|Ahh, yes. The good life awaits.
Yesterday I was on a flight to San Diego for the Social Media Marketing World 2019 conference. I had brought a little red notebook with me.
|Here is the notebook.
It was full of notes I'd taken while at writers' conferences and other events, as well as notes from self-help books I'd read. I was flipping through, musing about this or that, the past thoughts and learnings I'd had, when I came across a list I'd made while at a Tex Thompson writers' workshop in Yukon, Oklahoma.
Tex Thompson is a motherflipping genius and a basically wonderful person, by the way.
She was having us brainstorm a Writer's Triforce (that's what she called it) of "a story only you could write" by making various lists of things. We made lists like what we had been paid to do or could be paid to do (to discover our knowledge base,) our favorite books or movies (to discover our inspirations,) what we would argue about as well as what we would do if we had a million dollars (to discover our passions.) Knowledge Base + Inspirations + Passions = Tex Thompson's Triforce.
Okay, an entire blog post could be written about that, but I want to focus on what I saw in my red notebook yesterday that blew my mind. It was this:
|What I would apparently do if I had a million dollars.
We were on a tight schedule for making our lists, and on my What I Would Do if I Had a Million Dollars list, I found 4 hastily-scribbled items.
- Write novels in coffee shops
- Do yoga almost every day at a studio
- Look cool on social media
Then, the obvious, most brilliant stupid question instantly popped into my head.
What is stopping me from doing those four things, right now?
[I am not, mind you, anything close to a millionaire. I am a very modest thousandaire with no kids and excellent money managing/survival skills, two circumstances which enable me to do some things I otherwise couldn't afford on my income.]
I still had at least an hour to go on my flight, so I pondered this question, bit by bit.
1. What Is Stopping Me From Writing Novels in Coffee Shops?
Nothing. I can squeeze in a coffee shop writing session pretty much any day I choose, for at least 30-45 minutes. I don't need a lot of cash for this, either. I can always order a hot water, pay for the cup, and put my own tea bag in it. If that feels lame, I can write the shop a 5-star Yelp review to make it more than worth their while.
|Me living like a millionaire in a coffee shop in Seattle a couple of weeks ago. With no makeup and no hairstyle.
Problem is, my kitchen is ALWAYS a mess because I cook constantly, and there are always boring, tedious paperwork/household business items to do, a never-ending supply, so you can never truly be "done" with either of those examples nor the multitude of other things on a to-do list that you're trying to slog through before you go to a coffee shop and write.
Hm. Next question.
2. What is Stopping Me From Traveling?
Nothing. I do travel, Lord willing and as funds permit. And I am certainly not a millionaire.
I can afford to travel out of state two to four or five times a year, mostly because I scrimp on other things I suppose. For example, I almost never eat out. I don't have a huge wardrobe and don't spend a lot of money on clothes. My car is paid for so I don't have a car payment (that's a huge monthly savings.)
Also, I have a new credit card from an airline (it's United, no affiliation with me or this post,) that gives me a lot of travel perks and is totally worth it. Most airlines are now jumping on this bandwagon, so pick the airline you like and/or tend to travel on the most and apply for their perk-laden credit card. Mine pays for one checked bag each flight (a $30 savings each way,) paid for me to apply for TSA precheck ($85,) and is giving me umpteen jillion extra miles for every move I make, like charging flights on it, ordering lattes in coffee shops, and buying things I would normally buy anyway. On their card, of course.
But let's suppose you said to me, "I can't afford any travel at all."
Fine. I bought a farmhouse out in the middle of Nowhere, Oklahoma, and you know what? I "traveled" every day while I was living out there. I took this gorgeous picture:
|Rusty mailbox and wheat fields for miles. Beautiful.
And this horrifying one:
|That wasn't there the day before. Yikes.
A snake left this right off my back patio slab. It sent icy chills up my spine when I saw it. But, it was also a crazy, interesting, new life experience, and isn't that what "travel" is? I can "travel" in my own city or rural area for weeks and weeks, finding new, crazy, interesting, and/or beautiful experiences to see and savor. I don't need a million dollars for that.
(Incidentally, the above photo of the snakeskin might give you a little tidbit of the multiple reasons I ended up having to sell the farmhouse and the 7 acres. I was just too citified to return to my roots. :()
3. What Is Stopping Me from Doing Yoga at a Studio Almost Every Day?
Well, the studio I really picture when I picture doing this costs $99 per month for unlimited yoga. So I would need $99 per month in order to fulfill this dream. That's a far cry from needing to be Millionaire Status.
If I don't feel I want to take on a $99 per month bill right now, I have many other options. I can look around for less expensive studios, free yoga classes, or just search "gentle morning yoga" on YouTube and get on a mat in my living room.
So what's stopping me? Like "writing in coffee shops," it's the guilt and fear thing (having a lot of other "stuff" to do,) plus that laziness I feel about getting up/out to do exercise.
But once I get going with any type of exercise, it feels so wonderful that it makes me want to put it on a list as a thing I would do if I had a million dollars.
I just made a reservation for a yoga class in my town as I am writing this post. Ha.
|Me living like a millionaire last fall, going to my friend Erin's free yoga class after school.
4. And Last But Not Least, What Is Stopping Me From Looking Cool on Social Media?
Abso-fricking-lutely nothing. It's easy to look cool on social media when you live like a millionaire.
|The water of millionaires.
To Sum Up
As I sit here in my hotel room in San Diego sipping a $7.50 liter of "Acqua Panna" water (because I need water, and it's all that's here in the room) I realize that all the strife and struggle I have been feeling most of my adult life about someday making a million dollars as a bestselling author [hey, back when I was 15 writing my first novel in high school, a million dollars was incredible riches, okay?] can now fade away.
If and when I make my first million as the next Karen Marie Moning, I'll rejoice, I'll celebrate, and I'll feel proud and happy.
But I don't need that money.
All I need is to live my life, and do what I love, here and now. :)
|I've got it made.
Please, for me, sit down and make your most honest 4-item What I Would Do If I Had a Million Dollars List. Then get out there and live like a millionaire.