Saturday, March 27, 2010

Day 211 or Anthony's (and My) Song

Do you ever dream of being rich? I know I have. But recently, I have really begun to focus on what it is that I want in life. And from life.

And life certainly requires money. Anyone who has gone without can tell you that. I have gone without health insurance. And while I have blessedly never been hungry, I have certainly curtailed my food purchases based on the money in the bank. (Thank goodness for Ramen noodles! When I was in grad school, I could get 12 for less than a dollar with coupon. Without Ramen, I may have gone without lunches. I learned how to pack a lunch for less than $1.50) I have lived in famously bad neighborhoods. I have put $2.00 gas in my car with change. In other words, I know that money makes life easier.

And easier can be really nice. So I, like most, have dreamed of the lottery. But today I reflected on what I would want with major money. I was listening to Billy Joel's "(Anthony's Song) Moving Out" and I really started thinking about what I need and what I want. I realized that I wouldn't live dramatically differently than I do now. And that was a real revelation.

Yes, I would love, Love, LOVE to not have to worry that I could pay every bill. And it would be nice to never fear a trip to the mechanic. But there were only a few things that I would really change. And when I looked at them honestly, I realized that with effort and focus, they were doable with or without a MegaMillions ticket.

I want to be out of credit card debt. I want to live by the ocean -- in the SF Bay area would be a bonus, but there is a lot of coastline in this great country. I want to travel. I want to have time to watch my children grow up. I want to work in my field and feel that I am purposeful and fulfilled. Yep. That's about it.

I didn't dream of enormous mansions, or owning the "it" bag. And while I love clothes and shoes, I rather enjoy seeking a bargain out like a missile. To me, that's part of the fun! Basically, I realized that not only did I have everything I need, I have most of what I want.

Even as I type this, I have to take that in! I have most of what I want. WOW! I cannot let that pass without saying a mighty thank you. So I don't have to start from scratch. I can build on what I have. But how to do that? This afternoon as I sang along to my favorite piano man, I had a vision of my life and I want to capture that vision so that I can look at it everyday. I have heard of vision boards but I have never done one. I think, however, that I may try. Try to take what I saw in my mind and give it some kind of physicality. Weight.

Have you ever created a vision board? If not, how do you crystallize your dreams? Do you have a vision for you and your family? Will you know when you get there?

And just in case, its not in your head yet, here's what good old Billy had to say on the subject...

Anthony works in the grocery store
Savin' his pennies for someday
Mama Leone left a note on the door,
She said,
"Sonny, move out to the country"
Oh, but workin' too hard can give you
A heart attack-ak-ak-ak-ak-ak
You oughta know by now
Who needs a house out in Hackensack?
Is that all you get for your money?

And it seems such a waste of time
If that's what it's all about
Mama if that's movin' up then I'm movin' out.

Sergeant O'Leary is walkin' the beat
At night he becomes a bartender
He works at Mister Cacciatore's down
On Sullivan Street
'Cross from the medical center
And-and he's tradin' in his Chevy for a Cadillac-ac-ac-ac-ac-ac
You oughta know by now
And if he can't drive
With a broken back
At least he can polish the fenders


You should never argue with a crazy mi-mi-mi-mi-mi-mind
You oughta know by now
You can pay Uncle Sam with overtime
Is that all you get for your money?


Felicity Grace Terry said...

Who said "Money doesn't make you happy. It just brings you a better class of misery"? No, I don't know either.

Yes it would be nice to have enough money to pay off the mortgage, the bank overdraft, the ...... I could go on. And it would certainly be nice to be able to go on holiday as and when but I'd hate to be really, really rich, to win millions on the lottery.

Betty Manousos said...

Money can't buy anything!
Can't buy me love..
Trying to catch up on your blogs!
I've missed you all!
Hope you have a great Sunday, Traci!!
Betty xx

BONNIE K said...

What you say is so true. One of my favorite things is heading out to garage sales and seeing what finds I can get for very little money. I don't think I could ever give them up. It would be nice to not have to worry about bills, but having too much money almost seems boring.

One Photo said...

Great post today.

My husband and I have discussed this topic many times and he cannot understand why I say I do not ever want to win the lottery. I read recently that there has been extensive research done on the impact that suddenly acquiring money has upon people. People who start out poor and become at best middle class as a result tend to be much happier than they were before. But people going from rags to riches or to greater riches than represented by being comfortably middle classwere not happier, in fact a lot of the time it has led to a lot of unhappiness.

I would definitely like to be better off than I am, for my husband not to have to work as hard as he does now and for quite so many hours, so he can spend more time with his family. Ideally I would also like a house in a nicer neighborhood and to be able to take more vacations and generally have a few more treats in life than we do now. But beyond that?No thank you. I too hunt out bargains, clip coupons and have a purse full of discount vouchers for just about anything and always wait and shop the sales for clothes, household goods etc. I also think that if you don't have to work to get the good things in life then you don't appreciate or value them in the same way.

So I am right there with you - I want a life free of money worries but a normal life, surrounded by normal people.

Marilyn (A Lot of Loves) said...

When I win the lotto, I've got the percentages all worked out for who gets what in my family. I'm ready for the big win, Baby!

Although I'm like you and have realized that my dreams of being debt-free don't need to wait on a lotto win, so I'm slowly chipping away at our credit line debt. I really look forward to the day that that sucker is gone.

Mandee said...

Oh how having more money would help us all, but I'm just happy to have my family and our health. :)

Tired Mom T├ęsa said...

How exciting for you to have this revelation. I'm also not a big spender and if I won the lottery I would pay off medical bills, the mortgage, get new cars (only because ours are on their last legs) and upgrade in a few other areas. But there is no way I want to buy a mansion or spen frivolously. I would much prefer to help others and travel, it would create so many wonderful memories and make my heart happy.

Mc Allen said...

yeah, I dont have the answers but I know theres bondage eather way if its out of balance. Its got to be a person jounrney. Its somthing Ive prayed about too. Great insight! xoxo LA

Liz Mays said...

Now you're kinda making me want a vision board myself! I love that idea! I stopped using credit cards three years ago, by the way, and as soon as my tax refund gets here this year, I will pay off the very last of the credit card debt!

Claudya Martinez said...

I have most of what I want too. It's nice to think of things that way.