Wednesday, November 28, 2012

If I won the lottery...

Had I won the $500 million power-ball  last night- there are many things I could have done with it. We are all dreamers about what we'd do with a winning ticket and- I'm a big dreamer. Thankfully I'm a writer, I can turn all my big dreams into stories.
 I'm not one that'll ever buy a ticket with friends, and I apologize if that makes me sound selfish or mean- my reasons for not sharing a ticket are legit. Trust me.

Winning the lottery is unpredictable- you can't win it if you don't buy a ticket. So I bought two tickets yesterday and neither one of them were winners. It is still fun to hope- to dream about winning something because if you don't have fun with it- what's the point of playing?

What would I do with the money?

1. Family...there are only 5 people I care to share the wealth with immediately. I'd take care of some responsibilities such as bills. I'd make sure we had no lingering debt before proceeding forward.
My niece is three years old, so I'll make sure to invest in her education, including her college fund. I know my sister's plan is to send my niece to a private school and I know they like to day dream to be able to send her to a prep school in NH - I would make sure that we had the opportunity available for her. I'd also make sure she had a savings account for her future. She is little, so saying I'd send her to swimming or gymnastics is easy -since she has already experienced interest in it is easy to say- but I'd let her choose her hobbies and pay for them.

2. Charity- it is so hard to pick one charity over another when there are a thousand charities to donate to. I've always wanted to 'own' my own foundation, so I believe I'd start there. I know my family would be happy to join me on this project, we are a loving, charitable family and together we could help a lot of people.

3. Home- I would have to buy a house for myself. For years, I haven't had much housing stability. Moving around and  renting apartments is expensive and exhausting. I've been living in the same home in Cornelius for two years now and it's been a relief. Right now, I can't think of the house I'd buy- it seems so overwhelming and I don't even have the money to buy a house, so I'll keep the details for the day I actually can buy the house. Who knows, maybe I'll do what I always thought I'd do- buy a penthouse in the city of New York or Boston, and one on the beach somewhere on the coast.

4. Education- It's been my dream to finish college and with the money I know I'd go back to school in a heartbeat. Heck, with $500 in my bank account, I wouldn't have to work -so I could focus on my education. With that said, I'd probably return to New York Film Academy -thus forcing me to buying a gorgeous apartment in Soho, New York.

5. Writing- As you read in number 4, I'd finish my education in film. So-I'd certainly take time to finish my script for my novels -and movies I hope are published and produced one day.

6. Hibernate- the number one lifelong dream has always been to move to a deserted island where there are no interruptions so I could focus on writing only. I'd force myself to not have internet or television- or guests. I doubt it would be hard to do. In the end, I'd only be gone for a few months - so my hibernation would not be permanent and yes, my family will know where I'll stay. Just in -case of an emergency. But would I hibernate before going back to school? Who knows? Let me win the lottery first and then I'll decide!

Of course, I'd also be reasonable with my winnings. I'd change my phone number; I'll lock my twitter and facebook accounts and I'll change my email address. I'll hire a lawyer and invest in savings -and I'll have accounts to protect my money-all of that goes without saying.
I'd buy a new wardrobe and I'd probably trade in my old Saturn for a new car. I'd do a few things I haven't had the privilege to do in the past few years. There are places you can visit a in a few days and I'd love to visit Nashville, Seattle, California cities; Las Vegas and a few famous beaches. I know I'd want to go to the Daytona 500 to celebrate my birthday - but would I really do that when I know I could afford to go to Paris instead?
 I go could also go on a yoga retreat in Bali- oh the possibilities are endless.

One last thing I'd also do- is adopt a puppy. I'd have enough money too and no one would be able to stop me. I'd probably adopt a horse too- why not?

What would you do with winnings?

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Practice what you preach

It is so easy to talk about the dreams we have for a better future. We all want good paying jobs with a great managers, lucrative salary, a benefits package to brag about and lots of vacation days.
A lot of us day dream of visiting a deserted island, or the mountains or foreign country but while we are busy dreaming, reality is happening and for most of us, our realities aren't worth bragging about.

Positive attitudes and positive self talk are recommended in times of hardship and southerners love to turn to the Bible and believe in prayer. Since I've moved here, people have preached about prayer and God, and Jesus. These are all good things. But it can be hazardous to your health if your too busy preaching to live out what your preaching.

Facebook is filled with positive images and my timeline is flooded with all these posts and I can't help but wonder how counterproductive it all is. Are you living what your preaching?

Prayer is great and believing in God is too- as is reading the Bible but aren't the successful people the ones who talk less and live more?

I'm motivated by actions more than talk. If I don't see someone running I won't listen to their advice about becoming a better runner. If someone isn't eating healthy food -I won't be inspired to eat healthy. If you didn't run a half-marathon, you're not training me to run one and if you've never competed in a fitness competition, then don't tell me how to eat or train for a show.

I spend more time exercising then I do tweeting, or blogging about it; and I'm a writer! But I was an athlete long before myspace, facebook and twitter came along.

I have an ex-boyfriend who was against everything I believed in...I never fell in love with him because it is impossible to love someone who brings me down every time something good happened to me; but I stayed in the relationship far longer than I should have- don't ask me why now. I tried to live my life on my principles and my values, but the more I did the more reasons he had to criticize my good deeds. I finally moved out and walked away from this toxic relationship. I have a right to say that if you date your polar opposite, don't be surprised when he's upset that you can lift heavier then he can or that you can run longer distances in a shorter time then he does.

The best advice and belief I've ever had was this:

"Surround yourself with like minded people and you will find happiness as well as success."

I have experienced this a dozen times, you are who your friends are and if your in a relationship, you are who you are dating. 

So why do people reject those who are able to do the things we want to do? Why do we allow ourselves to feel bad about ourselves, instead of being inspired by the one who has what we want? Another great bit of advice I got was:

"Never ask someone who doesn't have what you want for advice!"

No relationship will ever succeed if two people involved are going after different things in life. So talk the talk but are you living the talk? Are you saying one thing only to go home and do another?

* You can sit by the phone and wait all day for someone to call but if you haven't applied anywhere, you're not getting a job. No matter how positive your attitude is!
* If you date someone that smokes, don't be surprised if you get lung cancer before he quits smoking. Regardless of how many times you tell people smoking is bad for you; and who cares if your not the one with the cigarette in your hand, if it's around you - you can get sick. Second hand smoke causes lung cancer and bad health. Don't be fooled.
*If you're always going out drinking and  and don't get a sober ride home, don't be mad if you wake up in the hospital; find out you crashed your car, someone died and you have a $5,000 DUI charge to pay off, let alone the high numbers that's tact on your  future insurance bill.
*Don't preach or ask God to give you energy- if you're drinking high sugared drinks and eating high carbohydrate/ high sugar foods!

Reading the Bible and praying won't solve your problems - if you don't practice what you read. I was taught that prayer works only if you practice. You can pray to pass your math test - but if you didn't study- you're not passing.

More importantly- do not tell people to vote or get angry if a certain someone is not elected to office if you did not vote.

Practice to find balance between your belief, prayer, Bible reading and living out your beliefs.