Yesterday I did not get something I wanted. My initial gut-level reaction was to launch into a full-fledged pity party, complete with pouting and sulking. WHY CAN’T I WIN THE LOTTERY??? SOMEONE has to win it, why is that someone ALWAYS someone else and never me??? (And no, it has nothing to do with the fact that I rarely buy tickets, because rarely is not never, it is just not often). Recently I bought a lottery ticket and I was very disappointed that I did not win. In fact, I may have even been a tad depressed that I did not win….. I really, really, REALLY WANTED to win (note, a want is very different from a NEED).
I am the type of person who loves to watch reality shows where good things happen to ordinary people….. shows were extraordinary things happen to ordinary people… and I cry – yes, I am a MAJOR SAP. Sometimes when my girls and partner are around I force myself to cough, pretend I am sneezing, anything to not have to be embarrassed by the tears running down my face as I witness people on hokey reality shows live out their dreams.
I really want to win the lottery, and I want to win it the way I want to win it… if you get what I mean…. maybe you don’t… I want to win a metaphorical (or, perhaps literal) lottery – be it in my career or in fame or fortune. It would be amazing and it sometimes happens to ordinary people.
While I want to win the lottery, yesterday after my pity party, I felt terribly convicted. I realized just how incredibly pathetic I was being. Who am I to complain? So I am not rich and I do not always get invited to participate in professional growth opportunities I would like to…. so what…. really, SO WHAT???
It occurred to me, that I actually HAVE WON THE LOTTERY in my life, and the issue was not winning the lottery, but taking a step back and really, truly understanding just how I had won.
This is how I won:
- There are almost half a million babies born in this world every day. Some are born in the most terrible conditions and immediately face poverty. I was born in middle class America – I won the lottery.
- When I was younger I was rear-ended by a one ton truck at 55mph. I had neck and back injuries and a mild traumatic head injury, but I essentially walked away from the accident – I won the lottery.
- As a young child I never wanted to have children of my own, as the multitude of orphans in this world pulled on my heart. I adopted two beautiful girls – I won the lottery.
- In a world full of selfish people always racing from one moment to the next, so focused on trying to get ahead that they miss out on life, I was able to pause and in that pause I found my partner – I won the lottery.
- I see many children on the streets, begging for food, desperate to go to school. I was given an education and had an opportunity to expand on that foundation – I won the lottery.
- Every day people go to bed hungry, we have more food to eat than we could need – I won the lottery.
- Many people are unemployed, I get to work in an environment with professional teachers, motivated students, and caring parents – I won the lottery.
Today, 8 days ’til 40, I will focus on all the wonderful gifts that are present in my life. While there are times I sulk because I do not get exactly what I want, I realize that I have been given so much in my life and I must understand what that means – and express gratitude.