I never, ever play the lottery but I'm one of those people that think If I won the lottery... and then I remember that I'd actually have to play to win. Meh. Sometimes Breana can coax me into buying a scratch off game and the most I've ever won was a free ticket. These "winnings" would just sit in my car or on the kitchen counter for several months and I'd forget to trade them in for a new ticket. This past Saturday I played the lottery. Someone has to win... eventually. I never know what I'm doing in life it seems. There are always these adult things, like the lottery, that I know nothing about, but somehow you feel like you should know. So I went to Publix and said I wanted to play.
"Which one?" the girl at the customer service counter asked.
"The big one," I replied, sort of clueless that there were others.
"Is that the big one?"
"Yeah, that's the one everyone is playing."
Good lord, seriously, this is so hard!
"Do I need one of those scantron sheets?" I asked her as I pulled out my debit card.
"Ma'am, it's cash only," she said as she totally ignored my scantron inquiry. She was young and I wondered if people her age even knew what a scantron was.
"How much do you want to do?" she asked.
"I don't know... what are my choices? I need a menu," I joked. She just looked at me and must have thought, this woman is in her mid-thirties and doesn't know how to play the lottery?
I wound up doing $10 worth of Quick Picks and left.
Needless to say I didn't win. Breana keeps reminding me to buy a ticket for Wednesday and now that I sort of know what to do, I will. We then spent 45 minutes in the car yesterday, deep in lottery conversation. What would we do? How would it change our lives?
I had been thinking for the past couple of months about what I want in life, and these can easily happen without a billion dollars. I've been thinking about the space we use regularly in our home: the great room, the kitchen, my room, Breana's room and the bathroom. That's it. But we have a finished basement, 2 extra guest rooms, 2 extra bathrooms, a dining room, a living room, a playroom. My thinking has evolved into a common thought: this is stupid. We have 3 televisions and only use 1, but barely even watch it. I have a 2 car garage and 1 car. I don't want all of this anymore. Somewhere along the line life got complicated and now I just want something simpler. I really want a small house, but I'm picky so it can't just be any small house- it has to have character. I want room for a garden. I want to do quirky front yard things on occasion and not have HOA shitting their pants. I want chickens. I'm happy with my car and there's really nothing else I'd rather drive right now. I could be happy with so much less and I feel like my life would be so much more. Enter Breana and we have an argument. She's 11 and has reached a "more is more" phase. Christmas drove me bonkers. The greed, the expectations, the more, more, MORE mentality- it's all so dumb. But it was once my mentality and I admit that was not long ago. I do like things, my things, so this is a struggle to look around and tell myself, I don't really need that. It's okay to get rid of that.
I had a smaller house once and while I loved it, I reached a point where I wanted something bigger. I've been missing that house lately. Oh life, you funny little thing with your sneaky ways! You could say I'm still wanting more. Of course I do, but it's different now. I want more play outdoors, more land, more money saved, more control. I want less comparison and more contentment, less spending and more generosity, less quantity and more quality. Teaching your child that quality is better than quantity, that's a tough one.
I still wouldn't mind winning the lottery though. I told Breana I don't think I'd change too much in our lives. We would travel a lot. We'd donate to charity, to family and close friends. I'd still want a small house but maybe I'd hire Chip & Joanna Gaines and put in some marble countertops, white subway tile and of course shiplap. I'd put in a pool for those miserably humid days here in the South. I'd probably splurge on a badass bathroom. And I'd buy a Pinball machine. Wishing on the lottery is like wishing on a snowstorm. For me anyway. I like the random excitement of it and there's no pressure to buy bread or milk!
I can feel trapped right now in my life, but nothing compared to how my Dad felt trapped. I think about Dad a lot, where his mind was and the darkness he had to face daily, but the random excitement of playing the lottery freed him to some degree. So did marijuana, but I'll save those stories for another time. I don't need to win the lottery, really I don't need much. I just need something to look forward to that gets me dreaming and hoping. Of something less and something more.