~Fiddler on the Roof~
Earlier this week while scheduling my Tivo line-up of Life-Wasting Programs, I stumbled upon a documentary about people who’d won big cabbage in the lottery. And folks, we are talking a mighty chunky piece of slaw.
COLOR ME VERY MUCH INTRIGUED.
However. The more I watched, well dadgum, the sadder I got. By the time the program was over, I was so dispirited I swore off gambling of any kind. Because ya’ll know, who in their wildest dreams, wants to win lots of money and never have worry about bills again?
GOLLY GOSH, CERTAINLY NOT ME.
But. According to the People With More Money Than They Knew What To Do With, the big win literally ruined their lives. Close relationships with friends and family were often destroyed by jealousy.
Friends who were interviewed, across the board, said they now found a lack of any connection with the person who was catapulted into a different financial stratosphere. They felt, without reservation, that their friend could no longer relate to them. And vice versa.
Some winners were struck by the loss of meaningful purpose in their lives lacking the need to work for anything.
One man who won the lottery decades earlier discovered that his brother had hired a hit man to knock him off for the inheritance.
I began to wonder if, in our materialistic-centered society, having a financially secure future was apparently such a downer, what does make our daily lives significantly richer? What fills our tanks?
I count myself as very blessed. In the big scheme of life, my tank is full and overflowing. I am not rich. I do not have a model’s physique.
I shall pause momentarily for a bit of wistful sighing.
However. I have children whom I love with every molecule of my being. I have a good marriage, a humble home, and a job I love (most of the time). I cherish my awfully brilliant friends who make me laugh, share my joys and divide my sorrows. And in spite of my love affair with McDonalds and a lifelong adversity to regular, consistent exercise, I am healthy. I have enough.
And I realize what really makes me smile, what fills my heart to swelling are not the Big Life Events, but rather the simple daily gestures of kindness I’ve received.
The Saturday mornings when I’ve awakened to find a cup of Tim Hortons the Husband picked up for me before he went golfing.
An unexpected full tank of gas and a clean van. Although it’s yet to be determined if the Husband did that out of love or annoyance as I frequently drive on ‘empty’ in a less-than-sparkling vehicle.
The period of time where the Husband was in the middle of an extended job search and a 70-plus year old family friend wrote to me every few weeks to make sure I wasn’t going to strap on my cement shoes and wade into the deep end of the pool.
We’re talking handwritten letters on homemade stationery.
HOW CAN YOU NOT CALL THAT WAY SPECIAL?
And. On two separate occasions, this man of relatively meager means, included a check for $25 in his letter notated ‘A Gift From God’. It sure felt like it.
An email or text from a friend just to say I’m thinking about you. Or I love you. Or I’m glad you’re my friend. Or what do you think of X, Y, and Z?
Discovering an unexpected little package or card tucked into the mailbox.
The clever note my 10-year old taped to our bedroom door.
Opening a book I received as a gift several years prior and re-reading the handwritten inscription from a precious friend.
On a side note, in this day and age of electronic everything to receive a solid piece of someone that’s lovingly written is enormously special to me.
I’M FEELING RATHER VERKLEMPT.
Just so ya’ll don’t think I’m as thick as a slab of beef, of course I would love to win the lottery. However. If in the process, I would lose the wonder and gratitude for the smaller things in my life, than I haven’t really won anything at all.