When Silas and I need a pick-me-up, when it seems to be raining crap and we’re feeling particularly uninspired or disappointed or gloomy, we play a little game. It’s called Who Won the Lottery. After we’ve slogged through how upsetting something is, or how terribly hurt we are, of how many things just aren’t going well at all, one of us will turn to the other and say “Who won the lottery?”
That’s the cue.
The other person’s eyes will go all soft focus and start talking about love, in one way or another.
“The day I met you I had no idea you would be this much awesome.”
“I can’t believe we get to live with the World’s Cutest Dog.”
“You’re so lucky your mom thinks you’re wonderful.”
“We get to look at these mountains every day!”
“I’m so lucky my parents played Mahler for me.”
“We’ve lived with angels! A Tinky, an Izzy and a Zeus came and stayed with us to teach us unconditional love and magic and the secrets of Lost and Found.”
“No traffic! I live in a town with NO TRAFFIC!”
“There are people out there who love what we do!”
“We live in a world with poetry! And fairy tales! And folk lore! There’s more books out there than we can even read!”
“Sun! Look at the sun today! There’s more sunshine that we can even soak up.”
We’re all looking for something. But we rarely take stock of everything we have.
Silas and I don’t have riches, at least not the riches that would allow us to do the projects we want to do full time. We take on commission jobs and assignments that pay the bills, and we bemoan just how traumatic that can be to the creative process, this lack of freedom. We love our clients but miss our play.
There are health issues, time constraints, financial concerns, friend and family woes, emotional roller coasters. We wonder if we’ll ever find our tribe, hit our creative stride, take a vacation that doesn’t create debt.
And then we play Who Won the Lottery and after a few trade-offs back and forth we end up with…
Me: “Who won the LOVE lottery? YOU DID!”
Him: “No, you did!”
Me: “Who won the DOG lottery?”
Him: “We did! Who won the TRAFFIC lottery?”
Me: “I did!”
Him: “Who won the FAIRY TALE lottery?”
Me: “Our bookshelves did! Who won the SUN lottery?”
Him: “Taos did!”
Me: “Who won the HUMOR lottery? YOU DID, cuz I’m. So. Funny!”
Him: “Your journal is filled with my jokes. YOU WON the lottery!”
Me: “You’re so lucky.”
Him: “No, you’re so lucky.”
Us: “We’re so LUCKY!”
We recently visited friends in San Diego, and found ourselves at a delicious dinner party filled with kindred spirits. What inspired me was to watch the teenagers, daughters and sons of the party goers, hang out with each other. The kids present were siblings or cousins to each other, and at the age where most kids are moody, distant, sulking when they can’t go off to be alone or with friends. But these kids? Were present, radiant, happy. What struck me most was their physical affection with each other. Hugs. Pats on the back. Arms linked in arms as the night progressed, after midnight curled up on the couch together like puppies.
I played the Lucky Lotto game the next morning with their parents, asking them if they ever considered themselves rich. They hadn’t, though they live quite grateful lives. But when I pointed out to them how rare it was for them to be living with such affectionate children, how open and receptive and genuinely loving they were to each other, I could see the lights in the eyes sparkle up. “We live with it every day, so we hadn’t considered it from an outside perspective. Wow. I guess we really are lucky!”
Lucky. Blessed. Fortunate. Rich. Call it what you want. You’ve won the lottery in some things, but are so busy chasing down the unfulfilled dreams that perhaps you don’t realize just how rich you really are.
Your animals. Your bed. Your home. Your town. Your friends. Your mate. Your solitude. Your father. Your sister. Your great aunt Bessie. Your memories. Your nature. Your library. Your music. Your humor. Your lungs. Your heart. Your eyes. Your Once Upon a Time. Your right here. Right now.
Everyone’s got something they’re rich in.
Take stock. Pretend you’ve got a scratch off ticket and just start scratching at the surface of your life.
I promise, you’ll hit gold.
Take a moment and tell me where in your life you’ve won the lottery. Tell me in what ways your life, your soul and your world is rich.