“Having it All” is Not a Lump Sum

Oprah You can have it all just not all at once

Is it possible to “have it all”? 

Is there anyone on this planet who can truly say that, at this moment, they have everything they could ever want in life?

Maybe, but I’m willing to bet that it’s a small percentage, and that the moment is fleeting.

While driving home the other night, I had a thought about this concept of “having it all” and if it truly exists. In my life, I don’t think I’ve ever had a moment in which I believed I had everything.

That sounds harsh, and even a little ungrateful, but it’s the truth. There’s always something else I’m working toward, a situation that needs improvement, or a dream that must be deferred — hopefully, temporarily — for a larger cause. In my life, many people have entered; few will remain for the long haul, yet all must eventually say goodbye.

As someone who typically demands everything in an instant, I’m learning to be okay with the truth that I can’t have it all…at once.

Think about winning the Powerball. (Yes, don’t we all want to think about that?!) If you hit the jackpot, you have the choice of either receiving your winnings in one lump sum or opting for annuity — receiving a fixed amount of cash each year.

When it comes to fortunes, life automatically opts us in to annuity, and that’s fine. We don’t need to have all of our life’s desires given to us in a lump sum. If life were that simple and gracious, we’d not only be bored but we’d also take so much more for granted.

Life throws curveballs, and no one knows when or how many it’ll lob at once. Accidents happen. Plans fall through. Nothing is ever absolutely perfect, as hard of a lesson that is for me to keep learning.

But! Instead of focusing on what we don’t, can’t, or won’t have, we should pay attention to what we do, can, and will have. Perhaps someday, the don’t/can’t/won’t things will transform into do/can/will things. Realize, however, that it can easily go the other way. This is why being positive is key — the more resilient we are through the hard times, the easier it’ll be to find ourselves celebrating the good times again.

When the time comes for me to take those final breaths and meet my maker, and I look back at the gradual accumulation of my life’s events up until that very point, then I’ll want to be able to say, “You know? I really did have it all.”

As for right now? No, I don’t have it all and it may be a long time before I experience that fleeting moment in which I feel that I do. But I have plenty of goodness in my life, and more still to come. For me, that’s enough.

The Monday Question

If you won the Powerball, would you opt for the lump sum or annuity? Describe your financial plans in the comments below.

Til next Monday!

3 thoughts on ““Having it All” is Not a Lump Sum

  1. I constantly find myself browsing online for new clothes, shoes, or electronics. These are things that someday I want, but I can’t have them all right now. I’ve had to push some of my desires aside to squeeze in other ones or to buy necessities that pop up. It’s important to focus on the things you do have because otherwise you aren’t taking full advantage of the wonderful live you live.
    If I were to win the lottery I would take the lump sum. Of course I would be generous with my family, offering to buy each of my siblings and their SO’s a house, as well as buying my parents pretty much anything they needed or wanted. I would invest a majority of the money and also donate to charities (some of my favorites are Autism Speaks, Susan G. Komen, and The Multiple Sclerosis Society). I would also leave my job (sorry folks) and possibly go back to school, move to the Netherlands, and buy myself a house! There’s just too much money to think about….I don’t think I could handle it all!
    Another great post. I look forward to next week. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you! And you’re right about the importance of focusing on the “haves” in life. I’ve been accustomed to focusing more on my “have nots” and while it’s motivated me to a degree, it didn’t help me enjoy the life I have in front of me. It’s a process.

      Liked by 1 person

      • You make a really good point…I think I can be very motivated to work hard for certain things I want. There’s a delicate balance between focusing on the “haves” and the “have nots” sometimes. I think it’s fine to work for things that you want as long as you don’t neglect or forget about the things you do have. 🙂


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