Be it resolved that this year, knowing of my past failures to truly better myself: This year I will again try to better myself by respecting my fellow men and women and respecting the conscious, creative force that brought this universe into being. I do this fully aware that I will probably fail to become a better husband, father, citizen, Christian, friend, mentor or spiritual guide; but I vow to work on these goals. I will be resolute but make no resolutions.
Resolutions are like prayers directed to the devil … the tailed beast just sits there and smirks at our silliness. This year I decided that it is much smarter to invest in a lottery ticket than to make resolutions. If I’m destined to be disappointed, I might just as well be disappointed about my bad luck than frustrated at my inability to keep a resolution. The very worst thing that could happen would be to win the lottery. How can I say that?
If I were unlucky enough to win the lottery, my wife, Candy, would quit her job and become a full-time grandmother with necessary trips to New Jersey — or worse, the grandkids might show up here! She would very likely want to move from here; she’s always talked about a penthouse overlooking Elliot Bay. She would want to travel four to six months of the year. She’d need to set up trust funds for the kids and grandkids. I’d be happy to paint the house, get a new roof and buy some better windows, maybe even a new TV. I already have good boots, walking sticks, an OK camera, a workable computer and an almost-new car.
At least maybe if she took me to Paris again, we could afford to eat out once or twice at a nice restaurant. And we could hire a guide to help us order food so that we don’t order parts of a pig we never dreamed of eating!
I could see a future where I’d never get to hike again or ever see a wild creature outside of a zoo. But just maybe I’d be able to ride some trains somewhere. I do believe that a good percentage of lottery winners commit suicide, get divorced or drink way too much. Some do all three. I’ve been divorced and don’t want to do that again. I’ve drunk quite a lot, but I can do that and be poor, and I’m very happy being alive — here. Alive in New Jersey is an entirely different thing!
Don’t get me wrong. I really believe that I could be happy and wealthy. I enjoy nice wines and cruises and cute little bistros almost anywhere in the world. I could buy the mountain at Tubal Cain Mines and build a castle and still shop at Costco using my new helicopter to fly back and forth. I could probably fly in to church when I needed it. And I could always fly some friends in for parties on the mountain. But I’d probably be happier just staying where I am with the two cats and seeing Candy between her trips or traveling with her.
Without a doubt, the best part of being rich would be to give money away to folks who could really use it, and I don’t mean political parties or candidates or even churches, schools, or medical research facilities, but real people who are hurting and in difficulty through no fault of their own.
And I have this notion that giving should be done locally and anonymously. There’s no way that I could spend a few hundred millions for myself and I doubt if anyone in my family meets my definition of needy.
Alas, I was lucky this time and someone else in the state won half of the mega-millions. So I can feel free to go hiking! Maybe I’ll revisit the Spruce Railroad Trail.
Mon, Jan 30, 2012
A pleasant surprise and a lost art
Wed, Nov 2, 2011
On this summer, global warming and facial hair
Fri, Sep 9, 2011
A summer almost gone?
Mon, Aug 1, 2011
The origins of trail names
Wed, Jul 6, 2011
Where exactly does spirit reside?
Wed, Jun 1, 2011
Where to begin?
Wed, Apr 6, 2011
Considering cougar cuisine
Wed, Mar 2, 2011
The folly of resolutions
Tue, Jan 18, 2011
A place of uncommon beauty
Tue, Jan 4, 2011
Christmas: What does it all mean?
Tue, Dec 21, 2010
A spiritual advisor
Wed, Nov 10, 2010
Understanding personal gifts of everyday people
Tue, Oct 26, 2010
So, after you've done it all, what's left?
Wed, Oct 6, 2010
The context of place
Wed, Sep 22, 2010
Revisiting old friends
Wed, Sep 1, 2010
Paradise is all around on peninsula
Wed, Aug 18, 2010
The wonder in waterfalls
Wed, Aug 4, 2010
A walk in the park does the soul good
Wed, Jul 21, 2010
Trying to explain
Wed, Jul 7, 2010