Tuesday, March 25, 2008

If you won Powerball

Whenever Nick interviews people for a job, one of the things he asks is the following: What would you do if you won Powerball?

If they say they'd keep their jobs and just buy a couple cars or whatever, he persists. "Say you'd won a gazillion dollars, and you'd bought houses for your family members and whatever else for everyone you know. If you never actually have to work again, what would you do with your time?"

He doesn't want to hear that they'd keep doing their job, that it's their dream job, forever and ever. He wants to know how they'd spend their time, if they could do absolutely anything.

Sometimes he gets really interesting answers. He likes the insight it gives him into people and their lives.

So then he turned the question to me.

I didn't have an immediate answer. I mean, I can think of 50 things I'd rather do than work every day. But as a grand plan, I'm not sure.

What would I do with my time, if I could do anything?

I'd go everywhere in the world I've been dying to go - which is a lot of wheres. I could spend a good year doing that. Or maybe six months, then come home. If you could travel anytime you wanted, without having to schedule time off, you wouldn't have to do it all in one go, you know?

I think I'd spend a solid six months writing. Or maybe a year. I suppose that could overlap with the travel.

Then? Then I'd probably take fun art classes. I'd love to learn more about printmaking. And I would love to learn how to make jewelry.

Maybe I'd open a boutique. How fabulous would it be to be around fabric and clothing every day? And if you didn't have to worry about making money, you could be as experimental as you wanted, which would be so fun.

I find it interesting to think about. With no financial constraints, no parameters, how would you construct your life and spend your time?


  1. I've thought about this a lot, since it's a good exercize to find out what you actually want to do with your life. So, I'd also do the travelling thing and either be a travel writer/reviewer or open up a little French-style cafe in Arlington or Alexandria down to a great wine list and Pastis.

  2. I'd travel and visit libraries all over the world. I'd help fund schools all over the world, and then visit them, and play with the kids. I'd go to museums and cultural and historic sites around the world. I'd sit down for dinner with ineresting people and ask them to teach me something... anything. I'd pay schools to let me sit in on classes, and pick professors brains. I'd help fund art and basic math education. I'd fun pure research (research with no goal in mind, just going where the data and curiosity takes you). I'd scuba dive and swim. I'd fund orphanages in India. I'd use the money to make politicians listen to me, and actually care about what I say.

    In short, I'd be more stressed than I am now, but also more fulfilled.

  3. i've given this plenty of thought since i plan out how i'm going to spend my money every time i buy a lotto ticket - definitely travel everywhere... to the most remote (read: $$$$) places that i have no chance of going to now. i'd do that a few times a year, and bring my family and friends with me. i'd be lying if i said i wouldn't spend alot of time shopping, with my friends too (i'd give them allowances for shopping trips). but i also would open my own clothing line... i've already got all the plans and ideas, just need an investor : )

    oh yah, Hi. google reader recommended you. can't wait to read more.

  4. I'd be a shorter, not quite as sexual, less snobby, Angelina Jolie.

    Oh, and I'd adopt babies from America AND all over the world and buy a plane for us to travel and play in and help other kids all over the world. I don't think I'd do the whole UN Ambassador thing. Sounds like alotta work.

    I would totally marry Brad Pitt though.

  5. I would buy a small house with historic charm and fix it up. Or rather supervise the fixing up. Then I'd sell it and buy a slightly larger small house and do the exact same thing.
    In between these projects, I would travel, build a beach house of my own and read lots of books. I also might spend an entire year in Italy, drinking chianti and eating homemade raviolis while getting lost in places like Montova and Venice. Maybe I'd open up a little store that sold little charming things, and I would throw out everything in my closet and start over.

    I'd also get a personal trainer and private instructor for yoga like all the time. I'd take cooking classes and spend an entire month learning how to make different kinds of desserts.

    I'd go to Paris just for a croissant and sail in the Carribean for months at a time.

    And with the other 93 billion??? I'd donate half, and invest the rest.

  6. PS - I also wouldn't have ever had a vial of blood around my neck or tongue my brother. Just wanna make that clear. I had "comment regret" seeing how I made the Angelina wanna-be statement. That's all.

  7. Oh, lovely question.
    Travel (of course) but whenever I wanted, not scheduled- like you said.
    A big old farm with a farmhouse and a barn so I could make a kickass place for my dogs to run when it was rainy outside (so I can hug them without getting all doggy smelly), I'd get goats and then learn how to make goatmilk cheese, and I would buy a new/used bookstore so I could stock it with books I love and when I saw a kid who loved books, I'd give them an armfull.
    I would also have staff, and I would pay them bunches!
    PS How does Nick keep a straight face when people tell him it's there dream job? I mean, you never know something's your dream job until you actually have it- and even then stuff can change.

  8. I'd be full-time photographer and would love the opportunity to travel the world documenting everything with a camera. Husband Luke would assist, he's already so supportive and lugs the tri-pod from point A to B. To get the shot, sometimes I'd need to spend days, weeks, months in one location and honestly it would take a lifetime to capture all the images constantly running through my mind.

    For charity, I'd follow the Lance Armstrong model - avoid politics but do great works for cancer research. Maybe I'd just support his organization because I really don't have the skills to run a foundation well.

    I'd also have lots of pups. If I ever retired from photography, I'd love to have a pet resort where pups can play fetch, swim and be pampered.

    Great post LG :) You keep us dreaming

  9. Great post.
    I always dream about it.
    Pay my mortgage, I would travel, help who in need and buy out my school..
    but after helping who in need I don’t think I would have any thing left. Let's keep dreaming:)

  10. I've actually had this discussion a couple of times in the past few days, because a couple people in my family have been winning small amounts of money on scratch tickets. So I'm just waiting for it to be my turn.

    If I won a whole ton of money, the first thing I'd do is pay of my bills and the bills for my family, and best friends. I'd fix up my childhood home, where my mom still lives, and make it the house she always wanted. Then I would donate money to my college, enough that they'd have to name something after me. I'd also donate money to cancer research, perhaps start a foundation in memory of my Dad. Then I'd travel. But I wouldn't just fly first class, no I'd buy my own private jet, that would be ready to go at a moments notice, whenever I have the whim to go to, say, London for the day. I feel like some English tea, London anyone? Oh that would be the life. No work for me.

  11. Ohhh, these thoughts are so fun and interesting! I love reading them! Thank you so much for sharing!

  12. I would start the non profit I have all planned out--in my isolated little town. I would "green" remodel my house top to bottom, inside & out. I would pay off my kids' student loans, fund their retirement and give them a down payment on a house. I would work 20 hours a week & have time to grow a great garden. For a splurge, I would buy a condo in San Francisco!

    plain jane

  13. I love to dream about this, but I still don't have a long term plan. Any plan would include paying everything off, setting everyone up, making some donations I've never had the disposable income to make, divest of stuff and travel, write and read into the wild blue yonder, stopping once in a while to yank a weed or plant something. Maybe. Or maybe just do a tour of the gardens of the world.....yeah. Ooooh.

    My description of heaven.

    P.S. I love that as an interview question.

  14. I know that I would hire a housekeeper, a cook and a driver. Maybe a trainer and a stylist as well.

    And I would pay my friends to hang out with me. It would be no fun to be the only one who didn't have to work.

  15. I was having this discussion with a friend recently. She suggested that I be a philanthropist which I loved. Since I don't like celebrity or notoriety, I could do it in a discreet fashion.

  16. I would try to be balanced in the way I spent my fortune. For example, I would give some money for cancer research and for fighting poverty, but I would also spend money on coke and prostitutes. You have to be careful not to go too far in one direction, or you'll become unbalanced. Yin-Yang, you know?

    Circle of life.


Tell me about it.