When I’m stuck in traffic, I will occasionally give way to the fantasy that I’ve won the Jackpot. To distract myself, I play the Spend like a Fiend game. (I’ve found playing the lottery-winner-driving-game calms the road rage beast that lives beneath my serene exterior. She’s prone to the excessive use of expletives and Formula 1 driving practices in turbulent situations. The game saves lives.)
My spending list goes like this:
- Send email to work terminating my employment
- Pay off any debit I might have at the time of winning
- Set up trust funds for the kids
- Gift something amazing to our immediate family members
- Hire someone to organize the vacation of a lifetime for the family
- Employ another to organize my spice cabinet, but then it hits me I can also hire a chef like the one Oprah has
- Hire a landscape gardener to beautify the front yard
- Assuming I hit the big one in the summer, I see myself flying to Barcelona to spend the days writing and working on a novel (WHAT! “You’re rich”, a voice in my head shouts, “Why are you imagining yourself writing. Are you mental or something?”
- At the end of the summer I see myself in London sitting in a flat at Butler’s Wharf with a view of the River Thames. I am continuing my work on the novel or maybe a short story. The nagging voice in my head is making puking noises
- If I win big in the winter, my fantasy island trips are limited to school breaks, Hawaii and Panama come to mind. Still I am writing.
- I look up plastic surgeons and contemplate a tummy tuck. I panic something might happen under the knife and close the imaginary browser in my head
- I think…oooooh, self-publish! Then I see myself looking for a book designer. Voice in my head reminds me I can afford to BUY a publishing company
- Of course, somewhere on the list is putting a new roof on the house, hiring a housekeeper, and adding a room of my own to the house
I pull into the driveway and the lights in my imagination chamber dim. The game is over. My raging road beast is soothed. I still have millions to spend but not a clue what to do with the money. I’m sure I could run out and purchase a set of Gordon Ramsey pans, a bag of Henry Winston diamonds, or even a new body and face if I wanted, but I never do add those types of things to my list when I am playing the game.
I consider the little voice in my head and what she said about writing. On one hand, she had a good point about being rich and spending my time writing. I could hire someone to write for me, but where would the fun in that be. The truth is for the writer in me, it wouldn’t be enjoyable if I wasn’t whiling away a few hours a day in my imagination chamber. Financially challenged or sipping from a silver spoon, I’ve come to the realization that writing is hardwired into my chromosomes. I might be sitting in a villa in the heart of Barcelona or in a flat at Butler’s Wharf, but in my mind’s eye, I have the trusty MacBook Pro open and see my fingers flying across the keys. The sound of clickity-clack-clack-clack manicured nails tap-tap-taping, is echoing overhead.