This week I had a dream – actually I’ve had a lot of dreams this week. In one, though, I won the lottery. That may sound like an awesome fantasy, but I’m someone who NEVER EVER EVER wants to win a ton of money. The stress and the pressure would break me. In the dream, however, I was not given a choice. I had to accept the money, and so I had to decide what to do with it.
Once I was mostly awake, I started thinking about that – what would I actually want to do with that much money. It still scares me, but it was a fun little exercise to help me see where my priorities fall.
**THESE ARE JUST OFF-THE-TOP-OF-MY-HEAD THOUGHTS. YOU DON’T GET TO BE MEAN OR JUDGEY ABOUT THEM IF YOUR IDEAS ARE DIFFERENT.**
So, in no particular order that I will admit to publicly, here’s my partial, unedited, spontaneous list.
Pay debts (financial and otherwise)
Beyond just paying off my debts and mortgage, I would pay back every person who has loaned me money, given me time, strength, help, laughter, a shoulder, a ride home, kept a secret, told me the truth, carried a bag, or helped someone I love. Life isn’t good when you can see the suffering of those who’ve helped you.
Invest in a struggling winery
Because wine and underdogs are my favourite.
Start a foundation for underprivileged writers and artists
With showcases and camps and trips and tshirts and candy and coffee (for the grownups)…to give everyone a chance to have their voice heard.
Shut up. It’s my list, not yours.
Design and build a new house
Then renovate and use my current house as a free temporary residence for (up to) 2 families with catastrophically sick kids in my area.
Hire an employee who would otherwise be working as an unpaid intern
HALA Writing won’t take on staff until I can afford to pay them properly. Once I can…WATCH OUT.
Travel to Uganda to meet my “foster kid”
We’ve been supporting one family (as much as we can) since my oldest child was 2. It would be nice to visit him, his community, and his country to see what else needs to be done.
Build and run (with investors, probably) a free mental health clinic in my city
I have no idea how this would work under our current healthcare system, but I would do my damndest to hire 10-20 mental health professionals to take some of the burden off of our current (crappy) system.
That’s my list so far. What’s yours?