March 29, 2012

Craft Your Better Self: Making small life upgrades



The NY Lottery is $540, $640 million. The biggest jackpot in its history. A girl in my office collected $5 from everyone, two opted out. We’d each get $18 $21million before taxes. Not bad for a stroke of luck. The buzz and chatter about the possibility of winning is palatable. One woman would quit immediately and never look back (this was supported by others with, “Hell Yeah”), one woman said she would work for another year to “get her things in order”, others offered similar predictions about what they would do.
What would I do? I used to give this a lot of thought at night time, when I couldn’t sleep. I would lull myself into a sleepy state thinking of all the shoes I would buy, the vacations I would take and people I would share it with. These happy thoughts calmed me, taking my mind off real life issues that were probably the reason I couldn’t sleep to begin with.
Aside from quitting my job, making big investments, and helping a few struggling family members, my lottery winning fantasy is kind of lame. Rather than making a complete life overhaul I would make small life upgrades. My travel accommodations would have ocean front views; my flight options would have more leg room; my dining experiences would include appetizer AND dessert; shopping adventures would no longer be limited to the sale rack, or only on pay day; I'd have my groceries delivered and I would frequent taxi cabs more than ever before ("Hell, Yeah").
Who are we kidding though? Real lottery winnings can't be bought with money. Super cliche' but super true. $18 million won't help me be a better guitar player (I suck) or alleviate my fear of singing in front of an audience (I'm too old for American idol, but not too old for Arlene's grocery in NYC). Millions won't cure my arthritis or relieve me of my innumerable insecurities. Millions would make life comfortable no doubt, but in the end I know it won't make a dink in the internal structure of who I am (maybe not such a bad thing). While I will remain hopeful for winning the lotto, I will continue to invest in guitar lessons and self-improvement books.
What would you do?