Saturday, April 7, 2012

Dreaming, An Activity We All Do

Dreaming is something we all do.  We dream at night whether or not we remember that we did dream after waking up the next morning.  We daydream as well during the day (isn't that what daydream means?), but we may not daydream everyday.  Last week, especially last Friday, this whole country did a lot of dreaming, both day and night.  We all dreamed about winning $656 million from the Mega-Million lottery.

Last week, along with everyone else, I spent $5.00 playing the lottery.  I dreamed, along with everyone else, about what I would do if I won the lottery.  I dreamed about paying off my debts.  I dreamed about buying various things.  I knew I couldn't spend all that money on myself, so I thought about how I could put some of that money to use helping others.  I dreamed about traveling to various places.  I don't think any of my dreaming was vastly different from what other people were dreaming about last week.  That was one aspect that made last week a shared experience.  We all were dreaming about winning that huge jackpot.  The dreaming was fun to do, and it was fun talking to others about what we might do with all that money.  For a little while, it was fun forgetting our troubles and thinking about what we would do if we won.

While it was fun dreaming about winning the lottery, I also was aware that winning the lottery could be a bad thing in the long run.  There are too many stories of people being worse off after winning the lottery.  They would spend the money foolishly and end up in worse financial shape.  It would be hard to resist going into a spending frenzy with all that money, especially if you have gone without for a long time.  The smart thing to do if you win the lottery is to seek financial advice.  You can still "reward" yourself after winning, but you want to set something up so that the money will last you the rest of your life.  I think that is one reason some people do not claim their lottery winnings right away.  They need time to setup a financial plan so that the money will last, and they need to do that with someone they trust.  That does not happen overnight.  I hope that is what I would do if I ever won.

Last night I played the Mega-Million lottery again with only $3.00 this time even though the jackpot was just $20 million (just?) .  Why did I do that?  I have an almost zero chance of winning, but it is zero chance of winning if I don't play.  I knew I would not win, but I had fun thinking and dreaming about the prospect of winning.  It was a form of entertainment, and I enjoyed doing it.  I never spend of lot of money on the lottery.  I usually spend just $5.00, and I only do that occasionally.  As long as I don't spend a lot of money on the lottery tickets, I don't see the harm in playing.  It is good to have something to look forward to, even if it is just a dream.