$400 million dollars. That is the estimated pay out for PowerBall this week. Or $227 million cash value… which I think means that is how much the winner could get if taking it all at once in cash… but I could be wrong. I’m not much of a lottery player. I tend to leave lottery ticket purchases to my husband, hoping and assuming that he’ll include me if he wins. However, when the jackpot gets gigantic like it is this week, I hop into the company pool. After all, I don’t want to be the one left behind if they all win big and leave.
We have all heard that it is more likely that we would be struck by lightening than win the lottery. Some sources, like NBC News, have shared other things that are more likely to happen than win the lottery; like we are far more likely to be born with extra fingers or toes, become U.S. President, be drafted by the NBA, be attacked by a shark, or become a movie star. And yet we still play. And we still dream.
It is natural to play that fun game in our heads of “what if.” What if we won big? I don’t necessarily mean winning the whole enchilada. Heck, I’m not greedy, I don’t need to win the whole pot. Just a small fraction of it would be pretty nifty. I could be quite happy with just a couple million. So then, what if? What if you won a few million dollars?
As truly Real Women, how drastically would we change? How would our lives alter if we had virtually unlimited funds? I’m going to presume here that we all would be smart enough to instantly hire a reputable money manager/investor, and we wouldn’t become one of those other shocking statistics, and be the person who’s life is ruined by winning it big. Let’s say we are smart about it.
My guess is we would all take the first step and become completely debt free. That seems to be a no-brainer. But then what? Do you keep it all to yourself? Or do you help others? Family, friends, charities, strangers? Or do you invest it all and hide it, sitting on it like a big egg, waiting to splurge on a rainy day? Or leave it all to your children?
And what of the “stuff”… the material things. A new home? Fancy car? Designer clothes? Travel? Call me crazy, but I believe (or maybe it is more like hope) that I wouldn’t change that much. I’d still be me. Family and friends would still come first. I believe that those of us who are true to ourselves, our Real Women selves, wouldn’t change that drastically either….we’d hold onto our same beliefs and values. We’d just become Real Women: Turbo Style. For example, I don’t think I’d cast away my home, I happen to love it… but perhaps I’d buy a couple vacation homes in other areas — that would be lovely. And I’d add an addition to our home because I’ve always wanted a giant walk-in closet and whirlpool tub. I’m happy with my car, I would just pay it off. I’d travel. Lots. But I think I’d still buy the same kind of clothes as I do now, and I’d probably still be a bargain hunter because it is in my blood. I have no interest in furs or high-end designers. I’d hire a personal trainer. I wouldn’t hire a full-time chef, because I like to cook – but I could use some nights off, so a part-time chef would be ok. Ooooh, I’d hire someone to do my meal planning and grocery shopping, that would be awesome. Well, ok, and maybe someone to clean my bathrooms and do the ironing.
My hunch is that for most of us Real Women, we wouldn’t want to completely change our lives, we would just change the balance of it. For us it is less about the stuff and more about the what. We’d find a way to “buy” the leisure time we all crave. We’d “spend” more time enjoying our hobbies, families, and the world itself. We’d be able to stop and finally ask ourselves truthfully, what do WE want to DO?
In all of this dreaming, that may be the hardest question to ask, simply because we so rarely take the time to consider the answer. If money were truly no object, what would you spend your days doing? In between the trips to exotic locations, the shopping sprees, and the ladies luncheons, what then? Is there some form of “work” you would still want to do to stay productive and use your brain? Would you volunteer? Would you spend your time channeling your creative side? Would you take the time to hone a skill or talent?
Close your eyes and imagine it for a moment. You have the time, the health, and the funds. What are you doing? It is a pretty delicious way to indulge in the “what if.” And I’m guessing it gives us a pretty honest look at who we are or who we want to be.
For me, that dream question doesn’t always come up with the same answer. Some days I’m volunteering at an animal shelter. Some days I’m exploring the world, much of it via bicycle. Some days I’m a movie location scout. Some days I’m leading fitness classes for children. Some days I’m a beach bum. Today, if I ask myself the “what if” question, I’m sitting in a bright airy room, a warm breeze coming through an open window with a beautiful view, and I’m writing the next best-seller.
I don’t put a whole lot of stock in those bouncing lottery balls, and I don’t have many grand illusions that any of us hold the winning numbers in our hands. But the dreaming part? Now THAT is powerful. And free.
What is your “what if” dream? Please feel free to share.