Sweet Dreams are Made of These…

Yesterday I played the lottery for the third time in my life.

Early in the morning, my coworker told me that the jackpot had risen to some all-time high and he was thinking that we would buy some tickets and split the winnings. We joked about it for a while then became more and more serious. We would each get ten bucks worth and later it rose to twenty. Then I started asking what he would do when he won and started thinking about winning myself. Really visualizing how my life would change.

When the time came to purchase the tickets he gave me twenty and I ended up spending a lot more. In my mind, I was totally going to win. Delusional? Some might say. But I had a strong grasp of this vision.

Dreaming is sometimes difficult for me as I am sure it is for most people. It is hard to imagine, really imagine, how your life could be and then seeing how far away it is from your actual day-to-day. What do you do with the day-to-day from that point? Is living your current reality something bitter. Would you just rather not since things might not change?

I have visualized many things and obtained them but the difference was I could usually wrap my head around it first.

When I was young I won a crayon cup at a library read-a-thon. Maybe everyone won, I don’t know. But what I do know is at an early age it was instilled in me that I was a winner. And many times I have won drawings and prizes that it doesn’t shock me at all. One of my favorite times was when I was so sure I was going to win this drawing at the company Christmas party I stood up before my name was called. While they were still announcing the prize!

But dreaming something unimaginable has been tough. I could not imagine going to Costa Rica with my family and living the rest of my life there. But I had vacationed with my family and could see a longer version of that. And despite my co-workers’ thoughts on the subject, it was granted to me by our boss and we ended up spending two months in paradise.

With my lottery tickets in hand, knowing for sure I was going to win, I allowed myself to see a different tomorrow than I had seen the day before. Some of it I had vaguely thought about before but some of it surprised me.

I wasn’t going to quit my job the next day, but I would stay to find and train a suitable replacement. If it was 6 months that would be okay with me, I like what I do and like pretty much all of my interactions with my co-workers.

I also kept my same wife. Not just saying that. She is crazy, as all men will say of their wives, but I can understand and appreciate much of her crazy and we have so many of the same values in common. I wouldn’t trade her.

The one thing I ever envy about people is those that travel the world. Not just a week’s vacation but that really spend time abroad. My best friend in high school goes all over the place and a guy I knew in real estate is in an adventure club that tours the world. If you make a crazy salary but work yourself to the bone I pity you. Especially if you don’t absolutely love what you are doing. People that blow their money on fancy toys looking for happiness, in my heart of hearts I somewhat despise and have since I was young. Seeing new places and experiences is where it was always at, for me.

Unafraid to imagine, I saw myself spending a year in Australia, a few years in Greece, maybe going to the Maldives… wherever felt right, and had a beach made for a postcard. Drifting along, puttering about with projects.

So there was a house in Southlake Town Square that I had been thinking about. Right across the street from Central Market, BJ’s right down the way. You could hike to Chipotle and Panera Bread. They are opening up a Gloria’s. (I am a Foodie! Sue Me). I thought that would be cool to live there.

When my co-worker started talking about what car he would get I mentioned I would get the Tesla. But then I thought about it and just thought it was only because it is electric and goes with my environmental goals. I later said I would just go to Maaco and get the five hundred dollar paint job for my Honda. He called me a baller since they have a $199 paint job. What can I say, that money was already going to my head.

The one thing that really surprised me was almost the core of what I want. When I imagined my day-to-day in all these beautiful places, what I really wanted to do was homeschool our son. Teach him everything I know about life and gratitude. Learn physics and chemistry and everything along with him.

I didn’t win the lottery last night but I won something amazing (it is hard to say of more value…), I won the ability to let go of my fears of dreaming big.

What most of my dreams boiled down to was have the time to raise my son and the ability to see new places and really spend time there.

My son is seriously my pride and joy. I love his personality and wish I could spend more time with him. I am so lucky I have every night and weekend with him but sometimes when I get off of work I need time to decompress. We still have a lot of fun but I just feel like more time would be better.

The thing I learned while in Costa Rica is we (in the United States) get a week’s vacation and travel somewhere, see some stuff and then travel back. In a week there is no time to decompress and with the stress of traveling that much in a seven-day period, it is almost not that enjoyable. I felt like I started to unwind after about a month. Had I not been working the whole time and staying with my grandparents I might have unwound further.

The house and the car seemed like niceties. I really love my house and car. I would paint them both and fix them up but I don’t think changing them would make me feel much different. Also, the job is cool. Really cool, but I imagine spending my life teaching my son and puttering around learning to crochet and learning the ukulele in a hammock by the beach to be even better.

Do you feel fear of dreaming big in your life? Maybe buy a lottery ticket and really allow yourself to think big. Best hundred dollars I ever spent.

By Sam Watson

I'm pretty good at Microsoft Excel but a freak in Google Sheets.

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