I bought my last lottery ticket a week ago.
No more tickets to dream on.
No more nights lying awake, thinking, “If I win, what would be the first thing I would do?”
- Pay off my student loan (yes, I’m too practical)
- Buy a new bed (damn, this one is too short. My toes go right to the edge. I feel like I’m channeling Goldilocks! This one is too hard. This one is too short.)
- Move to an apartment where I can have pets (I miss having a cat)
- Go on a trip around the world (honestly, I want to experience this as it was in the early 1900s – so, unless they invent time travel anytime soon ;-))
- Support the family’s dreams (I mostly have what I need)
- Quit my job & try to write one of the novels floating around in my cerebrum…
And this list is partly why I’ve stopped buying lottery tickets. See – too practical, mostly have what I want and the last item; that last item I could do already if I wasn’t letting fear still my voice. I could write and work at some job that I would never have to bring home, just for the money.
I’ve been buying lottery tickets for a long time, since the early 1980’s. That’s almost thirty years! Winnings that are considered common now (ten million plus) were considered rare and spectacular then. I can remember the rush to buy the first time the lotto topped ten million, by the end of the week the winnings were calculated at over double that. The lottery I played paid out a percentage of sales to the winners.
I’ve bought one ticket almost every week, two to three dollars at a time – it started out at two and went up to three somewhere along the way.
It seemed a small price to pay for the chance at a dream.
Back when it seemed like my dreams were never-ending and impossible for me to fund on my own.
- Seeing a play on Broadway
- Traveling to San Francisco
- Buying raspberries & Concord grapes whenever I wanted them
- Having a new wardrobe
- Buying a big, old Victorian house
Buying a house no longer appeals. Especially a big, old Victorian – because I now know just what kind of upkeep is required to maintain one! Plus, I don’t get a tight fearful knot in my stomach anymore when I think that I will never own a house. It’s not a house I wanted, it was a home and I’ve made that for myself. All on my own with my own resources.
Home is how I feel not where I live or what I own. This feels like home. 🙂
As stated before, I played the lottery for almost thirty years. I bet you’re wondering how much I won over that period of time. Nothing big, no big treasure chest to gloat over like Scrooge McDuck. I won $60.00 once the first year I bought tickets, I won $99.00 recently, a ten here, a ten there – a smattering of free tickets every year. Just enough to keep me playing.
Just enough to keep me dreaming and thinking that my dreams were too big for me alone to achieve.
William was the first to get me thinking otherwise. William, with his intense stare (I wrote a poem once about that stare). We went to library school together. We were classmates. I was kvetching that I didn’t have the money to go to the annual out-of-town conference. He said, “If you saved up those three dollars a week for one year, by this time next year, you’ll have enough.”
And I thought, “Yes, that’s possible. It’s possible for ME to fund my dreams.”
That was such a radical thought. I blocked it. It didn’t see possible, that I – welfare raised, poverty stricken – could choose to achieve my own dreams. Even though, here I was going back to school at thirty, living on student loans that would eventually get paid off. (They almost are paid off, after ten years of nickel and diming it).
William was the first to get me thinking that I could be financially independent but he wasn’t the last.
A recent work colleague, young, bright, good with money, inspires me to keep dreaming and planning.
And still, I didn’t stop buying lottery tickets to dream on. Even as I was dreaming less, for smaller items, for the doable.
So, why stop now? Why was the last ticket bought a week ago? September 18, 2009. Is this going to be the last lottery ticket I buy? The last lottery I never won. Am I going to stop dreaming?
That’s the plan.
I mean, “Yes, this is going to be the last lottery ticket I buy.”
And, “No, I’m not going to stop dreaming.” As I type this, I’m also planning a big trip for next April. I’m just not 100% sure of where I’m going yet.
Why did I stop buying lottery tickets?
Because, now I believe, that it is possible for me to achieve my dreams on my own. That I can earn the money I need to fund even the largest, most magnificent of dreams.