“Good luck,” my sister and I competitively tell each other two hours before the $1.5 billion lottery draw. Third time around is the charm, right?
It’s thrilling to play in this record-breaking jackpot even though the odds are highly stacked against us winning. We as humans instinctively seek security, and a lifetime of money = security. But it’s also fun because it does pour into the world of extravagance, too.
Yet, that’s the part that I struggle with the most when playfully dreaming about winning it all. Immediate expenditures that come to mind are paying off debts, taking care of our family, setting up investments and funds to ensure security for the future, and donating to philanthropic causes that advance meaningful missions. Oh, and becoming a homeowner. Security … Check.
I draw a blank. Maybe buy that quesadilla maker I’ve been eyeing at Bed Bath and Beyond? Or finally click “purchase” to those $300 online shopping bags optimistically on hold right now? An extra fancy tub of gelato for my pregnancy cravings?
Part of me starts to shut down when this lottery fantasy crosses into the extravagance of it all. While it’s comforting to think of all that would be settled and taken care of with such a large winning, it’s also unsettling to think of all the change and stress that could come with such excess. There’s a grim reality, as seen from winners past, that more money really does create more problems.
That’s when it hit me that there are many things about living life on the humble side that are quite beautiful. Living richly isn’t defined by mansions and maids, vacations and diamonds. Wealthy or not, life’s greatest riches are the same: love, family, laughter, and purpose.
Lucky me, these riches I already have.