I have a fantasy party based on this CNN article listing the ten happiest countries in the world. I would invite one ordinary person from each country: a teacher, cop, accountant, construction worker, firefighter, machinist, doctor, you get my drift. We have so much to learn from them, why not over beer, wine and appetizers? I feel that a full-on dinner would be too stressful and detract from my global happiness search. But appetizers and wine from each guest’s country can really get a conversation going.
Winter is done, at least in this hemisphere. I’m always amazed that little crocuses manage to grow through cold, hard soil. And this year is no different. A small swarm of gnats buzzed in the shopping area earlier today, and we’re seeing longer days and some sunshine. My shower curtain rod no longer holds icy pants dripping snow melt; soon that will be replaced with sandy towels.
The hope of warm, balmy nights and long, fun days has me so giddy that I made my “to do” list for Summer 2014. Oh yes, if I have to do a “to do” list for tasks and chores, I’m going to make one for the pleasant stuff too:
- Go to the beach more. What’s better than feeling the ocean rush against my legs, smelling salt air and sunblock? And I’ll wear the polka dot bathing suit. I will start loading up on beach reads now.
- Live music under the stars. Even better, dancing to live music under the stars!
- Barbecue. Not at home though because the City of New York doesn’t permit using fire escapes for anything except escaping fires.
- I will become an expert on local outdoor cafés. Maybe some will serve barbecue.
- I will visit cool museums.
- i will ride my bike.
- I wonder if I can still “jump in” in jump rope?
- Road trips! Just keep driving until I find something that amuses me. I amuse easily so this shouldn’t be too far.
This summer will inspire some good posts. At least, that’s the plan.
Are these writing challenges or thinking challenges?
The premise is that I hypothetically won a billion dollars. That’s a thousand million, or this much: $1,000,000,000.00 U.S., which would finance pretty much all my dreams.
I always wondered what it would be like to come from a wealthy family. So first, I would give each of my siblings a million dollars, the only caveat being that they not ask for more money. Ever. I have big ideas to pay for. I would pay my father’s rent for wherever he wants to live. This way, the landlord is responsible for repairs or maintenance. He is so used to doing these things himself that even as a wealthy man, I can imagine him replacing floor tiles or installing appliances.
I’d put a couple million into my child’s college fund to finance not only her Master’s Degree, but education for her someday children and grandchildren. We would become a dynasty! We would travel and meet and learn from interesting, peaceful and fun people from all over the world. Then I’d buy her a house.
I’d create a center for women in my area who are returning to the workforce, providing counseling, skills training, interview techniques and appropriate work clothing to get them started. Maybe one week’s worth. Everybody there is required to learn personal financial management. In return, each woman has to share her unique skill or talent with the other women. Let’s say “A” is a great cook, so she teaches cooking to B,C and D. “B” teaches tennis to A, C, D and E. “C” teaches basic home repair, “D” teaches sewing, “E”car maintenance. Ultimately you have a community of smart, knowledgeable, competent and employed women.
I am from a blue-collar family and it breaks my heart that so many of the manufacturing jobs that paid the rent and put food on our table are simply gone. I would build a clean, safe clothing factory right here in Queens, New York. I would pay fair wages and moderate benefits. The first things out of my plant would be clothing for the ladies at my women’s center, followed by my version of the stuff already in my closet. Hey, maybe you’d like these clothes as much as I do!
Of course I’d move to bigger digs. I want my new home to be wind and solar-powered and be so energy-efficient that I’m selling power to the power company. Gardens would surround the wind turbines, growing flowers, fruits and vegetables. My existing furnishings are welcome in my dream home; they’re modest but I love them. I have no idea where I would build this; my little utopia needs a lot of acreage. Maybe I’d build a few of these houses on this massive plot of land to form a family compound and name it after myself: Billionairessville.
None of this would happen unless I assemble a good financial team. I’d get my accountant on board first: he is smart, personable and ethical. I’d also have to study for an MBA so I can better understand the implications of this vast amount of money.
I’d better get me some good lawyers too. A billionaire can afford to speak her mind and be able to defend her freedom of speech in court. The vultures would circle the cash. It would be fun.