Every few days I run past this little convenience store. It specializes in Greek food and has a great beer selection, and in the front window it has a Powerball sign. Every day that I run past this sign, I think about what I would do if I won the lottery.
The only thing that I would change if I won the lotto is that I would stop worrying about money. Sometimes this thought makes me sad, because it reminds me of how much I worry about money. I worry about it all the time. I think about it all the time. I wonder if I’ve made the right choices and sometimes I regret them.
In clearer moments, I remember that this is a good thing. The fact that the only thing I would change if I won ridiculous piles of money is that I would worry less means that my life is already nearly perfect. I wouldn’t change my job. I wouldn’t move somewhere else. I wouldn’t upgrade my life. I would just worry less.
What that really means is that I don’t need to win the lotto to have a pretty much perfect life. I just need to figure out a way to worry less with the money that I have. Worrying less is easier said than done, but it’s easier than winning the lotto since I don’t play.
My family and I used to ask this question on road trips to South Dakota. “What would you do with a million dollars?” “What would you do with a thousand?” “What would you do if you won the lottery?” “What would you do with unlimited money?” We’d say things like refinish the basement or buy horses or start a school. For a long time there was a mansion in Missouri that I wanted to buy. We would travel more. I have no basement (though I’d still refinish my mom’s), I don’t want a horse or a school. I don’t even want the mansion anymore, though I’m sure it’s still beautiful. I don’t even want to travel that much. Everything that I really need is right here in this little apartment in this little west coast city. So all that I would do now is worry less.