Seriously, some people might have been fooled and replied to the call, but I checked it out. It was a scam. Again, however, I began to wonder, what if I had won? It wasn’t the amount of money that bothered me, it was that I would be receiving a check every single week for the rest of my life. Don’t misunderstand. Having enough money for living and thriving is important, but I’m talking about abundance, and I started to think about that burden. Then I began figuring how to spend it. I could donate a certain monetary gift to each of my friends in every organization to which I belonged … or I could bequeath large amounts to various institutions or worthy causes. But the money would still come pouring in. What to do? I’d pay for friends medical bills, I’d pay for grandchildren’s future educations, I’d send to missions, I’d gift to libraries, hospitals, parks, and schools. I’d do this, I’d do that. It was tedious to think of all the places to contribute and to whom and why without making each think he or she was “beholden to me.” I could maybe buy property, land, a lake or beach place. I could travel. I could do more investing. Of course there would be huge taxes to pay. I would need lawyers, tax consultants, financial advisors; I would need to open new bank accounts. Oh gosh, it was too much. The more I thought about it, the more relieved I was to NOT have won that prize.
I have some wealthy friends, I’ll admit, and some use their money wisely. Some don’t. The “millionaire next door” is a reality in today’s world. I have been blessed, but there are gifts far more valuable than money: health, friends, a wonderful cultural experience, books, music, a good meal, a good meal with a good friend, exercise, an invigorating swim, a church experience, family, a phone call on a lonely day, a verse or proverb that speaks to the soul—these are transient things and yet they mean much. They are invaluable. Yes, I was apprehensive by the idea of having so much money “to do something with,” so I made soup. I often make soup when I’m in a mood.
I really was in a mood, and I needed some music and some good conversation. I needed to hear that my family was well. I needed a quiet moment to relive a good vacation experience, and I needed a good book or poem to read. I needed to go outside and cut bright zinnias to put in an inexpensive vase that had been on my mother’s dresser many years ago—it wasn’t valuable, but it had belonged to my mother. So, I admit, I was happy, sad, thankful, and perplexed. I needed to sort out my emotions. Know what I did? I began to write, and there, I became lost in words, thoughts, deeds, and drama. I relaxed and was myself again.