It’s a timely question, I know. It’s Christmas time. For sure I’m getting lottery tickets in my stocking. And perhaps more importantly, the 6/49 is a $7 million jackpot and the LottoMax is at $50 million. I was telling someone that I was excited because I’m sure I’m going to win someday, and this could be my week! (About this one thing, I can be an eternal optimist.) If I win the lottery (I need $3 million for this dream to come true), I’m never working for anyone else ever again.

The person I was speaking with fired back a “but what would you DO?” Whaddya mean, what would I do? Do you ask that of retired people? No. No you don’t. You just look at them with jealousy and think to yourself “man, it’d be nice to have that extra 10 hours a day back like buddy who retired… maybe I’d look that happy if it happened to me”.

Why would I have to do anything? Sure, if I won an obscene amount of money, I’d figure out a way to give most of it away. But that’s not really a job for me. After setting up the parameters for how it should be distributed, I’d pretty much be out of the game. So, what would I do if I ‘lottery retired’?

Well, obviously there’s the trite answer. Of course I’m going to travel. But you can’t travel all the time. At least I can’t. I like my own stuff. I like my routine. I like my friends and family. So no, I wouldn’t travel all the time.

And if you’re not travelling, then what? I’d like to tell you that I’d be all altruistic and stuff, but I don’t know. I did a lot of volunteering when I was young and it was a lot like work. Even volunteers get sucked into administrivia.

I think, if you had to define what I’d do, it would be this: I’d become an artisan. Oh, I know the word “artisan” is so overused that it’s almost meaningless now, but I mean it in the truest way possible:  A worker in a skilled trade, esp. one that involves making things by hand.

That’s right. I’d make stuff. For a living. Stuff that wouldn’t have to be so perfect that it would sell. Stuff that allowed me to grow and learn and be impractical because I can, not creating stuff that has to be “sellable” in order to make my mortgage payment.

Part of my making stuff issues are that I want to make all different types of stuff. This means I never actually master anything. You have to sew a thousand seams before they’re consistently straight. Even experts have to rip out seams. Same thing with hand sewing (though I think that might be genetic – I’m actually really good at it). I’d like to learn how to paint. I’d like to craft three dimensional objects. I’d like to… well, make stuff.

I could re-prioritize my life so that I made stuff more. I could. But it would be so much easier to be ‘lottery retired’ so I could get up, have a healthy breakfast, go to the gym or for a walk and do my errands, have a healthy lunch, and craft for four hours or so before having a healthy dinner, don’t you think?

I wish I could a) remember who I was talking to about this; and b) change my answer from “duh… what?” to “become an artisan”. Not only would I sound way more intelligent than I actually did, but it would be a true reflection of who I am and what I love to do.

Who knew I’d turn out to be this person? I certainly never would have guessed.