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June 02, 2001: If wishes were hours

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If Collab - June: If you had all the money you would ever need... and more, what would you do with your life? What would be your motivation to get out of bed everyday?

I once told Richard that he needed to get a job that paid him twice as much so I could quit working and be a stay at home cat mom. Not, mind you, that I was serious - we've got our plans, and they require both of us to work full-time for at least another decade or two if we're going to retire as early as we want.

Still, the thought crops up in my head every once in a while - how nice it would be to not have to go to work. It doesn't matter how much I might like my job (and despite the occasional whining about both my own company and the project I'm on, I really do honestly like my job) - if I didn't need the money, I'd quit in a heartbeat.

I'm not the type of person who can be idle. Oh, granted I can sit on my rear a few days and be absolutely completely lazy, but by the end of the second day I start to get antsy, and by the end of the third I'm more than likely to either be puttering around, cleaning something, organizing a room, or pestering a friend to go out and do something - anything - with me.

What I wish for most of all, is simply to have *time*. If we somehow won the lottery (a phenomenon which would be pretty much impossible, considering we don't even play, but bear with me here) and woke up tomorrow knowing that we had enough money to do whatever we wanted, oh, what things I would do! The possibilities are endless, and I'm not sure that even if I wasn't working for a wage, I would have enough time to do them all.

If I had time, I would take classes. I would learn to quilt, and to make paper, and how to create fantastic animals from your common every day green leafy bush. I would take Tae Kwon Do, and join a Master's swimming class to see if I might finally be able to get the hang of that whole butterfly stroke thing that's stumped me for years. I would volunteer for literacy programs, sign up to tutor elementary kids in math, and show up to read stories at the local library. I would bake - hearty, comforting, healthy meals - all the recipes I ever wanted to try but never have time for now. I would garden, expanding it every year until it took over half our backyard - melons and peppers and green beans - and then I would can them with my mom, lining walls in the garage with glass Bell jars of jams and jellies and vegetables only hours from the vine.

I would travel. I would take trips down jungle rivers and learn how to identify all the birds in Africa. I would climb the pyramids in Egypt and learn how to speak French by living in Paris for months and soaking up the culture. I would finally figure out how to work all those tricky little gadgets on fancy cameras and put aside my 'point and shoot dummy' version for good. I would go to Rome and pay someone to teach me how to draw, and then give the poor artist extra money when he failed because I know better anyway.

I would attend catholic masses in Europe just to listen to the sounds of latin echo in the stone cathedrals, and slip into tiny gospel churches in the southern United States to join in the praise singing. I would humbly request permission to enter mosques and temples and synagogues to listen and feel and perhaps finally figure out what this faith thing is that so many people have and I've never found.

If I had all the money I ever needed, what would be my motivation for getting out of bed every day? Heck, if I had the *chance* to do even half of what I wanted to do if only I had the time, I'm not sure I'd even have time to sleep in the first place?

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