Friday, December 6, 2013

Winning the lottery...............................

I purchased this ticket last Sunday on my way home from dropping our daughter off at the University of Kentucky.  I was just sure it was a winner, and spent many pleasant moments fantasizing about what I would do with my new fortune.  Well, the best laid plans of mice and men........Turns out this was not to be the winning ticket. Reminiscing about my fantasizing this morning, I came to two conclusions.  First, fantasy, in its proper and minimal place, can be an enjoyable and harmless, yet somehow meaningful, exercise.  Second, I have already won the lottery.   How is that, you might ask.
     I was born in the greatest, freest, and most abundant nation that history has ever known, at its most free and abundant time.
     I was born to parents who loved and cared for me.  They lived worthy and vital lives, and stayed around long enough to watch me try to be as good at parenting as they were.
     I have a sister who has been my best friend.
     I received a fine public school education and was able to graduate from a respectable liberal arts college, without any debt.  I was blessed by five or six (which is enough) teachers whose joy in learning was contagious and whose whole goal was to teach me to think for my self.
     I was able to find work whenever I needed it from ages 16-25.  While none of those jobs were meant for the long haul, they each yielded valuable lessons and provided for my simple needs.
     I have been able to be self-employed since 1977.  Self-employment is an interesting gig.  We get to do work we find stimulating and productive.  We can pass on things we don't want to do.  The decisions and choices we make have consequences, and we get to enjoy them.  The rewards are great (although, truth be told, the seductive lure of a paycheck signed by someone else never seems to completely disappear).  Periodically, my boss will get lazy and disorganized.  But as wise men have said, "it's a process."  At least it has been my process.
     I have had a great business partner for the past 31 years.  We have complementary skills.  Each appreciates the other's abilities, we have boundless trust in each other, and we have learned to be very forgiving of each other's foibles.  Over the years, we have accomplished most of what we set out to do.
     I have experienced enough of life's travails to know that this world can be a dark and frightening place.  Yet I have also found people willing to share their strength and hope and transcendent example.  While I may have to visit with unpleasantness, I don't have to stay there.
     I have a handful of friends who, I know, if I needed rescuing, would come rescue me.
     I live in a community that has a strong and generous heart and a forward viewing orientation.
     I have known the love and affection of four of God's finest dogs.
     I am healthy.
     We have fabulous and interesting kids who seem well on their way to being launched into productive adulthood.
     I have a supportive wife who seems to know me and love me anyway.  Our relationship is growing and deepening with the passage of time.
     Tell me I haven't been blessed in life's lottery.