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Lottery Dreams

Some of my favorite moments from the last few weeks of my iPhone 365 (+1) projectI like to think that I'm in touch with the zeitgeist, if not the actual current events of the day (since, you may recall, I turned off the news last year in an effort to retain my tenuous grip on sanity).  One byproduct of this willful ignorance is that I have become the human version of the "water cooler," which is to say that if it's big enough news that people talk about it around me it's probably Very Big News Indeed.  Big like, say, a $540 million jackpot.

I'm not much of a lottery player since I never have cash and also am not lucky in that random-drawing kind of way.  But a co-worker put together a lottery pool in the office yesterday and I figured whatthehell?  It's not like I want to be the lone employee left at the office if all my colleagues are suddenly raptured by the Mega Millions.

Like untold thousands of Americans yesterday, I then embarked on daydreaming about what I would do with my share of the office loot.  The first thing I noticed was that I don't want to change much.  My life is already filled with so much beauty that I wonder how I could possibly deserve it all.  Sure, I would probably trade in my 8-year-old car on something with fewer random rattles.  I would be happy to know that Ezra's college savings fund would be more, er, robust than it currently is.  I would definitely pursue my long-time dream of designing and building a custom home, but still in the neighborhood where I now live.  While I would likely quit my job, I certainly can't imagine a life that doesn't include work.  I love to work, I get satisfaction and meaning from my labor.  I guess I would just be more selective about the projects I undertake.

I would buy that new Nikon D800 I've been salivating over. 

And the 24-70mm 2.8 lens. 

I would push this dream of becoming an artist. 

I would act like someone who could not fail.

These thoughts crossed my mind and then I realized, I don't have to win half-a-billion dollars to do those things.  I am already cultivating my artist life.  I am already saving for the D800.  I could choose, today, to act like someone who can not fail.  If I could manage that, imagine the authentic meaning it would bring to my life.

I know I'm probably underestimating the psychic impact that being suddenly catapulted into the 1% would bring.  I might suddenly be turned into Gollum, corrupted and covetous of things that now barely ping my radar.  And on the infinitesimal chance that our numbers come up tonight, I'll be happy to take the opportunity to prove myself under those circumstances.

But noticing that my dreams don't require that kind of luck is its own kind of win.  Talent, work, and chutzpah?  Yeah, I'm going to need a whole lot of those.  But at least those are the things I don't have to leave to random chance.

Reader Comments (7)

Who needs millions when you are awesome? You certainly don't;)

March 30, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCherish

When we both get our D800's lets plan a mini-camp to christen (or, you know) them. I'm mad saving here too. We'll eat at Booze. Or, I'll get you to come to Vegas...

March 30, 2012 | Unregistered Commentertara on the wander

Totally. Yes. I've my full-frame piggy bank going, too. I say we go to Palm Springs and stay at the ACE when we get them! :)

March 30, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMeghan @ Life Refocused

I actually put together a spreadsheet for what I would do with my lottery winnings. :) I actually created it about 5 years ago as a way to teach myself how to properly use spreadsheets & formulas, etc.

It's kind of fun, I can update the "payout" line and it updates a bunch of other fields I have created.

I modified it for this particular lottery winning - I have money going to all of mine & my wife's aunts & uncles & cousins - all 53 of them! Bumped up the amount we'd give to the MS Foundation and Dumb Friends League, local arts, certain friends - in most all cases by a factor of 10. :)

Funny thing is, the way it's set up right now, after spending a TON of money on a lot of stuff & luxuries, I'm showing we'd still have 100+ million cash left over. :)

So, good luck to both of us. :)

March 30, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSam

What a gift to know that one is already rich.

March 31, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBrenda

Well it's hard to say it any better than Brenda did so I won't try. I am VERY much looking forward to seeing what you see through that 24-70 2.8 though.

April 3, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterChristopher

Winning the lottery would give me time. Time to manually focus with Zeiss primes. Time to fiddle about with tilt-shift lenses. Time to actually think about what I was shooting.

May 2, 2012 | Unregistered CommentertomK

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