June 11, 2012

What to do with more time or money

I'm using a writing prompt today:
What is something you'd like to jump into if you had more time/money?

If I had more time I would write more. If I had more money I would mount an adventure. If I had both, I would write a memoir about it.

I often think about how absurd U.S. culture is that we work to live so late into our lives, with only two or three weeks of vacation time spread throughout the year, if we're fortunate. I remember when I was pregnant with Roscoe, having been in school for years and years and then having worked for several more years, I was giddy at the thought of the opportunity to take a 4 month leave in the name of giving birth and postpartum recovery. (when else would I get to do this!?).

To disconnect from the busy American way for 3 months, or 6 months, or a year, or more, in order to see what else is going on in this country or the world, to feel alive. How exciting!

A few worthy ideas:
to spend a summer on a working farm
to live remotely for a year (in the mountains, near an ocean, somewhere beautiful)
to bike the US
to train for an Olympic-distance triathlon
to live internationally for a year or more (Greece, France)
to learn to speak fluent Spanish through cultural immersion
to explore a continent with just a pack on my back

Obviously there are many obstacles to making any of these adventures a reality, or even a possibility,  (money! time! job security! pets! mortgages! money! time!) but I've always admired people who are willing to sacrifice and who find ways to do what it takes in order to follow their heart into the unknown.  It is brave. I don't know if I could do it.

But if ever there were a right time, to go alone, or with my husband, or especially with my family in tow, I would want to do it.

In the style of Eat, Pray, Love: one woman's search for everything across Italy, India, and IndonesiaAnimal, Vegetable, Miracle: a year of food life; and This is Not the Story You Think It Is: a season of unlikely happiness*, I sometimes dream of developing a published work. To translate into ink on paper my perspective, my humble experiences, that alone would be amazing. I could learn so much! Maybe others would find it interesting too.

In contrast, I would be just as content to one day write about a universal but less glamorous aspect of life like birth, or death, or the evolution of essential relationships through time.

What about you, what would you jump into if time or money weren't an obstacle?

(*three of my all-time favorites, if you're looking for a Summer read and haven't yet discovered these good reads.)


  1. Great list!
    If we had more time and money, I would buy a beach house and/or ski cabin and spend all summer living at the beach and all winter living in the mountains!

  2. I too like the idea of spending part of the year in one place and the rest in another. One day I would love to do something like that with one foot here in Virginia and the other in California. Would you want a snowy mountain winter, or just a woodsy kind of winter?

  3. Snow mountain winter, but in the woods, near a ski resort. We are big skiers and really hope to get our children into the sport too!


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