The Anxious Penny

First thought you probably had was how could a penny be anxious? Things are not always as they seem.

Look what happens when you switch the noun and the verb and make “penny” an action word and “anxious” a person.

We now have an Anxious person doing something involving a penny.

Welcome back to HalfCrazedMom.

Started Out With Puzzles

Most of the articles on this website deal with ways that I have learned to help my daughter deal with her anxiety and depression and other mental health issues. This one will be no different although I will admit I hold this one VERY close to my heart.

Many nights during the earlier years were spent not knowing what to do for HC when she was having bouts of depression and anxiety. I would sit with her often times for hours in a dark room or we would go out to the TV and put on a familiar movie that she liked. And basically we both just sat there…neither of us knowing what to say or do.

Then one night when I knew that it was going to be a LONG NIGHT I suggested we throw on a hoodie, promised we wouldn’t see anyone we knew at 2AM and make a quick run to our open 24-hour local pharmacy. Why the pharmacy you may ask…for our favorite LONG NIGHT snacks of course…PEPSI and CHOCOLATE.

There on the end display was something so simple yet so complex.


Who knew that for the next couple of years there was ALWAYS a puzzle on the table being worked on. Yes I am not exaggerating the situation. For some reason HC found some sort of comfort sitting and working on puzzles.

Perhaps it was because it was something we could do together.

Perhaps it was because it was not required to have conversation while working on the puzzle.

Whatever the reason at that time in our lives, puzzles became one of the many LIFE-PRESERVERS in our often times sinking ship.

The interesting part was that while we sat at the dining room table for hours working on these puzzles HC seemed to open up to me much more than any other time. I was not asking questions. She felt no pressure to talk. It just happened. And it was good. So I guess I could say that at this time in our lives THE ANXIOUS PUZZLE.

Moved to Sorting Pennies

So how did we get from putting puzzles together all the way to sorting pennies.

The first reason is after two years of putting puzzles together we were running out of steam and needed a bit of variety. We tried those 3-D puzzles and we both got headaches so that was a big no.

The second reason we had to look for something different was the crazy husky puppy. She went through a phase of eating everything she found on the floor. Frustration sets in when you are putting a 2000 piece puzzle together and realize that you need 5 more pieces and you have 4 pieces left.

While looking on-line for other options I came across Abe Lincoln of all things. Yes there is a website out there in cyberspace that sells a kit where you can collect and sort pennies into different shades and then glue them onto a coded picture of Abe Lincoln.

You can find this kit on Amazon if you would be interested.

And so after this, the word PENNY became a verb in our family. We were always going to penny. We started with this portrait and moved on to flags and birdhouses and picture frames and candles.

Had a Brainstorm Moment

WHAT IF we could bottle up all this time and energy we spent sorting pennies and could actually make a penny or two.

On this website I have chosen to not discuss the trials that I have with attempting to work full-time, take care of my adult daughter who is not currently able to work and still pay all the bills (mine and hers). So in keeping with that theme I can only refer you to my other website which discusses that in more detail. It is my second website and is still in its baby stages but feel free to check it out. It is called How To Retire With Dignity.

You can get there from HERE: ==> howtoretirewithdignity.com<==

WHAT IF by sorting all these pennies we could turn them into a picture or craft that someone would purchase. Even if it was only to recoup the cost of supplies so we could buy more.

WHAT IF my daughter could feel she was contributing in a positive way by making a little money on the side. All I see is a WIN-WIN situation. (oh boy).

Why is it whenever I say WIN-WIN it almost always turns into LOSE-LOSE

Our First Craft Show Is Scheduled

Sounds like a GREAT IDEA to me. So I ask around and find out there is a local holiday craft show and they still have three spots available. So I hustle around and secure one of the last spots for this awesome craft show next Saturday,

That gives us a little over a week to finish up some projects and figure out what one needs for a craft show and although it will be a rush I think we can accomplish a decent showing for our first craft show.

I need to pay more attention to context clues. I know this but often times I get so wrapped up in my own thoughts and feelings I forget that we are two totally different people.

I call my daughter and tell her the good news and that we have so much work to get done. We were able to get one of the last spots. Now the show was a sell-out. 150 vendors and crafters all together inside a high school gym and cafeteria. Not counting the hundreds and perhaps thousands of people coming to the holiday craft show.

Can anyone, besides her sometimes clueless mother, see this might be a problem?

I come home from work that night and I am ready to get going on all those penny projects and can you guess what I found? I am ready to penny and she is sitting on the couch with a table pulled in front of her and she is sorting PUZZLE PIECES.


I am going to have to put the conclusion on hold…we are one week away from the Craft Show and decisions need to be made.

Should I just eat the $60 and skip the show?

Can HC pull herself together and make the show or should she even try?

Should I go without her when it is OUR thing?

Stay tuned to this channel to see how we decide to proceed.

Keep fighting the good fight.


Tammy C


  1. The puzzle well solved and it created my interest in this post all through. This is great and I really like everything I have read here. Thanks so much for sharing them here. They are all simply great and well worthy. Big thumbs up to you and I look forward to seeing the decision you finally take.

    • Glad you enjoyed the puzzling anxious penny post.  I will update next week on the outcome.

  2. Well! I believe that the body never changes of its own accord, it is either we coarse a change out of it or we just leave it to be. This is simply great and I found every bit of this to be lovely because it is written on a true life happening. Well, my opinion is that I wish she can go for the craft show and probably be able to face her fears a little.

  3. Hello Tammy, being a mother isn’t easy and in your case, keeping up with work and having to look after HC isn’t any leas stress I understand. It’s nice reading through your post and I could see the tone of a real mom in it and I often burst into laughter while reading. HC seems like a great kid who would be just fine is doing her thing the way she wants but with eyes on her to make it a little fun so she doesn’t feel alone. I will keep my finger crossed to see how it turns out.

    • Hello Benson

      Thank you so much for your time and advice.  I have gotten such a wonderful response to this post and promise to let everyone know ow how things turn out.

  4. Of a truth, I’m really wowed by your presentation here ad I must say that it is really great and well worth it. To say the truth, this is great to see here. At least, you are making the efforts to help your daughter. I do not know if it would work out but one of the ways I helped my self with my anxiety is facing my fears and doing exactly what my body wants. I feel the need for her to explore the craft show, and I will look forward to your next post.

    • Hello and thank you so much for your input.  I appreciate you taking the time to comment.

  5. Hey Tammy 

    Love your domain name x (: Gosh emotional, mental, anxiety, depression pains are so prevalent everywhere, the measure of you as the mum and finding your safe place (if I can call it safe) here online to have some form of healing and self fullness is such a great gift for yourself. Yes I can understand a little with a son with OCD, timing is everything and its nothing lol, and with a lot of love unconditional love, you’ll steer through hardships with HC, the ones she’ll remember are the most loved ones, not saying you dont love her less with other moments, but when the wall goes up and even if she cannot see you, she can still feel you are there for her, and its forever, what a wonderful mother you are 🙂 

    Keep on healing through writing, i have thoroughly enjoyed reading a piece of heart. Thank you so 🙂

    • Hello Erika

      What kind words can do to brighten up ones day.  Thank you so much for taking the time to not only read  my post but to also offer such wonderful advice.

  6. I perfectly understand your worries and concerns and I hope that one day soon, It would all be okay with her. But i would not want you to rush her. If possible, take it easy on her and if she is ready and willing to go and explore, then let her go and explore. There is really a lot more that she would gain if she would be willing to face her fears. However, staying on the side of caution is also a good thing.

  7. Hello Tammy, I was also wondering how a penny can be anxious, but now I understand better. dealing with depression in kids isn’t an easy task and so I see how much effort you are putting into making HC feel comfortable and being a working mom doesn’t make it all easy. I too once had a similar experience with my son who was always wanting to be alone and fell into being depressed. I had to stop going to work for two weeks to help him get better. I hope you don’t spend that 60 bucks.

  8. Thank you so much for the awesome post!  This is a very inspirational post, and it shows how dedicated you are!  If I may offer my own opinion, maybe, if she is unable to go, as her if it is okay if you go on behalf of her.   You have come so far now, don’t back out!  I know sixty seems like a lot of money, but the potential turnaround for it seems like a fair deal.

    • Hi Jessie

      I appreciate your comments and advice.   You are a good cheerleader.  We are still a few days away but I will post the final outcome next week.  

  9. Firstly I’m sorry to hear that your daughter has had to deal with anxiety, depression and other mental health issues. This must have been tough on you both, and I commend your efforts in staying up long nights and finding ways to battle. Puzzles were an excellent start and great advice for others here. Getting to the end of the puzzle and missing a few pieces is really frustrating and I can picture the husky dog panting in the corner with an innocent face. I would say give it a try with the pennies but don’t force it and don’t be discouraged. Go alone and see how it goes and maybe next time she will warm up to the idea. Great post, great awareness and advice here, and I’m looking forward to seeing how it turns out. Keep on fighting the good fight, you’re doing great!

  10. Hello Tammy!

    Such an interesting and meaningful experience of life here in the article! Having a regular, engaging and also passioning activity like puzzles and sorting (pennies or anything else) is a good way to fight depression and to distract our thoughts from the dark side.

    As for pennies, I remember that when I started school (23 years ago), during one or two months I had as well a passion for collecting pennies in my local currency (Romanian Leu), and I also felt pleasure in sorting them, like 100 pennies of 100 Lei = 10000. I had a certain passion for numbers since I was little.

    Very nice the penny set having Abraham Lincoln’s figure, it has to be quite exciting having to solve such “penny-puzzles” that render figures at the end!

    If your daughter feels better right now, and if you feel like it would be even better for her to go to the Craft Show, then don’s lose this opportunity. HC should make it to the show!

    Lots of health to your daughter and wish you all the best,


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