Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Money Can't Buy You Time...

When people ask that age-old question, "What would you do if you won the lottery?" thought tends to drift to something Barbara Streisand said in one of my Mom's favorite movies (The Mirror Has Two Faces).

"...Whats the point, I still look like me. Only in color."

I know when people think about winning the lotto, two main components come to mind. One; that they would be swimming in more money then they could ever imagine. Two; that all they had to do to get it was go to the store and buy a ticket. In that one swoop of events, their lives are changed and the ability to buy whatever their hearts desire is finally within their grasp.

When I think about winning the lotto, or any large sum of money without much effort, my thoughts fall on God. God didn't invent money. He probably never meant for us to scramble around chasing after green pieces of paper that fly around all day. Saying things like, "Thank goodness it's Friday!" and "Sorry, I was in a meeting." Buying work pants and bringing frozen lunches in old grocery bags. Sitting in a cubicle, staring at a screen, slowly going blind in more ways than one. Some of us work because we have a fire in our belly to be what we've worked so hard to be. But even then, the majority of us do it because at the end of the day...we HAVE to. We need money to live. Money is everywhere and in everything. From the keyboard I'm touching at this very moment to the carpet I'm planting my feet on. Money is in our televisions, our cars, our children, our stomachs and our beds. Nothing is ever an even exchange, because the entire idea of money is profit. The world has created the idea that some things are worth the amount on their price tags, but all money accounts for is time. All it really adds up to is time spent chasing something that has absolutely no actual worth. Maybe it's easy for someone who has never invested in anything besides a mash-up of moderately priced clothes, to say that money means nothing.

And I won't even pretend to be that ignorant.

It comes down to this. If I had millions of dollars and everything the capitalist world had to offer was a click away.... I would finally feel like I had an actual life. Ironically that' s the freedom of not loving money. I wouldn't need to go buy some huge house, or fill my closet with thousands of dollars worth of designer clothes. Because once you take that road, how do you ever really leave it? I'd rather go live in the city I love (New York) and rent a loft apartment in Williamsburg, fill floor to ceiling shelves with $1 deal books from Strand. Invite friends over for weekend-long parties. Take my mother to Spain. Back-pack through Europe with Tia and Anthony. Sleep in on Mondays and have the privilege of sending my children to whatever school their hearts desire. I would still wear my old black sweater with the ripped pocket in the winter. I would still take the subway. I would still look for the cheapest plane ticket for trips back to California. The only thing that would change in my life, besides the scenery, would be the long sigh of relief as I wake up and remember that I can live the hours of my days as I choose to. And that I don't have to wait until Saturday to feel human again.