Welcome to the new look! I was recently diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder (which basically means I’m high strung and I over-react) so in my attempts to be zen I thought I might as well change the things I have control over (without therapy): the appearance of my blog. Yes, minute. Miniscule. Irrelevant? Maybe. But the softer colors are pretty and make me feel better, blah, blah, yada yada, peace and harmony. On to the point!
Interestingly enough, last night during my yoga practice, I was thinking about a conversation I had with Patrick over a year ago when I bought my first lottery ticket (not quite the peace of mind I was looking for in downward dog but what can you do). Obviously I wasn’t one of those folks who turned 18 and bought cigarettes, porn, and a lottery ticket. I got my nose pierced and a tattoo instead but that’s beside the point. So, here I am. 25 years old, feeling like I’m doing something illegal, needing help to figure out how to do this whole “lotto” thing (it was something ridiculous like $200 million so don’t judge me) and naturally thinking, “What am I going to do with all this money if I win?” This question is something I’ve thought about for nearly 2 decades. I remember when I would visit my dad in Georgetown and before we would go to bed we would talk about all the stuff we would do or buy if we won $1 million dollars. Which, when you’re 7, seems like an UNLIMITED amount of money! I wasn’t very good with math so when I said I wanted a Lamborghini I didn’t realize that after that, nearly half of my money would be gone. And then there were SOO many more things a little kid wants. I wanted a Palomino. I wanted a princess castle. I wanted to go to Disney World and I wanted to be a Disney princess in a princess castle. I wanted a harp and I also wanted a Bengal. Naturally.
So when Patrick and I started talking about what we would do with all of that money, our list was a little more mature but you would be surprised what doesn’t change when it comes to childhood dreams. I still wanted an awesome car. Although, a more practical one that would hold more than 2 people. Maybe a Porsche Cayenne. I wanted a house (well, one on every continent) and land so I could buy that Palomino I had dreamed of. And if that house had a turret and a moat, so be it. The exotic cat was still on the list but this time it was a Savannah and yes, I would be a voice actor for Disney because I would have the money to pay my way into fame! Obviously, this stuff was silly, impractical, and not things I necessarily wanted (voice acting excluded). We went down the list of people that we would take care of, including ivy league college funds for our brilliant non-existent children. No one in our families would have house or car payments and all their debts would be covered. We would divide our 10% among various charities and missionary friends and then, because it’s $200 million, we would probably go crazy and move to a hut on some remote island so people would stop asking us for money… but I digress.
The main thing I was thinking of last night was that if I truly had unlimited amounts of money, I would want a killer music room. I would buy that harp and that baby grand and soundproof the crap out of that room. It would be the oasis that I could escape to and practice and write and be the musician I always wanted to be. Because I would have music lessons every day. People to make me practice and force me to excel! I would have private language tutors and I would become fluent in French and Italian and be proficient on guitar, piano, and of course, harp. Out of all the things on my wish list, above all, I wanted that music room. And after thinking about this, really, thinking about all these things you want and knowing that, realistically, you’re never going to win the lottery, it becomes a totally negative experience. I mean, who does that? All that it does to a person, or at least all it did to me, was make me want things I didn’t need and create in me this feeling of discontent. I mean, this fun, innocent conversation, kind of took me to a dark place and I realized how bitter I was about what other people have. Jealous. Covetous. To the point where finding out what some people were spending their money on, made me outright angry.
Which is crazy.
I was literally temporarily insane.
I’ve been beyond blessed in my life! I am one of those kids who was able to go to college and not graduate in debt. I have a car that’s paid off. We are home owners! We have a roof over our head, food in our stomachs and clothes on our backs. And I’m sad because I can’t get private music lessons on a daily basis? Cry me a river!! C’mon!!?!
It was eye opening. And it really made me do some self-reflection. I mean, this guest room is small but if I took the bookshelves out, I would totally have room for a harp…
All of this to ask: if you had loads of money, what’s the one thing you would want or do, more than anything else (after you’ve provided for your loved ones and tithed your 10%)?
And don’t think too long and hard over this because we are called to be content wherever we are in our lives. But once in a while, it’s a fun thing to think about. And I think it can teach you a little something about where your heart lies.