I'm not really much of a gambler, per say. I'm not into get-rich-quick schemes, or mansion-dwelling-dreams. My philosophy on working is "Work to Live, NOT live to work..." I've figured out my priorities, and I live, work, spend, and play accordingly. This is sometimes easier said than done, and is harder to accomplish when you share your life with someone - as each person's dreams involve different variables. But I think that's where the lines get fuzzy too... It's healthy to dream.
Joel's dreams often include things that I would not have even thought about - let alone aspired to. One such dream is that of his desire to literally 'snowmobile through the mountains' one day. Hm. If we never owned a snowmobile, I'd be okay with that. They are fun, but I wouldn't feel like I'm missing out if I didn't get to experience that again. Let's step it up a notch and say we did acquire the esteemed motorized sleds. I'd still be okay with local and north-woods-situated trails; Mountains not necessary. But who am I to bock at his dreams?? And who said that dreaming is a bad thing?? I think the key is to dream carefully. If you're setting goals for your future, but you are still living today - I believe that's the important balance to achieve. We can't forget to enjoy what we've already accomplished -
I pretty much want to live simply... and simply live. When it comes to my lottery-winning aspirations, I would seek out a few, pretty basic things... A) No dependency upon work for survival [Specifically - Joel would be able to retire!] B) I'd definitely hire a maid, so I'd never have to bother with those more mundane life distractions involving vacuums, sponges, or fabric-softener; and C) We could experience nearly anything we want, with very minimal limitations. Last, but not least - I can only imagine the joy I'd experience as various worthy causes around the globe opened their bulky, anonymous donation checks.
Thing is - while I may not have my maid, my husband around during the week-days, or my trip across Europe mapped out just yet - I still consider myself having 'won' the lottery of life already in many ways - and I can still give back.
Try taking a few minutes for yourself to just think about all of the valuable assets in your life: people, fond memories, abilities, fulfilled dreams, shelter, food, a means of earning income... Consider the simplest things, on up. A lot to be thankful for, right? And with all the money we'll shell out this season for people in our lives who may not even need the extra gadgetry, we can surely dig a little bit deeper to support a favorable cause.