A and I had a rare afternoon together. Overnight last night I was experiencing significant vertigo—I think because of my antibiotic for strep—and A stayed home this morning to help get the kids off to school. Since it was already so late when they finally got on their way he decided to stay home with me the rest of the day. By afternoon I was much better and when G came home (she has half days on Wednesdays) we took a trip to Ikea. We’re trying to get ideas for a mini kitchen reno- (we would like more counter space for food prep) and we thought they might have some kitchen setups that we’d find inspiring. (We got a couple ideas.)
This morning, A bought a couple Powerball tickets. We’re the family that only plays the lottery when the jackpot is big (and often not even then), and while it is 100% true that you can’t win if you don’t play, well, we don’t usually play. I don’t think I would have even been aware of the prize, but A must have heard about it through the grapevine at work. Funny how when you don’t go to work, you miss out on some current events when you don’t have a water cooler (or its equivalent) to gather around and you get all your news from NPR. All that to say, our odds aren’t good. (Don’t they decrease when there’s a large jackpot because more people (like us) play? I’m not really sure about the math on that, but that’s what I generally assume.)
Anyhoodle. He bought a couple Quick Picks, and in the car this afternoon we got to talking about what we would do if we won.
A said that he would definitely take the annuity rather than the single payout. I haven’t done the math on that, but he assures me we’d be making about 16mil a year. Well hell. I’m inclined to think we might do better investment-wise if we took it all in one fell swoop, but I dunno, I’m not greedy. I could manage on 16mil a year. If I HAAAAD to. (*wink wink, nudge nudge*) So, sure. If A wants 16mil a year, rather than, I dunno 315mil at once, go ahead, twist my arm.
It’s interesting, I never went without while growing up, but we also didn’t live an extravagant lifestyle. My father worked hard, and before she got sick my mom did, too. Once every few years they splurged on a vacation, and when they did it was an event (some of my all time favorite memories), but when I got a little older my dad would often talk about people who had to have all the toys and gadgets, all the “jet skis and big screen tvs.” My dad, and subsequently, myself, we are not jet ski and big screen tv types of folks. That’s not to say we are against those particular things. If you’re actually using those things, a lot, well heck, if you have the money (not credit, but money, cold hard cash….my dad always made a distinction) knock yourself out. My dad’s disdain was for people who collected, as he put it, “toys”.
I have a “you do you and I’ll do me” attitude in life generally, but perhaps as a result of my father’s vocal opinion on matters, I am not a “toy” collector. That’s not to say I NEVER waste money, but I’m not the sort to blow money on big toys. I don’t feel like I am missing out. Thankfully, my biggest loves are things that are relatively cheap. Books—free and used are fine—and okay, so I have a bit of an auction and thrift store habit (always looking for junk finds that I can use or flip). I like…I dunno. Good coffee. And good shoes (my feet are destroyed, so I don’t even mean fancy ones, so much as good sturdy comfortable Keens). And, while I am not currently drinking alcohol (more on that and my diet changes later), I like a bottle of prosecco from time to time. A nice meal. I like to have a decent phone and computer, but I use them until they are spent. It didn’t occur to me until now that maybe we’d one day like new cars. But honestly, I don’t even care if they are new new. Cars just don’t blow my skirt up.
Wow. What DO I like??
That’s the conclusion A and I were drawing in our conversation. What WOULD we do with all that money?
Without hesitation I know I would first pay off my student loans (we are slowly knocking them out, but I would love to rid myself of them). Then we’d make sure our families were taken care of. I happen to be involved with a lot of non-profits and I would immediately want to help them out. I have friends who are talented artists and inventors and entrepreneurs and I would love to help fund the projects I really believe in—whether I know the people or not, honestly. I wouldn’t always want to just write a check, though. I’d want to get involved and DO something with the organizations we helped.
A doesn’t know if he would leave his job or not. He loves his job, and what’s more…hello? Where else would we get our news without a water cooler??
Neither of us wants to do nothing and both of us want to be involved with something.
He wants to make music and I want to write and make art. But not all day.
Money would give us freedom to a certain extent, sure, but I really don’t know where we would go or what we would do. I mean, wherever you go, there you are. We can’t escape ourselves.
How much do we really need? We might move to a single family house. Or we might not. Probably. I mean, I DO have a fondness for houses of a certain feel. I don’t necessarily need or want bigger, but maybe more windows. A house that FEELS perfect and right. Maybe a little land. Trees, at least. A view, or a coffee shop that I could walk to.
We feel a little stuck here because of the kids’ schools. We love their schools and it would be really hard to leave. Though Baltimore has grown on us we haven’t found our niche yet (still) and there are so many places we love more (probably because of that).
We would DEFINITELY want to hire a nanny though. Someone trained in ABA. Our weekends are still tough because of little G’s anxiety and behavior difficulties and it would be amAAAAzing if we could have a skilled helper with us for any outings or vacations. (How’s that for one of those Blerf moments, when you realize there are childless 20 year olds fresh out of college with more knowledge on how to manage your child?? Heck, G’s school is full of them. Energetic and not too emotionally invested so that they can manage the situations we find our selves in.) So yeah, we’d want to travel some and a trained ABA nanny would just….woah. Okay. I think I’d want that more than anything else. Strike that—I ABSOLUTELY would want that more than anything else! And in that case, we’d probably get a bigger house just so we could have an attached apartment for our nanny. Our ABA trained nanny. *swoooon*
It almost hurts to even think about when you discover something you want.
It’s an interesting exercise. Wants vs. needs. How you want to spend your money, and therefore your life. BIG questions.
And more than likely, questions in vain. Come on, big money, big money, no whammies.
What about you? What would you want? What would you do?