Here’s the lovely thing about that massive Powerball jackpot and all the buzz in the air. America is astir with dreaminess. In these past few weeks, millions have taken delightful vacations into happy thoughts. We’ve taken a stroll into that cozy land of What-If. Even those of us who haven’t even bought a ticket.
But the best part, my aforementioned “lovely thing,” is the discoveries we get to make about ourselves. As we stage our fantasies, we get a glimpse into what we truly want, and even a bit into who we truly are.
What would I do with $1.3 billion? The first thing everyone says they’ll do is quit their job. As I look at my “work” plans for 2016, which include speaking at colleges and universities about women’s empowerment and teaching creative writing workshops, and further developing my program on invisible illness awareness, I see this is something that I would not quit – not even when I don’t need to earn a living. The books I’m planning to have published? Again, not something I’d quit for a billion dollars. This analysis affirms my passion for what I’m doing and that I’m on the right path. What a fabulous revelation.
Of course I include in my fantasy a nicer house (one without bare plywood floors and a hole in the kitchen ceiling would be awesome!), adventures around the world, fine wines, and a new winter coat with a zipper that zips 100% of the time. I think of the new sofa, a closet full of dresses I feel amazing in, and a big fenced-in yard for my Amica.
I also fantasize about making those big anonymous donations at the local charity events. I want to go to vets and pay off the bills people had to put on payment plans. I’ll hit up my favorite charities: Habitat for Humanity, ChildFund International, National Wildlife Foundation, Make-a-Wish Foundation. I’ll pick up the bill when I go out to dinner with friends. I’ll make sure my nieces go to college anywhere they like and that my sister doesn’t have to graduate with student loans. I’ll get my mom that pool she always wanted. And a dog park for the Borough of Highspire.
As you make your own list of what you want and what you’ll do, look at it as a revelation of yourself, what truly matters, and what you truly want.
These wants should be pursued, not balled up and tossed away like a losing lottery ticket. And your aspirations of philanthropy should be embraced. Chase your dreams. Give back to the world. It doesn’t take a winning lottery ticket. It just takes a winning determination.
– Christina Irene