Friday, March 30, 2012

What Would You Do?

This morning I read a post about money. The author posed this question to her readers - What would you change about your life if money was no object?

I love hypothetical questions and this one really resonated with me, especially with the $640 million dollar lottery winner being picked tonight!

Immediately I began to make a list in my head of all the things I would do if I didn't have to worry about money:

1. Take a drawing class. I've been searching for a while now to try and find an art class that would fit with my work schedule. So far the only classes I've found are $40 and $60 per class, which seems a little ridiculous to me - but as long as money is no object, maybe I'll sign up for two!

2. Switch to working part-time. I don't know that I would want to quit my job completely, but going from 5 9hr days a week to 2 4hr days sounds really lovely. It's enough working time to make me appreciate the time that I'm not at work, but not so much working time that I start counting down the minutes until the weekend. Plus, in this alternate reality, I would still qualify for healthcare, right?

3. Get a dog. I love, love, love little furry dogs. If I didn't have to leave the little guy home alone all day, I would totally have a dog already - a little Pomeranian named Harry Potter who would sleep on my bed and dance on his hind legs when he was excited, and love riding in the car. Also, I would get a job that allowed me to bring my dog to work...and allow me to telecommute...and take months off for travel...hmm, this job situation might not work out after all...

4. Hire a chef/housekeeper. Deciding what to make for dinner and then having to shop for the food and cook it is not my idea of fun. So I would hire a chef to come make delicious, soy-free, vegan dinners that my meat-eating husband will love. The chef would also be a fabulous housekeeper who sweeps the floors and cleans bathrooms - my two least favorite chores.

5. TRAVEL!!! I just started reading Life of Pi and the author's description of the habits of the three-toed sloths in Brazil sounded really interesting! So I would take a trip (first class of course) over to Brazil for a few months, hang with the sloths, learn some Portuguese, check out the Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio (I've been wanting to visit that statue since I saw it in the 1996 remake of Romeo and Juliet with Leonardo DiCaprio!), and then move on Belize for a while, then maybe Italy, France, Sweden, Alaska, all the Hawaii islands, all the Caribbean islands...I could go on and on.  

I did a similar exercise in college when I was trying to figure out what I wanted to do with my life. My list was short and sweet:

1. Learn to drive a manual transmission, then buy an old purple VW bug and name it Lola. 

2. Decorate my apt with plants. 

3. Speak Spanish.
According to that list, my ideal job would be plant delivery driver in South America. Actually, that sounds fantastic! I should look into that.
I think it's interesting to note that in college I was making $80 a week tutoring middle schoolers and my list of desires were all relatively cheap. Now that I'm making more money, my desires have become more expensive (I can only imagine what my desires will be after I win the $640 million lotto tonight. Designer dresses dipped in gold and rubies most likely...). It makes me wonder - Does having more money automatically raise the bar on desires?  
When gossip magazines publish stories about celebrities who have spent all of their money and are forced to claim bankruptcy, I always think - HOW? 
How is it possible to spend MILLIONS of dollars so quickly? I'd like to think that once I become a millionaire, I will still continue with my simplified lifestyle. Sure, I could spend a few tens of thousands traveling the world, but that would still leave me with $539.9 million to live on! 

I suppose I would have to hire an accountant to manage all of my riches and do my taxes. Plus an assistant to deal with all of the donation inquires from charities and whoever else contacts rich people for money. And of course a publicist to manage all the press generated from interest in our fabulous simple living blog! 
It makes me exhausted just thinking about it! So of course I would then need to hire a relaxation team consisting of a masseuse, acupuncturist, reiki master, craniosacral therapist, naturopathic doctor, and therapist to follow me around and make sure I remained calm and zen-like at all times. A dog sitter for Harry Potter, a few nannies for my ever expanding brood of adopted and biological children, teachers to home-school the family and teach us local customs and languages. A team of lawyers in case someone tries to sue me for my millions, a business manager to manage all of my charitable enterprises, a secretary to type up my autobiography notes, a publisher, a tour manager, an image consultant...

OK, I've changed my mind. No winning lotto numbers for me. My desire to live a simple life outweighs my desire to be a millionaire.
To quote Notorious B.I.G. - "Mo money, mo problems"

Amen, Biggie!
Now that you've read my list, tell me, readers - what would YOU do if money were no object? Email us: this_joyful_life at yahoo dot com