A Rich Life

It seems like all talk round these parts has been on $$$ over the last few weeks, what with the lottery and crazy amounts of cash being thrown around this town making a handful of people millionaires.

Yes, the Mega Millions came and went. I wasn’t a winner and neither were my coworkers. Me and my five bucks went into the game knowing nothing would come of it. Still, it was nice for a few hours to go through the motions with the rest of the nation- standing in line at the 7-11 drinking suicide Slurpees, making a lottery pool and dreaming big.

My favorite part of the whole affair (besides the Slurpees- TEETHROT) was listening to everyone’s “If I won the lottery…” dreams. Beyond the usual houses, donations and travel aspirations there were also a few very quirky labor of love enterprises: rock climbing gyms, musical theater restaurants, whimsical research foundations and so on. It all lead to some very interesting conversations about personal motivation, sense of self and obligations to one’s community. Even within that last question there are so many things to think about. How do you define community? Where does your heart and sense of service lie? Do you only help your family? Your friends? People who do the same work as you? People who have the same problems as you? How do you spread your wealth in order to do the most good? And on, and on…

My own dreams felt to me to be quite humble, perhaps for lack of imagination, or perhaps because I am feeling grateful for things as they are. Some scary health concerns have been popping up around the edges of my friends’ lives, which has me holding my breath and feeling an extra long lasting sense of thankfulness. It’s so weird. I’m just really really glad that right now everybody I care about is healthy and happy, and that’s enough.

Anyways, back to the question. How would I choose to live my life with $$$$$$? Most likely I would pay off my debts, live a bicoastal lifestyle interspersed with occasional travel, take care of my mom financially, revamp a few ASPCA shelters, open a bunch of grocery stores in food deserts and start a publishing house where I could give the green light on books that nobody will read…

The thing that amuses me about my dreams and the dreams of others is that most things that we mentioned are totally doable, right here, right now. Grocery store leases and the fact that nobody reads books aside, every day I can be making real headway on the things that I want, and so can my friends. The only thing stopping us it seems is fear, not money. Happiness is here and now if we do the work.