I was hanging around my apartment, cleaning and doing a little laundry on Saturday when my phone rang. It was Clarkey, my buddy from the radio station. In a quiet, almost somber voice, he asked me if I’d checked my work e-mail. I hadn’t.
My first thoughts came too quickly to know which one was first. Did someone get fired? Did the station get sold? Did someone die?
Clarkey said, “You didn’t see the email from Dan Bieman?” By this point I was at my computer cursing at the Wi-Fi for being too slow. “Oh, God, is Danny okay?”
“We won” Clarkey said … it was almost a whisper. “Won what?” I replied?
“Dude … the lottery … we won.”
I’ll be honest and say that between the weather and life in general lately, I had this voice in the back of my head telling me that someone was playing a not so funny joke on me, so I really wasn’t all that excited.
The Wi-Fi kicked in and a few seconds later I was looking at an e-mail that said, though unconfirmed, our group at the station had won $1,000,000. I still wasn’t excited. The word that jumped off the screen was, “unconfirmed” … Hmmm.
It wasn’t until a very long 48 hours later, that the confirmation came and the neurons started to fire. I was about to share $1,000,000 with 26 of my favourite people. Not enough to make any of us independently wealthy, but just enough to make a nice difference in all of our lives.
I want you to know that I’ve considered myself a “rich” man for some time now. Not always a happy man, but definitely blessed with a beautiful family, the best friends a guy could ask for and a job I love.
Having said that, I’m not one to turn down that kind of money and people have been asking so, here’s what it means to me personally.
The last five years of my life, I’ve considered myself ‘divorce poor’. In fact at one point and for almost two years, I opted out of our group at work because I just didn’t want to spend the money. I only rejoined a few months ago. #whew
I also want you to know that while I’m spiritually confused 99% of the time, I do believe that something larger than I’ll ever understand is at work in my life.
I like to hike and several times this Fall, while I walked, I quietly asked that ‘Something Larger” for help. I didn’t ask be a millionaire. I’m highly aware of how fortunate I am already and there’s no reason at all why I should be so lucky, but I asked anyway … for just enough that I could crawl out from under the weight of that, always on my mind, debt.
I don’t like to over spiritualize every single thing that happens, but this will take care of that debt and might even allow me to do a couple of other things I’ve been thinking about. Coincidence (?) … maybe, but don’t think for a second that I’m not wondering if I should have asked for more. 😉 (just kidding … kind of)
I’m not sure if I’d officially qualify, but I often consider myself a bit of a minimalist. “Stuff” doesn’t generally make me happy. Experiences with people I love makes me happy, so maybe this will allow for more of that to happen too. If anything, that’s what I hope for.
After the past few years of driving with two wheels on the shoulder, it’s nice to feel, at least for now, that I have all four tires on the road again.