If I had a million (or 500 million) dollars

I didn’t even realize it at the time, but yesterday was my 200th post! Happy 200 to me.

Like pretty much everyone else in the rest of the country that believes in a 1 in 1.5 (or maybe 2 by now) million chance, I bought a Mega Millions Lottery ticket yesterday.

Well, technically Greg bought the ticket, but I was standing there next to him. As we pulled into the parking lot of the nearest liquor store I said to Greg “I don’t know why I only ever buy a lotto ticket when it gets crazy high like this. Honestly, winning one million dollars would by amazing. Or half of that! Or even a thousand!”

I asked Greg what he would do if he won the lottery. My wonderful husband, being the imaginative and creative guy that he is said “I don’t know.” Lame.

So I started thinking about my list. What would I do with 500 million dollars….

1. Pay of the mortgage on our townhouse AND our house, as well as the rest of my car (Greg’s is paid off) and student loans. Luckily that’s the only debt we have.

2. Move to Colorado- buy a dream home right outside of Boulder, and another one in Frisco or Breckenridge.The dream house would have an indoor pool and massive gym, a huge kitchen, and a big vegetable garden in the backyard (and a gardener to tend to it, since I don’t have a green thumb). And I’d be able to see the Flat Irons from my bedroom window

3. Donate a large sum of money to the ASPCA and Humane Society so that they don’t need to run those commercials with Sarah McLachlan anymore asking for money (seriously, I can’t watch them. I have to change the channel whenever I start hearing In the arms of the angel…)

4. TRAVEL. The only international travel I’ve done was to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico and a few different parts of Canada. In no particular order, I’d go to: South Africa, Italy, Spain, Iceland, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, Belize, Prague, France, Germany, Greece, Switzerland, Japan and Austria. In the U.S. I’d go to places I’ve never been like Santa Fe, Austin, San Diego, New Orleans, and anywhere in Hawaii or Alaska

5. Start a foundation/program to get kids healthy and active (similar to Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” campaign)

6. Finally be able to afford something from Lulu Lemon

7. Buy every expensive piece of cookware, kitchen appliance, and kitchen knives that I’ve ever wanted

8. Hire Cesar Milan to train my dogs (and to get them to stop freaking out about squirrels, bunnies and the doorbell)

9. Pay for professional chefs like Rick Bayless, Eric Ripert, and Art Smith to come to my house and host private dinner parties. Oh- and probably Rocco and Curtis Stone too – you know why. 😉

10. Get a tummy tuck. When I lost a bunch of weight, I was left with very unsightly loose skin on my stomach, inner thighs and the inside of my upper arms. There are muscles under there, damnit! I just want to be able to wear a bikini- which ain’t happening without surgery.

11. Buy every expensive anti-aging cream on the market

12. Build a separate storage facility/garage on the side of my dream home to store all of my husband’s mountain biking and snowboarding gear (and to hold all of the new stuff that he’d buy)

13. Fly my parents and in-laws in to visit several times a year

14. Start a scholarship program at UMBC (my undergrad alma mater)

15. Pay an interior decorator to make my home look amazing- and to hang the one of a kind multi-million dollar paintings that I buy

16. Start a Golden Retriever Rescue Organization (and have the staff to run it!)

17. Hire Jillian Michaels and Jackie Warner to come teach me everything they know

18. Hire Bob Harper to teach me yoga in my own home

19. Hire Matt Kearney to play a private concert in my beautiful garden for me and Greg (and the pups)

20. Shop at Whole Foods every day without looking at a single price tag

21. Give a bunch of money to friends and family

…and that’s just the beginning

I would still work- but not at my full-time job. I’d get a few other Les Mills certifications and open a Les Mills gym (and pay other people to run it) and teach a few classes a week there.

One more thought:

Yesterday I attended a funeral for a very close friend’s mother who had lost her long and courageous battle to breast cancer. Her son gave a really beautiful eulogy, and the words that he spoke have been echoing in my mind ever since. He spoke about how selfless his mother was and how she never took anything for granted. He also reminded us all that life is too short to miss out on opportunities or to let anything stand in your way of your dreams. I know that this isn’t really anything new, but can’t stop thinking about how I really need to start living by those words a bit more. Life really is too short!

He ended by saying this: “Right before my mom died, I called her up and said ‘Mom, I just did something really stupid. I told this girl that I love her.’ I had only been dating her for a month, but I just knew, and had to tell her. My mom said ‘That’s not stupid- it’s never too early to tell someone you love them’ and you never know when it may be too late.”

The reason that I wanted to share that last bit, is just because I got to thinking. It shouldn’t take winning the lottery for you to go after your goals and dreams- anything really is achievable in this short time that we have on earth.

Your turn: What would you do with a million (or 500 million) dollars?


18 Comments on “If I had a million (or 500 million) dollars”

  1. I like your list, it’s very similar to mine especially #3 (I start bawling). I’d hire a live in personal trainer and vegan chef.

    I’m so sorry about your friend’s mother. She sounds like a very wise woman. You really never know when it’s too late, sometimes you just have to take that chance.

  2. Kelly says:

    first and foremost we would give a large sum of money to our church (to buy land and build a church and social hall, to start a school, to pay the priest full time, and give them enough of a cushion to stay a float), we’d give money to our charities of choice, we would pay off our immediate families debts, lastly we would build our dream home, hubby would retire, and we wouldn’t have to worry about our children’s college education (it would be paid for). We also would hire an accountant so we knew who to invest so we didn’t have to work full time and such.

    It’s nice to dream.

  3. Gil says:

    I’m just going to go ahead and offer my interpretive/guide services for that Spain trip.

  4. Wow, Lauren… GREAT POST!!!!!!!!!! First you had me laughing (like really laughing out loud at my desk!), then almost tearing up getting sentimental, THEN feeling inspired and ready to conquer the world and my goals!!!! So thanks for that.

    PS. I want to come visit you OFTEN in your new Boulder house. I will help tend to your garden and help you grow yummy veggies 🙂

  5. Fun list to read – and thanks for sharing the life lessons.

    I have similar things on my “lottery list” – along with the Lab rescue, I’d build a big kennel at our farm and raise adorable Lab puppies. But I suppose it would be tough to sell them!

    I’m with Gil about Spain…I’ve been about 30+ times. Maybe it’s time for a blogger globe-trotting trip!

  6. Corrie Anne says:

    That’s such a sweet quote from the mom!! Awwa!! And I love what you said about not waiting to win the lottery! So true!! But hey, I love that your dreams include CO!

  7. glowkitchen says:

    I’d burn it! Who needs money? Just kidding.

  8. I LOVE this post!!! SO poignant, and so true. Go after your dreams and LIVE the life you want to 🙂 It’s never too late.

    I like your list! I’d do several of the same things (esp buy a dream home in CO and do all of the Les Mills certs and have my own gym too! Wahoo!) I would open up a dance studio as well. And we’d pay off any debt we have (car, school) and give lots to charities and pay our tithing (1/10th of what we earn) back to God. I love thinking big! I’m gonna have to write a post about this one day! LOVE.

  9. Gretchen @ Honey, I Shrunk the Gretchen! says:

    Fun list and moving ending to your post! Life really is short… you’re definitely giving me some food for though…

  10. I really like a lot of your list! Def need to meet Jillian Michaels and Jackie Warner…. oh and move! Chicago weather is too cold for me. I think I would move west.

  11. Jenny says:

    I was just writing/thinking about this on my other blog. I want to do so much more with life than I currently am. It was perfect timing to read your friend’s mom’s words. Thank you.

  12. Lee says:

    I like the ending to your post. Totally true.

    I would buy a house in the city or possibly one in DC, buy a new car for myself and Jason, give money to homeless golden retrievers (perhaps through your rescue), hire a personal trainer, masseuse and chef and then give some to charity.

  13. BeckyA says:

    Isn’t it fun to dream? Love #4 – down to the vegetable garden! Then I would buy both sets of parents homes and set them up well for retirement.

  14. suedecrush says:

    AWESOME post! Not because it’s about the lottery, but because it’s about your dreams! 🙂

    I’d buy property in Northern Michigan in the Leelanau Peninsula and build a house… with a huge garage… so I’d buy a bunch of cars to fill it… at least one Porsche. My only odd house request would be a soaking tub. I’d have to buy a boat (or two) since I’d be living on Lake Michigan. I’d buy a farm somewhere close by to have fresh fruits and veggies every day. That said, I’d have to buy a restored 1947 Chevy pickup to transport my food. I’d build a state-of-the-art kennel on the farm to start a Brittany and Weimaraner rescue. I honestly thought my list would be longer, and I’m sure I’d think of more stuff, but this is pretty much it. I’d be happy just to live up north away from this crazy city. I’d still work, but less with clients and more on personal projects and non-profits. Okay, I’d get a personal trainer, too. Last, I’d buy you a gift card to Lulu Lemon! 😀

  15. cottercrunch says:

    ahhh hahahaha!! we talked about this today too! and i am pretty sure we have the same list. Except we want one house in boulder and one in new zealand.

  16. based on this list, i think we might have been separated at birth. #17 and #20 confirmed my suspicions.

  17. I LOLed at Greg’s answer…that is typical Glenn too. Great and honest list of things you would do with the money. It’s a mix of what YOU want, what’s for the best, and what will be good for the world.

  18. I love this list – what a great way to see what is really important and what you want to be doing! I have no idea what my list would really look like, but I think there would be some significant changes to my life too. Now I guess I should have bought a lottery ticket, maybe I would have won. 🙂

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