Well, I didn’t win the $350+ million lottery last night. Major bummer. I had some big plans for that money, although I had to Google how you even play (how many numbers, the range, etc.) Don’t laugh; it was my first time playing, and I figured someone had to win. Right?
I wanted that easy money pretty badly; it would’ve been a quick fix for my anxiety of going back to work after the holidays. Remember when you were a kid spending the night away from home and felt homesick? It’s that pit of your stomach achiness, that uneasy, queasy feeling that makes you wish you could crawl into bed and bury yourself underneath the covers. That’s the best way I can describe my feelings on Sunday. I thoroughly enjoyed having the last two weeks of December off. I enjoyed it too much if that’s even possible… so much that I dreaded the mere thought of heading back to reality.
My little family and I crammed as much fun as possible into those two weeks. We spent most of the first week at the beach. It was freezing, but we still had a blast. We traveled to Virginia to visit family for Christmas and then headed back to Tennessee for a small birthday celebration for our now two-year-old. The end of the second week was spent doing tons of laundry (only because we had nothing left to wear) and lots of playing. I can’t imagine having a better time or feeling any more elated, which leaves me wondering what if I was a full-time stay-at-home-mom. I’m not exactly sure why I persecute myself thinking about it because it’s not in the cards for me. On paper my husband and I could make it work, but like most people there are far too many variables for us to play that game of Russian Roulette. What would happen if my husband lost his job for some reason? How would we save for college? What about our retirement? I suppose I could become one of those extreme couponers to free up some money if we only wanted to eat the processed, couponed items. (I’ve tried to understand the hardcore couponing, but I still don’t really get it. I mean there’s only so much pasta, yogurt and cereal one family can eat.) Ultimately, it’s best for our family to remain a two-income household.
And if I’m really being honest, I know I’m a better mother because I work. I am a social person. And my job? Well, I’m very fortunate. I work for an organization that I’m incredibly passionate about. I earn a fair wage, have excellent vacation and have the flexibility to leave to pick up my child if I need to. For the most part, I genuinely like the people I work with, and that, my friends, is huge. (Of course, there’s always a handful of colleagues who... well, let’s just not talk about them.) So why do I think about what might have been if I chose to stay at home or if I’d become a teacher and had my summers free instead of changing majors in undergrad? No idea, but I do realize how lucky I am, and I’m going to work on counting my blessings more and spend less time wondering if that other grass is just a tad greener. Chances are, it’s not. But when the MegaMillions game reaches $350M again, you’ll find me standing in line with my few dollars. I’ll be dreaming of what an excellent volunteer and donor I’ll make when I win.