Wednesday, September 18, 2013

As of this writing the Powerball lottery is approaching $400 million. It gives me pause for thought.

Why do we play lotteries? I think it’s inherent in human nature to dream of bigger things. We think about the possibilities. “What would I do with all that money?” Many of us plan great things and think of the altruistic things we could do. After we buy that villa in Tuscany, of course. “The high school band needs new uniforms? No problem, I’ll take care of that.” “What, you need a car to get to work? Go pick one out; I’ll take care of it.” We dream of the places we’d go, the things we’d buy, the great things we could do.

But the truth is that there are many lotteries in life. We pays our money and we takes our chances. We go to school hoping to get an education for a decent job. But isn’t a job a type of lottery? You play the lottery and pick a vocation. Maybe it’s a winning one, maybe not. You play the lottery and pick a place to work. You don’t really know if you’ll like the place you work until you start working there. If you’re the person hiring a worker, you play the lottery and pick who you hope is the winning ticket. If they work out then you’ve hit the lottery. If they don’t you buy another ticket.

Relationships are that way too. How do you know if you’ve picked the winning ticket until you pay for it? There are some of us who have to buy several tickets before we hit the jackpot. I was lucky; I hit the big one first time out. Oh, I looked at tickets, several of them, came close to buying one a time or two, but I bought a winning ticket 32 years ago and haven’t regretted picking those numbers since. I don’t need to look at relationship tickets anymore.

For those of you who are still buying tickets; I hope you buy a winning ticket and enjoy life the way I do. I will buy a Powerball ticket just to give me the chance to dream a little. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with dreaming as long as dreaming isn’t all you do. But dreaming is healthy in the right portions. Work as hard as you can, making sure that some of the work you do is working toward fulfilling dreams. 

So, what color should I paint the villa?

Saturday, September 14, 2013

I started the day thinking how bad it was.  Everything I tried to do seemed a larger task than it should have been.  For example; I was putting the dishes away and couldn't get a dinner tray in the slot where it goes.  Someone had crammed some stuff in the slot next to it making it impossible to get the tray into it's slot.  Ugh, why can't people do it right? (In other words; my way.) Then when doing something in the refrigerator I found a huge package of string cheese with one piece of string cheese left in it.  Who does that?  I mean, for heaven's sake, take the cheese out and throw the package away.  I stirred up some pancake batter; enough for one cake, and put it on the griddle.  Then while I was distracted feeding the cat I burned it. The pancake, not the cat. I had to make another batch of pancake batter.  Life was horrible. 

Then I got a Coke and stepped back to reflect. 

My problems were my own making; it was my reaction to situations that were of little, if any, consequence.  I chose to react negatively, I wasn't forced to do so.  As I pondered that I came to understand that I needed to adapt. Some people are forced to adapt to situations not of their making or choosing. 

A person I've known since I graduated from high school, and became better acquainted with over the last 10 years, died a week ago.  He was 6 weeks younger than me.  He left a large and loving family who now have to cope with the loss of their father/husband/son/brother/friend.  It was a sudden death and shocked all who knew him.  He will be missed. But the ones left behind didn't choose to have this happen.  They are having days of grief and sorrow, but are choosing to look past this life and into the next.

I have a good friend who is going through some particularly devastating health issues.  She didn't choose to have these issues, but have them she does.  She chooses not to react negatively, but to deal with them.  I don't know that I'd have the fortitude to be as upbeat as she is.

Very recently I've begun correspondence with a friend from when I lived in the Sulfur Springs Valley, near Douglas.  She had really bad stuff happen to her when she was quite young.  It has affected her for many years, and rightly so.  She deals with it, and other bad stuff in her life, as best she knows how.  And I believe she deals with it well. Like the above examples she didn't choose to have this happen to her but she deals with it.  I'm pretty sure that if half of the bad stuff that's happened to her had happened to me, somebody would be dead; either me or the perpetrator. 

So I've decided to attempt to try harder to be positive and ditch the negative.  I mean, what do I have to complain about anyway?  I've got a great life with a beautiful wife; no worries.  Heck, I was sitting on the couch reading Classic Motorsports magazine this evening when Linda says to me "Call Steve Edwards and go to this hot rod show tomorrow."  She handed me the newspaper which had an article on a rod show in Prescott tomorrow.  I didn't have to whine about wanting to go, I didn't even know about it.  She's even letting me take her car which she filled with fuel yesterday.  I really do have a great life. A great wife too.