Tuesday, November 02, 2010

NaBloPoMo 2010 Post #1

Since it's been nearly six months since my last blog post, I decided to join the NaBloPoMo initiative. I'm also doing NaNoWriMo for the fifth year in a row; so now I'll be cranking out a minimum of fifteen hundred words a day for my "novel," and making two blogs posts a day (for this one, as well as "Behold the Lilies"). I've been enthusiastic and motivated before about "turning over a new leaf" and posting every single day. Hope springs eternal, and the road to Hell is paved with good intentions. Hopefully, I won't find myself in Hell at the end of the thirty days, and will find myself with an agent and on the road to publication instead. ;-)

I'm not proud, so I'll start off by using the handy prompts that NaBloPoMo provides. Prompt #1 for Day 1, November 1, 2010: How would your life change if you didn't have rent or a mortgage to pay, i.e., if your housing was free?

This is such a good question. Not because it's hard for me to answer, but because it's a question created from something that so many of us say to ourselves all the time anyway: "If only I didn't have to pay rent... If only I didn't have to make a car payment... If only I didn't have to work for a living... If only..."

But the speculation usually stops there for most of us. Hardly anyone I know goes beyond the "If only...." and finishes the statement with any kind of wish or plan. On the rare occasions anyone asks us what we really want, hardly anyone can come up with an answer.

I found this to be true of myself a while back. I was stunned by my lack of imagination! If I'd been asked "What do you really want?" twenty five years earlier I would likely have had a rapid fire list of ready responses. It's so easy to dream and want when we are young.

Despite the disturbing realization that I had no ready responses, I started thinking about it. I thought entirely too much about it, in my opinion; delving into why I can't want anything, and how I got to be this way. (I'll spare you the long and boring story of my painful delving and just skip to the end: what I want.) After identifying root causes and practicing the art of wanting and naming what I want, I can now answer this question easily.

If you didn't have to pay rent or a mortgage and my housing were free, I would still work for a living. Without the burdensome expense of a rent or a mortgage, I would finally have disposable income with which I could invest in myself and the accomplishment of my dreams. I would continue to live at the same standard of living I do now, but I would sock the money away for as long as it takes to build the emergency and retirement funds that investment and financial experts tell us we should have. With the peace of mind and boldness of spirit that money in the bank can provide, I would only work for someone else if they took such great care of me that I couldn't wait to get to work every morning. I would also do only the work that I love to do, and would not spend a single moment in any kind of drudgery or time-wasting, life-wasting endeavor.

I can't help but believe that the only person who is ever going to treat me as well and provide me with the perfect, meaningful, enjoyable work to which I would limit myself would be me. So I would most likely be self-employed. I would start another beauty salon, make it successful, replace myself as the manager and franchise it, and give half of the profits to charity.

I would write, publish and market all of the digital classroom tools that I have on my "to do" list but have never had time to finish; build an educational software empire, and give half of the profits to charity.

I would start a school for the arts and make it possible for any child who wants to attend it to do so, regardless of their economic situation; and I would take half of the profits from that organization and give them to the non-profit support organization I would create to cover tuition for the students who can't pay.

I would write every single day.

I would paint every single day.

I would play the piano every single day.

I would play the guitar every single day.

I would hike or ski or kayak every single day.

I would open a gallery in which to sell my artwork, and take on a brilliant gallery director as a partner to make it a raging success. I would take on another partner to syndicate my artwork as prints, greeting cards, etc., and make that venture a raging success also. I would donate half of the profits to charity.

I would travel six months out of the year with an easy mind, knowing that all of my business partners and colleagues are so highly qualified, reliable, and conscience-driven that I don't have to think about my business ventures back home, and can enjoy my time abroad.

In short, not having rent or a mortgage to pay would provide me with seed money and peace of mind, with which to plant my creative field, and the time and energy to tend it and watch it grow.

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