Thursday, January 14, 2016

Putting the "fortune" in "fortunate"

I just finished reading Annika Riz, Math Whiz by Claudia Mills with the Elder and read this passage: "Annika didn't bother to run after them.  She hadn't bothered to buy a raffle ticket, either.  No true math person would buy a raffle ticket when you had such a mathematically low chance of winning."  Friends, while this may be true, I still had this whole "This is what I would do if I was even one of the winners of the Powerball riches" post laid out in my head.  I thought long and hard about this in fact, an entire loop dropping the Elder off at school and back.  So I'm going to go with this, regardless of the scornful looks that young Annika Riz might throw my way.

If I had massive quantities of money riches suddenly fall in my figurative lap, I have a whole list of things that I would change about my current life.  To note:  I would buy very few actual things.  And that's why I'm going to share my list.  It surprised me a bit but not completely as I'm finally (?!?) understanding this - I don't need that much and I don't want that much.  Experience trumps possession. 

So let's take a look-see, eh?

1.  I would get a massage, manicure and pedicure.  Stat.  And often.  Consider this essential.
2.  I would find a bed and breakfast in some tree-hugging part of New England and burrow in there for a few days, minimum, as I giggled to myself and drank gallons of coffee / scarfed plates full of biscotti. 
3.  I'd visit the local flooring store, finally pull the trigger on that new flooring for the kitchen, get it installed ASAP, and get a for sale sign in the yard faster than Usain Bolt.  One lucky new homeowner would stumble upon this little bit of house and grass and find that it's actually 50% off!  I'll even throw in a new roof. 
4.  I'm not sure where we'd move to, but we could hunker down somewhere until we found some new digs.  But here's the thing.  It wouldn't be a Powerball mansion.  (And this is as possession-y as I get.)  2000-3000 sq. feet, tops.  Unimposing on the outside.  Craftsman or cottage style with mature trees, fenced in back yard, access to parks and good schools.  TEMPERATE CLIMATE.  A workable floor plan with the ability to fancy up the kitchen as needed because...
5.  I'm getting my own chef.  And (s)he will be well paid and only work 3-4 nights a week 'cause I don't want to turn my kitchen over completely.  Heavens, no.  But a little bit of help with the cheffing wizardry would be mighty appreciated.
6.  And with that shiny new chef comes everything organic, locally sourced (whenever possible) and all things HIPSTER and AWESOME about food.  YES, please.  (This sounds kind of possession-y.)
7.  Now, since we're talking about food, let's talk about trails.  Food trails in the form of chocolate, caffeine, doughnut, or jam.  I don't care.  I'll try them all.  'Cause it's FUN, that's why.  And to find those fun food trails all over this great nation, that will require some decent amount of...
8.  TRAVEL.  Copious amounts of travel.  Have passport, must use.
9.  But I pretty much only bring back food when I travel, so this isn't an excuse to get more possession-y. 
10.  I might be more willing to take my kids to Chucky Cheese, but only if I get my own tokens because skeetball.
11.  Our parents.  Love 'em all.  We'd need to have some heart-to-hearts about throwing a fat wad of dough at them.  I mean, the in-laws had to deal with the boy during his deviant years and my parents had to deal with my brothers in their never-ending deviant years, so they all deserve much to make their lives less anxious and more amazing.  I'm not paying them off for raising me.  I was and continue to be their favorite daughter ever.
12.  My grandmother.  Again, a surreptitious deposit or two in her bank account would be money well spent.  I'm actually not sure about the boy's grandparents; they have scads of kids/grandkids/great-grandkids and throw money around willy-nilly anyway.  They're a tougher pair of nuts to crack.
13.  Have money, will help others.  Just think of ALL of the ways that some well placed dollars with some meaningful organizations or used on behalf of individuals would benefit not only single persons but ripple out to affect others as well.  Education is the great equalizer for a reason.  This is really what I would ruminate the longest on while bunkered up in some B&B in Vermont.  A foundation would probably be birthed soon.  Scholarships would undoubtedly be given.  Anonymous donations would happen.  In fact, this would have to be one of my favorite things about having my mitts on any portion of the Powerball largesse: making well placed donations to people who don't ask for it, don't expect it, and can benefit immediately from it.  I'm talking about someone's medical bills unexpectedly being paid up for them, someone's mortgage disappearing, someone's application fees waived.  A struggling school having boxes of gym equipment show up on their doorstep.  A homeless high school student pulled out of third period Government so she could be given a key to a rent-paid apartment, fully furnished, waiting for her.  This would be absolutely amazing.
14.  I'd also tip extravagantly.

And that list right there, that's just about it.  It would be a good place to start for us.  In the meantime, I'll spend my $2 that I saved by not buying a ticket wisely.  Cups of ice or water out of a public drinking fountain for everyone! 

I was just about to post this, but from the other room, I see the boy dancing to Elvis with the girls.  There's something that not having the winning ticket won't affect in the least, which is truly fortune-ate.

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