Months, motivation and money from the lottery

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This is my actual list for August. There is more to it, but you get the gist.

 

There should be a word for weeks like this where you start out by ending a month on a Monday and it flows directly into a new month over the weekend. These weeks tend to be my absolute favorite as you can close out what you didn’t accomplish or what you hadn’t thought to pursue and still charge forward in the same week. I’m a bit off on the goals that I hoped to see by the end of this month and I will admit that there is some embarrassment or shame and hesitation in that. But my undoing isn’t in the missteps of the past. It stems from the fact that I let that erect them as barriers to hold me back as I carry that burden into the next month and beyond. It is this kind of limiting melancholy that I know will be a downfall and yet I struggle with it, unwilling to surrender it. It’s complicated to know something on one hand and yet refuse it on the other. It’s a lesson that keeps appearing precisely because I haven’t learned it yet. Instead of viewing it as a character trait or flaw, I need to realize that it is simply a practice that I have to get better at if I want success.

Our family has come a long way in getting little sister more comfortable with going to school and that is a huge plus. The overhaul in our diet over the past month has been tremendous in more ways than one. I have continued blogging despite obstacles and have made it a priority to get a post out each day. These are all things that at the beginning of the month I was unsure about. As August closes and September begins I, along with all my other fellow Floridians, can begin saying farewell to the hottest summer I can remember. My husband likes to remind me that summer in Florida is 10 out of 12 months and he’s pretty much right. But I can tell in September and October there is a subtle shift in the air even if it’s not felt temperature wise – it’s there. The effects can be seen just about everywhere. People in traffic tend to give a little more leeway, waving in a car or two just because they haven’t been sweating since six am. Others will engage in conversations about the weather – the one thing we can pretty much always agree on here – while waiting for a sandwich or school to let out. Everyone is in a slightly better mood (unless you’re at the DMV, pretty much no one is in a good mood there). Maybe it’s the degree and a half drop in temperature, maybe it is Dunkin’ Donuts rolling out the pumpkin spice lattes on August 29 – but almost overnight, we flip the calendar’s page and things get better.

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Last year’s first Pumpkin Spice Latte.

 

Every day that we dig deep and we work hard and we show up we are putting it out there for someone else to see and to be motivated by and to learn from. Sometimes it’s for the people in our family. Sometimes it’s for people that see us every day and know that we are working towards a goal. But a lot of times we are motivated by or motivating friends that we see through Facebook feeds or Instagram posts or people we interact with only at work or while grocery shopping. There are people that are looking to you and to me that we don’t even see. Then of course there’s the person we contend with in the mirror who knows better than anyone else what our hopes dreams and fears are.

I am guilty of routinely getting caught up in what I haven’t done and being frustrated with myself for slow progress or what I perceive to be failures. When looked at with a more comprehensive lens in place, I can see that every day that I try my best and operate from a place of love is a success. Therefore I will not measure this past month by what I didn’t do or how far off the mark I am from where I thought I would be. I will look at it and see evolution and hope and determination. I will also recommit to determining what held me back so that I can avoid or eliminate the same pitfalls. I am learning to extract the lessons from where I do well and where I falter.

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Winner.

 

This brings me to my winning lottery ticket. Every once in a while when the jackpot gets into the hundreds of millions of dollars I will relent and spend two dollars on a Powerball ticket. I totally did in preparation for winning Saturday’s Powerball as I could stand to gain $142 million. Today I checked my ticket and I got three out of six numbers which means less my investment in the ticket cost I made five dollars. My husband is a huge skeptic of us ever winning the lottery because he showed me statistically what our chances are and I’ll admit that they’re not great. But there is a teeny tiny chance. And for today’s Monday motivation I choose to see the five dollar earning. We all have a choice in how we want to frame what we do with our time or energy or good fortune. I can honor the time I spend writing and thinking about what I want to write as an investment in my mental well-being and future. Or I can try to hurry up and get it done while focusing on the unmade beds or smudged glass doors that wait for me to stop messing around already. One choice serves me well, feeding my soul and reinforcing my purpose. The other option does little more than providing a safe harbor for irritation and procrastination to breed. I need to make the time if I want the luxury of taking my time.

It is my hope that whatever you are facing as you close out this month and begin a new one, you know that you are not alone. You stand among people like me and many others who are trying their best. As long as we keep moving forward, even if it’s in incremental baby steps in place of the leaps and bounds we had envisioned, we will overcome. If you don’t have a cheering section to tell you this, keep going, make the time, take your time and if you have any lucky numbers, please let me know.

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