As of this writing, the nationwide Powerball jackpot is $60 million. A few years ago, when it had climbed crazily to hundreds of millions, I was asked what kind of car I would buy if I had that kind …
This item is available in full to subscribers.
If you're a print subscriber, but do not yet have an online account, click here to create one.
Click here to see your options for becoming a subscriber.
If you made a voluntary contribution in 2019-2020, but do not yet have an online account, click here to create one at no additional charge. VIP Digital Access includes access to all websites and online content.
As of this writing, the nationwide Powerball jackpot is $60 million. A few years ago, when it had climbed crazily to hundreds of millions, I was asked what kind of car I would buy if I had that kind of money … breathtakingly exotic, uber rare, obscenely expensive? Without hesitation, I answered that I would keep my Toyota Rav4 and find the 1995 Miata I (erroneously) sold about 12 years ago.
I’ve never spent much time thinking about that kind of money. If such good fortune should come to me, I guess I would simply sleep in, write any and all the time, travel the world, and drive around in my 1995 Miata with the top down.
Yet I don’t need the lottery to give the rest of my life tender loving attention.
As I eye my ever-expanding to-do list, however, I do find items I never get around to, sometimes because of their cost, but more often because of the time and effort they require. Oh, I don’t mean installing a questionable-in-Colorado-anyway swimming pool, replacing all the electronics I’ve ever owned, or picking up the previously mentioned exotic car … although these could be completely legitimate expenses in certain circumstances but are budget-busting choices right now.
My current inventory of want-to-do wishes doesn’t always need the big bucks, however, but rather my time and effort … my tender loving attention. For example, I have a collection of about 20 watches – some merely serviceable, some dramatically dressy, and most uniquely eclectic – that need batteries, except my mother’s watch, which works by winding it every day, a novel concept in these times.
I found out some years ago, though, that replacing batteries en masse can be an expensive proposition … I paid the bill in polite shock. These batteries have long since lost their lost their power, of course, and I’ll make the effort to get them over to the watchmaker again when my budget permits.
On my bookcases and on the wall above them, I recently arranged framed vintage photographs, fragile newspaper clippings, original artwork and other precious memorabilia. In this new location, the morning sun hits them directly … meaning that each and every day they fade just a little bit more.
There is a simple, though pricey, solution: take down all these pieces and engage a frame shop to replace all the existing glass with museum-quality glass (and probably throw in glare resistance while I’m at it). I just need to find the time to collect them from their precious perches and take them in when I find the funds.
I recently cleared out my flowerpots in the front yard and on the back patio for the winter season. In the coming spring, I’d love to run wild in the garden store to design an outdoor boutique – a baker’s rack with coordinating pots of herbs, a wooded box filled pansies and surrounded by buckets full of bright marigolds, and engaging metal sculptures on the fence. To save some money, I’ll take the time and effort to pot these beauties myself.
For me, much of the satisfaction is the time and effort these projects require. I don’t need – or want – the $60 million to enjoy providing tender loving attention to get them accomplished.
Andrea Doray is a writer who would really like to find that 1995 Miata. Please contact her at email@example.com if you have any clues.
Other items that may interest you
We have noticed you are using an ad blocking plugin in your browser.
The revenue we receive from our advertisers helps make this site possible. We request you whitelist our site.