There’s been much media “hoopla” lately over the big New York Lottery. There’s buzz everywhere…the grocery store, the parent pick-up line at school, and of course, all over the news. I’ve never been a lottery player. I’m not a negative-Nelly, but it’s always seemed to me a waste of money, because the odds of winning are miniscule. (I prefer to think of myself as sensible. I’d rather take that $5.00 and buy a magazine or a couple packets of seeds for the garden). But, when you hear of someone winning, whose life is gonna drastically change, you can’t help but wonder, “What would I do if it were me?”
In our suburban household, we don’t all get to have dinner together every night, but we do sit together every morning: my hubby, daughter, and me, while my husband and I drink our morning Joe. Whenever the news flashes about the lotto, the conversation comes up as to what we’d do if we won some gazillion-dollar prize. First: pay off any debt! I know what my daughter would do: live out the dream she’s had since she was a wee-small child in preschool: to become a veterinarian and open up a vet hospital, but with a large no-kill animal shelter in back. She’d offer no-cost or low-cost animal treatments to those in need, turning no one away. Recently, we walked through one of those traveling cat-adoption buses. We learned they don’t have a mortar-and-brick shelter, but a network of loving souls who foster animals until finding a “fur-ever” home. Our furry-love-of-our-life dog also came from a shelter that didn’t have a physical building, and we’re “fur-ever”(sorry, couldn’t help it), grateful to them for bringing us together. She gives our family so much love and devotion. So, yes, I’d open and support animal shelters.
Once a “rescue puppy”, she’s now a full-time “pampered pooch”
If it was some giant, obscene amount of winnings, I’d want to help as many people, too, as I could. There’s an infinite amount of people in our world that could use help. I’d want to make people happy. Can you imagine the possibilities?
Every April, in our small town, every child enrolled in our school system, (that wants one), gets a baby tree to take home and plant. This tradition has been going on the past twenty-four years, from an anonymous donor. The Christensen household gets very excited when our new “little baby” arrives. I’ve signed up as a volunteer at school this year to help distribute the trees. Instructions come with each little sapling, and I’m touched at whoever it is out there who makes this happen. Wouldn’t it be great to be in a position to do something like this?
I’ll never forget a stranger’s kindness last year after Hurricane Irene. We’d been without electricity or water for almost a week, and on this particular day, the three of us had worked very hard in the yard to start the cleanup. Feeling worse for wear, after a week of grilled food everything started to taste the same, so we decided to treat ourselves to dinner out. We went to our local “Outback Steakhouse”. We were tired, achy, worn out and almost feeling defeated, to be honest. That evening, for our meal, we splurged on an appetizer, full meals, and dessert! When our check came, the waitress came to our table with tears in her eyes. She explained that some other diner in the restaurant had already anonymously paid our bill! She waited, as instructed, until they exited to tell us, so we couldn’t even thank them! Of course, this moved me and my husband so deeply. This stranger’s act of kindness couldn’t have come at a better time. I’m not sure if they picked us because they overheard me talking to the waitress, or if we were chosen at random. Perhaps it was divine intervention. I know I’ll never forget it as long as I live. It’s also something I can pay forward without having to win a lotto!
“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” – Maya Angelou
Have you ever won anything ? A decade ago, I won a contest through Oprah magazine, winning a tote filled with cosmetics. That was fun. I also won second prize in a dog-food sweepstakes, winning a small folding director’s chair. Alas, so close to a “big” prize! For most most of us, winning something life-changing is nothin’ more than a dream. But someone wins. It’s said the odds are against those winners; that within a few years most winnings are foolishly gone. I’m not saying if it was me, I wouldn’t have fun…perhaps buy a real farm and move all my family close-by? I miss them. (If you have family near, you’re a winner, for sure). I’d like to think if a jackpot winner was me, I’d stay the same person. What would you do?