Did you read the story about Jeanne and Robert Gagnon, the Maine couple who won $3 million in the lottery last month? They have been playing the same set of numbers for decades. The numbers actually came up once, in 1985. However, Robert had forgotten to buy a ticket that day and Jeanne has never let him forget it. Well, 27 years later, they came up again, and thankfully, this time he had remembered!
I loved this story for so many reasons. First of all, this couple has been married for 47 years! Who can’t love that? I don’t know anyone married for 47 years, so right off the bat these folks have done something right. I also love that she has given him a hard time for 27 years about forgetting to buy that ticket! That just made me giggle, wives have long memories! I love that they had to go to Augusta to claim their prize but couldn’t get a hotel room because the basketball tournaments were in town and then there was a snow storm, so Maine! And I loved the smiles on their faces in the photo!
However, what I loved most about this story is that when asked what they were going to do with the money, how they were going to change their lives, the answer was pretty simple. They are going to buy a “tractor-powered snow blower” and a new garage to put it in. They are also going to put money aside so that their disabled son has a secure future but they aren’t going to change their lives. They are very happy just the way they are! They have everything they need!
I had to wonder, if they had won that money 27 years ago, how would their lives have been different? Would it have been better? I don’t think so.
If money were no object, what would you do to change your life? Not what would you buy, that’s not the point. We would all buy stuff. I mean what would you CHANGE about your life now?
There was a time when I asked myself this question, when everything I had believed about my future changed in an instant, when the rug of security was pulled out from under me in the midst of an unexpected divorce and I was left lying there on the floor staring at the ceiling! So many times we talk about what we’d like to do, if only we could afford it, if only we had money for this or that, if only we could pay off these bills first. But hey, I had nothing left to lose so I thought, what would I do, and then I went about figuring out how to make that happen, without money!
In a conversation several years later, my middle daughter said to me “you know, I have less money than I have had in a long time but I’m happier than I have ever been” to which my son replied “yeah, me too!” I thought about that a minute, and then also added, “you know, me too!”
So ask yourself, what would you change about your life? Would you live in the same house, in the same town, in the same state? Would you stay in your marriage or relationship or would this be your chance to finally get out on your own? Would you still go to your job every day because it is your passion, or would you quit in an instant and never look back? Would you travel to a place you’ve never been? Would you hire a personal trainer to finally get back into shape? Would you go back to college, if money were no object?
Guess what, chances are you may never win the lottery. There will be no windfall of cash but since this is the only life you are getting, let’s make it a good one anyway!
If you answered that you would move, how can we make that happen anyway, start now, plan! It’s not an impossible dream! If you looked at your partner and thought, “I’d be so out of here?” then we’ve learned something haven’t we. It’s time to look at this relationship. Can you go to counseling? What do you need to change to be happy? Maybe this relationship isn’t fulfilling because you haven’t fully invested in it. Maybe it’s time to commit to it completely once and for all. Or has this partnership run its course? Don’t ignore it, figure it out. You both deserve to be happy! What about your job? If your answer was that you’d tell your boss what he/she could do with this job then it’s time to rethink that situation. Start working on your resume, fill out some applications, and sign up for some re-training, whatever it takes to get you in a job you will love. You spend a good portion of your life there, don’t settle for miserable!
Would you travel? Well, start a small savings account, even $5 a week. Start looking for deals online! Maybe you won’t get to Italy, but you might get to New York City for a long weekend. Do it! Would you hire a personal trainer? No need, you’ve got it in you! You can change your life! Ask friends what gym they go to or what yoga class they take. Team up, work together!
Even if you don’t meet every goal, be that person that can say you gave it everything you had!
Don’t let money hold you back from reclaiming your life! Don’t let it be your excuse! Money, as important as it is, is not now and will never be the important part. Get to the point where if, you won the lottery tomorrow, your answer to the question about what will change in your life is “nothing, I have everything I need!”