Week37: If I had all the money in the world...
A practical wake up to how life is now...
I don't often let myself think of how life would be with all the money I could ever want. Why? Well firstly I am acutely aware that there are people only a few miles from me who live in real poverty. I have had to bring in food from home to feed students of mine, or buy them books from charity shops as they are given nothing. So for me to start cherry-picking house styles, second homes, clothing brands...it feels uncomfortable. Another reason is that I know money would improve our lives drastically and I don’t want to be negative about what we already have. But I put these concerns aside and I decided to trust in this experiment to see what came up.
If I had this money I would: get us a bigger house with a granny annex; pay for a lovely live in carer for my mum; put money aside for the children’s future – not a huge amount, but enough to start them off on a secure footing. I would love a second home by the sea and the opportunity to work part time. I would by a workshop for my husband so he can practise his carpentry whenever he wanted to. And I would give money to local causes - specially to support children with additional needs or living in reduced circumstances.
What I wouldn’t do is: leave our home town, pay everything for my kids, have plastic surgery, travel the globe or want a fancy car. I wouldn’t want to change my friends or even my job. BUT what is undeniable is that money would by time, space and security.
On reflection, I am pleased I undertook this experiment. It has allowed me to feel very proud of some of the fundamental choices I have made in my life: where we live, my spouse, my job, my friends…. but it has also allowed me to acknowledge what perhaps needs to be our priorities going forward. I will almost certainly not win the lottery, but we can save for our security, seek support in looking after mum, and work towards part time work.
So I would definitely recommend this exercise, perhaps even to do as a whole family. What you are really doing is assessing your priorities as well as facing up to who you have become. Thanks Chris, because without this nudge I wouldn’t have looked at my life this way. I have come to learn that even if an experiment doesn’t grab you straight away, it is worth giving it a go and trusting in the process. Enlightenment may follow!