she buy herself an ice cream?

Her fingers felt the bills and change inside her pocket. She could spend $2 on ice cream and still have some left.... She thought about it for a minute. But she wanted that bike. She wanted it more than she wanted ice cream. So she walked away from the group of children, feeling a little sad and a little proud all at once. Sure, some of the other kids had ice cream. Some of them had used their own money, and some had been given a treat by their parents. But this little girl, she wanted a bike.

She worked week in and week out, cleaning, raking, picking up, and folding laundry. She hoped her mother would notice, but her mother wasn't a terribly attentive nor consistent mother. Sometimes she was distracted by other things and the little girl got no allowance for the week, while other times, her mother would dig into her purse and hand her a dollar, a quarter, a handful of change. Once in awhile she'd hand her a few dollars at once, even 3 or 4, but not usually.

Some of the neighborhood kids heard that the little girl was saving for a bike and started teasing her. "How much do you get each week?" they asked. "Oh, sometimes a quarter, sometimes a dollar or two, sometimes nothing at all." They laughed. "You'll never get a bike that way!" And they ran off. But one older girl bent down and whispered to the little girl, "You are so brave, you are so smart. You'll get your bike. Don't give up."

A year went by. The little girl had worked all year, taking whatever her mother would offer in return for her dedication and labor. Finally it was summer. The little girl emptied her money jar onto the table. Would there be enough?

Quarters and dollars spilled over the table. Pennies and dimes and a five-dollar bill all joined in a big pile for the little girl to count. And you know what? She had fifty six dollars. Fifty six! She was ecstatic! The little girl could finally get her shiny pink bike with purple streamers. And when she did, you can bet that her smile was the biggest, her soul was the lightest, and her heart was the happiest on the whole block.

How do you spend your money? Do you whittle it away buying ice creams and popsicles because it seems like it'll take too long to save up for your bike? Do you give up because your mother isn't very consistent, and some weeks you get no reward for your hard work while other times you get a token compensation? Does it seem like adding a few quarters to the jar every so often will *never* add up enough to amount to anything?

Do you want that shiny new bike? Do you really? Because there are fifty two weeks in a year, and although a year may seem like a very long time to reach a goal, the time goes by anyway. And those efforts, even ones that seem futile at times, will be rewarded.

Have an ice cream... or save up for what you really want. If you put the work in... if you *really* work and never give up, you'll have your freedom soon enough.

45 comments:

Salted with Shadows said...

What a great post...I'm so glad that kind older girl was there. Sometimes a small kindness like that is just the push we need to keep saving. :)

Living on the Spit said...

What a great mental image I will have as I work really hard to get "that bike"...thanks for a wonderful post!

spunkysuzi said...

Love that it applies to almost anything you want :)

Deb said...

Really great post, Lyn.

Laura said...

This is a great post. Definitely a story to remember!

Tiffany said...

What an inspiring story. Gives you something to think about. Thanks for sharing :)

~ Cyndi said...

Hi, Lyn - I've been reading your blog for a while now and haven't commented yet. However, I just couldn't let today's post go by without telling you how wonderful (and timely for me) it was! Thank you so much for the great reminder and perspective. I love reading your blog and today's post is just one reason why. :-)

DownsizingDoc said...

Excellent Post! I'm a serious cyclist (I have 5 bikes and one of them is pink!) so any mention of bicycles resonates.

I "only" last one lb this week - but if I lose one lb each week thats 52 pounds a year!

Becky said...

Love it! Very motivating and it puts my journey in perspective. It's worth the work and the wait!!

Tammy said...

What an inspiring and touching post, all wrapped into one...thank you Lyn, for such a wonderful perspective. This has been one of the worse days I've had since I started in blogging...thank you for lifting my downtrodden spirits once again...thank you from the bottom of my overworked heart. :)

screwdestiny said...

Awesome post. You're absolutely right.

Lisa said...

What an amazing post, thanks so much for that, it's very inspiring. I'm going to start saving for a wardrobe (full of new clothes!)

Deniz said...

What a beautiful and motivating post. We must work hard and never give up, even when things seem hopeless... and we WILL reach our dreams! Thanks Lyn

Gazza said...

Just a fantastic post... wonderful and inspiring... keep them coming! I love reading your blog!

Hanlie said...

This may just be the best post you've ever written! Thank you!

Derek said...

This post is absolutely wonderful. The lesson applies in so many areas of our lives, not just losing weight.

At times, I was hoping the mother would take better notice and be more consistent with her parenting. Then I realized it was more important that the girl focused on her own goals, regardless of how other people around her supported her efforts (or not).

The Road Curves Ahead said...

I really enjoyed this post and I am sure it will speak to a lot of people.

Anonymous said...

Wonderful post! Thanks for the inspiration -- I think you're a brilliant writer and it looks like other agree.

Amy H. said...

I really needed a story like this today - thanks for sharing it.

Diane, Fit to the Finish said...

Wonderful, moving post. It really spoke to me today, and not just with weight related issues, but with life.

Dana (www.eatsleepgetfit.com) said...

Great post. I'm saving my pennies for a VitaMix!!

VeeGettingHealthy said...

I'm saving for a house. Homestead, actually. Loved the post.

Vee at http://www.veegettinghealthy.blogspot.com

Sonya said...

I love this post. It goes to show us how determination can make anything happen.:-)

Twix said...

That older girl was there at the gym with me. After I got done working out she said that very thing to me. Don't give up, that it will happen. It was awesome!! :) We all should be that older girl!

Diana said...

lynn..
simply beautiful!

redballoon said...

ooh, shame on me. I started out not thinking this would be a post of great interest to me (sorry). In fact, I almost didn't get past the first sentence.
But then I stuck with it and found it was a wonderful post.
I sure wish I had that older girl to urge me on. In so many things in my life now, I don't know whether to give up or continue or change my path and so I often bog down with NO results, no good ones, that is.
Still, there ARE certain things that are certain. One is that I have to keep doing something to get to certain goals.
Thank you, Lyn, for yet another touching and meaningful post. I AM learning.

antgirl said...

Good analogy. It took me 2 years to take off the weight. Another year + at toning [still going]. But those little things add up. :)

Amnesiac said...

Wow, I'm sure I'm echoing everything that has already been said, but i loved this post. It's so inspiring and apt, I even teared up a little. Thank you! I love your blog so much.

Julie said...

wonderful post, lyn. thank you very much.

Irene said...

LOVE this...Thank you!!!!! :-)

*fitcetera* said...

So what colour is your bike going to be?

I think I'd like red or pink ... :D

Let's go for a ride together, ok?

Ioanna said...

Great post!! once again, you are awesome!

Roberta said...

Lyn I am speechless, your post was so inspiring and touching. It really does make us sit up and look at what is around us. Love your blog, and will follow you through your jouney. xx

Retta said...

What an awesome & inspiring post!!!

I will be announcing a contest on my "Losing My Body Fat" blog tomorrow. I hope to see you there!

Perpetual Procrastinator said...

I just found your blog, what a cool message, do it, do it gradually, do it right –you ain’t kidding sister! Every little bit adds up, if we can gain weight in the blink of an eye, just like we can spend money so fast it’s gone before we know it, why not lose the weight instead?
I’m sorry to hear about the passing of a loved one. Please accept my condolences.
http://shut-up-and-do-it.blogspot.com/

Tammy said...

Hey girl! Miss you! Just checking in on ya'...hope to see you back very soon. :)

cindyay said...

wow this girl was REALLY determined. i know i would've bought the ice cream or some other thing. was that you? if so, you had determination! and i can see how it applies to weight loss.

Anonymous said...

Please post soon. We miss you!

Anonymous said...

Yeah, what ANONYMOUS said!

Anonymous said...

What a message... though I am on the side of I got the pretty pink bike and I forget about it. I leave it out side. I forget I even have it and barely ride it. All that time and energy I spent trying to get it.
Just to lose the bike in the end. I guess this struggle with getting the bike never ends. I still listen for the ice cream truck and even go get one or two.
We all need the older wiser girl to point us in the right directions. Thanks for the wisdom

Anonymous said...

So sorry you are having a tough time. Our prayers are with you and the family. We will wait for your return. Be well

Georgia Mist said...

Fantastic post -- I'm saving calories / saving dimes myself!

Megan said...

Hey Lynn, hope everything is alright in your world. We miss you but take the time you need.

Chubby Chick said...

I want a shiny, new bike... both literally and figuratively!

Lacey said...

Best. story. ever.