It’s a cute song, but what I want to take it a little more seriously. “If I had a million dollars” is another way of saying, “If I didn’t have to worry about money.” What would you do if money were not a concern, if you were relatively healthy and always had food and clothing taken care of? I think once you answer that question, you have, perhaps, something to organize your life around, something you can use to help get the food on the table if need be, or something to help relieve the stress caused by how you do get the food on the table.
What do you do in your free time? What makes you smile? What do you look forward to more than anything else? What do you do when you get vacation time without the kids or the cellphone? (Or what would you do if you could get that time?) What would you do if nobody had any prior claims on your time and your body?
I know I would make things. All the little yarnie hobbies I’ve had all my life would come back to the surface. That’s how I spent my weekends before I had kids: stitching of some kind and watching the Discovery channel (back when it still had brains). I love making detailed, intricate things. To follow my earlier statement, I should seek to find ways to earn money by making things. That’s easier said than done! It’s nearly impossible to find people willing to spend the amount of money an item would cost if I were to make even the government’s definition of “minimum wage” for the time I spent making it, for most crafts. But there are some things I can do, even though I enjoy them less, that can bring in better money. My friends set me a goal this year of making enough things to stock a table at Convocation next year. My plans are to make that primarily ritual wear, nice robes made out of natural fabrics and available in a wide range of sizes, something that is not commonly available. For this year, then, I need to move toward organizing my table around building this stockpile.
Another thing I have done with my free time is spending time outside. I always used to enjoy hiking and biking. I borked myself running this year, but I’d get back out there on a bike if I could just get hold of a good bike that wouldn’t kill my rear end. When I was a kid, that’s how I spent most of my time. On any given afternoon or weekend, I would throw a snack and a book into a backpack, or I’d ride up to the Jiffy Mart and grab a snack, and then I would go ride my bike. I’d ride to the edge of the housing developments, along the ranches, near the airport, out by the lake. Sometimes I’d park my bike and start hiking, always leaving the “real” trail to follow some side path, until I felt like I was in the middle of nowhere. Then I would read, write in a journal, things like that. I would love to have more time for these things. Not much money in it, though, just pure joy.
I like challenges. I like to compete. I enjoy racing, even though I am always outclassed. I like my current knitting competition, even though I know I’m going to get knocked out soon because I’m up against people without kids. I love dancing, although I’ve never had a partner to really learn ballroom dancing with and I want to. I love to sing, live or karaoke, alone or with a band or choir; I haven’t gotten to do any of that really in YEARS. I miss band and choir and orchestra competitions. I miss having a whole collection of instruments laying about that I could pick up and play. I miss being on stage.
If I had a million dollars, we’d have a dog for Kender and a bedroom for every child. We’d go on road trips and go camping. Everybody would have a bike. We’d open a brewery for Brian, and run a karaoke and jazz lounge in the back. We wouldn’t be buying a mansion, although we might get a sports car. We wouldn’t be blowing it on jewelry or designer clothes. We’d just use it to enable us to enjoy the simply things we do enjoy.
Time to go a buy a lottery ticket and indulge my fantasies.