I won the lottery tonight. Seriously. I stopped into my local Speedway gas station, purchased a couple quick picks for the Powerball tonight and a seltzer…and sure as shit, I won! Now, the real question is what I’m going to do with all my winnings. Will I spend my winnings with the people I love doing things we love to do? Will I be spending my winnings by reinvesting them into a lifestyle I believe in? Will I spend my earnings spreading positivity across the world the best I can?
Do you want to know how much I won? Me too. I think I can only calculate it day by day. For all I know, I could have won the next 70 years or the next 70 hours. But I’m grateful for it all.
I guess it’s time to really explain myself – What the winnings actually consist of are time and life itself. I’m alive.
When I stopped in to the gas station to buy a couple quick picks to the billion dollar Powerball that’s being pulled tonight, I probably spent about 30 seconds to a minute in the store. It couldn’t have been more than a minute because it was so in-and-out. Driving down the highway to the BJJ class we attend every Wednesday night, we ran into a complete standstill of traffic, but it emerged about 10 cars ahead of us. You could see the trail of traffic grow like watching someone play a game of “Snake.”
Before we could figure out what was happening, there were fire trucks, ambulances, police cars all starting to zip by us. There had to have been at least 15 trucks there within 5 minutes. The exit to the highway was already blocked by the traffic behind us and we weren’t moving an inch.
We were stuck.
There was about another 25 minutes left of our trek, but yet we sat there for over an hour before the authorities figured out how to handle the ever growing traffic. They eventually diverted us in a circle down the on-ramp for the exit we had passed. As the cop was directing us, I asked (as I had to know why we were sitting in the same spot for an hour) what had happened. He explained that there was a 3 car pile-up where the 2 lanes merge into 1. Apparently there was also a 2 car accident behind us. The next question posed to him was, “Is everyone okay?” …after a brief pause he explained that the youngest of the group wasn’t looking that hot. “And you think you’re having a bad day until you see that…”
There really are no “bad days” but days that definitely are more difficult than others, but he’s certainly right. When you’re having a tough go at it, the day is making you work, the day is beating you down…we really have to thank our lucky stars that we even get to enjoy the beatings of that day. I know that there is probably one entry a week that talks about how grateful we need to be for each day, each moment, each breath…but it’s such a difficult task to ALWAYS be so damn grateful. Let’s be honest, everyone’s shit tends to slip here and there. We may not be as grateful for something as we should be, we start acting like a Negative Nancy, and then it’s a bit harder to embrace just the simple joys of being alive. And then you see it taken from someone.
Now, I’m totally unsure if the person in the crash lived or died. I’m totally uncertain as to the extent of their injuries. I’m not even really sure how young, old, etc. they were. But does it matter? As far as I’m concerned, being in any car crash is a shitty situation to be in… regardless of injuries. It’s just a pain in the ass even at it’s most basic “fender bender” level. So adding the injuries to the scenario just exacerbates the problem. My imagination already thinks the worst of the situation and considering that the accident happened at about 5:25pm and driving past it coming home at 9pm seeing the scene still being cleaned up…this makes me think that someone may not have made it out alive.
So to think that had I NOT stopped to get a couple lottery tickets…could we have been in that wreck? Could we have been in such a serious accident that maybe one of us may not have lived? It’s entirely possible. Maybe we would have done a better job avoiding it? Lot’s of “what ifs” that can be asked, but none of them are useful.
Now I just got confirmation that it was a 25 year old girl that …did not make it. She did not survive the accident. The same accident that happened a few seconds ahead of us.
To think…25 years old and that’s the end of your story. What a sad way for it all to conclude. Curtains closed. Your whole life was ahead of you. It had only just begun. To get the actual facts and to know that someone was killed…it really puts weight on the thoughts. No one deserves to go that early.
The lottery is being drawn for $1.3 billion tonight and you know what I really am learning? What good is any amount of money if you’re not alive to use it? I know we talk about this constantly, that money isn’t everything, but if you were to choose your life or 1.3 billion dollars, what would you choose? Obviously your life. I can’t help but think that there’s some universal lesson here, like something is telling me how lucky I am just to be here. If your life was on the line, who would give an actual fuck about the money?
Let me repeat – I WON the lottery. Every day we wake up, drive down the street, take a step up or down the stairs… we win the lottery of just being alive. It doesn’t matter what the tickets say, whether they hit or not (although it would be cool), what’s better than having your life? For some poor girl, she could have the winning ticket in her car. What good would it do her? Would the money heal the wounds of her family for their loss? Is the 1.3 billion dollars going to bring her back? No and no.
There’s no amount of money that is ever worth your life. Money is a tool to be used in order to live. If you’re not alive, money means nothing. Take your 1.3 billion to the gates of heaven…let me know how that plays out.
Drive safe. Be grateful for each day and each moment. Be grateful for all your loved ones around you. We never know when they’ll be taken from us.