Monday, April 9, 2012

Happy Without Winning The Lottery

I had a very interesting conversation with my sweetie last week. With all the hoopla surrounding the $640 million lottery, we were laughing about what we'd buy if we happened to win (we didn't, by the way). All the usual big ticket items came up: beach vacation, red sports car, bigger tractor, furniture, truckloads of fabric and fancy sewing/quilting machines, a greenhouse, shortwave radios, tools, houses or condos for our parents, etc. Oh, and diamonds, of course! 
We considered how our lives would change with such a huge amount of money. That responsibility would not be fun. I bet we'd worry more than we do now. We'd spend a lot of time managing the portfolio, talking with financial advisers and avoiding panhandlers or long-lost distant relatives. It would be so much more stressful to have mega-millions than it is to just have enough.

I realized that I'm pretty satisfied with my life as it is. We're enjoying retirement. I love my home and don't really want a bigger or newer one. While watching a cute gardener or landscaper work in my yard might be nice to think about, I prefer to do my own digging and planting. It might be fun to buy expensive stuff or go to exotic places, but I think it would get old fairly quickly.

With the exception of the homes for our parents, it occurred to me that most of the items on our dream list are attainable if we really want them. Of course, we'd have to choose between a few of the most important. All we really need is to make plans for what we enjoy, and follow our dreams.

Our simple tastes tell me that I wouldn't make a good multimillionaire. I am happy with what I have and wouldn't really change much about my life. However, I really do want that red sports car, so I might need an extra hundred thousand. Guess I'd better buy a lottery ticket now and then.

You have succeeded in life when all you really want is only what you really need.  ~Vernon Howard