Thursday, January 14, 2016

Finding My Joy After Not Becoming a Billionaire

I was hoping to win the Powerball's $1.5 billion last night and then I'd know exactly where my joy is: it's in my bank account. Alas, that dream did not come true, so now it's back to real life and time for that dream to rest for a bit.

When you think about winning that much money, you start thinking of all the things you would do if you could. You wouldn't have to work ever again, so your days and nights would be free to do whatever filled you with happiness. That idea gets the wheels turning on what you'd actually do with your time if you truly had free will to do what pleased you.

Here is where my mind went. Immediately, I set my travel plans. I'd plan for chunks of time in Africa, the Far East, Australia, the Galapagos Islands, Cuba, and Bora Bora, to start. Then I'd be off to Istanbul (terrorism be damned) and Morocco and Egypt, and then I'd take return trips to Spain and Italy and Croatia and Hawaii and Paris.

Then what? What else do I love? Beer. I'd perhaps open a gastropub, a casual one, in my current hometown. I'd hire people to run it well so we wouldn't fall victim to what so many other restaurants do. We'd brew a couple of our own beers (after hiring a Brewmaster), but mostly have craft beer from other breweries on tap. There would be lots of variety and lots of alternating taps. The food would be casual and hearty - classics with a twist, maybe.

I'd concentrate on working out, something I don't have time to do now as often as I'd like. I'd have a personal trainer and a chef who would cook healthy and delicious meals for picky ol' me. I'd work on making my body the healthiest it can be.

And I'd shop. Oh, would I shop. I think my first stop would be Chanel for a large quilted tote with the big interlocking C's on it. And then I'd order a beautiful Birkin bag. And then I'd shop for shoes and clothes and makeup until I dropped. And then I'd buy a Porsche Panamera.

Of course, I'd give some away. Some would go to family (my parents, of course) and friends. Some would go to charities I feel so strongly about (animal welfare. domestic violence survivors, veterans).

This morning, like everyone else in America, I woke up unable to do any of the things of which I had dreamed. It was back to the every day grind...which, I know, I know. I live a good life. I have a well-paying job and an amazing family and the ability to travel and drink good beer and eat good food and buy a nice bag every now and then. But does it all fulfill me? Does it fill me with happiness as life should? Most of it, yes. I can truly answer that with a yes. But when I think about work...

Work is such a mixed bag for me. The pay is good. I love my co-workers (mostly). I enjoy some of the work that I do, although it doesn't fill me with joy by any stretch. I occasionally feel like I make a difference. But I spend a good deal of time worrying about my job, wondering if it will still be here tomorrow. There is no peace in that, and I don't like living with a cloud over my shoulder.

And then I think...ok. So you didn't win the lottery. You aren't a bazillionaire. What would you do if you were laid off? What if you got a severance package and had the time to find something new? Would it be in HR? Would it be the same corporate grind, just at a new company? Or would it be a perfect chance to take a find what I loved and just go for it. Dedicate myself to it. Throw myself in, wholeheartedly. And where exactly would I be throwing myself...where does that passion lie?

I feel like I need to take some time to find answers to those questions so that my next life, post-this job, is one that makes me happy and doesn't just simply pay the bills.

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