July 16, 2008

Hi Ho Hi Ho

Uncomfortable button down shirt? Check!
Stiff work shoes? Check!
Tie? Check!
Suit? Check!

It's early and, for the first time since July 3rd, I'm heading to work. Yeah, I know - you're breaking out the world's smallest violin in my honor. But hey, I've gotten used to the vacation thing. For the past week and a half, I haven't worn anything more formal than a t-shirt and shorts. I wore actual pants twice. I wore flip flops most of the time. And Crocs. Yeah, I bought a cheap pair of fake Crocs to wear while I worked in the yard. I've always been anti-Croc. Beth still is. She told me she wouldn't be seen in public with me. I'm planning to attempt to seduce her by wearing nothing but Crocs tonight.

But the art of seduction while wearing unattractive footwear is not my point.

The point is that, in a few minutes, I'll be getting in my car and heading to Monkeytown. I'll spend the majority of the day in two ways - catching up, figuring what's gone on without me and missing my family. Even the screaming, the crying, the battles about poop and eating and the palpable tension around bedtime.

This vacation was tough. Taking two kids anywhere is just plain difficult no matter how well planned you happen to be. If they get sick, forget about it. I need a vacation from my vacation but the kids desperately need me to be back at work so they can get back on their schedules.

You know how you can repeat an ordinary word in your head over and over and over again and eventually it starts sounding strange? Like, your mind is breaking the word down into the individual sounds and piecing it back together again and the whole it comes up with is oddly foreign despite the fact that its a word you use every day? Life is kinda like that. I was sitting down yesterday having this long conversation with Mia. Or, rather, she was going through a long explanation about something bouncing from tree to tree to tree (I'm a little unclear what the point was). Mentally, I took a step back from the situation, looked at this little girl standing there talking about trees, and became amazed that this was my kid. And that I had another one somewhere sleeping off a milk buzz. Like repeating a familiar word over and over, I saw my life as not so much strange (though it is, I'm sure) but as it must appear to an outsider. It's pretty cool yet surprising. I'm not sure how I got here nor am I sure how I got this old and responsible. But life is good.

Now, anyone have any ideas how I could become independently wealthy, move the family to the beach and spend every day with my kids? Seriously.

What's the very first thing you'd do if you found yourself suddenly independently wealthy?

Posted by Chris at July 16, 2008 6:48 AM

ooo, i get to comment first!

I'd pay off the last little bit of the bank loan, make DH retire and buy a house in the middle of nowhere.

Posted by: mamacrow at July 16, 2008 6:59 AM

welcome back to hell, we saved a spot for you...

First thing I would do if independently wealthy would be to buy that Harley I have always wanted. I wouldn't quit my job just yet...I would just become "useless" at work.

Posted by: harrylips at July 16, 2008 7:16 AM

Hope it's not too awful at work. It probably will be, but hang in there.

I get your perspective on life. I feel that way sometimes. Like when did THIS happen??!!

I think that I would buy a ridiculously expensive bottle of french champagne and contemplate my future with something completely self indulgent.

May your day just fly by...

Posted by: Beth at July 16, 2008 7:27 AM

I would first pay off all of my debts... student loans, car payment, credit card, mortgage. They'd all go bye-bye. Then I would buy land and a horse :) After that I don't know, but it would involve working part time.

Soon I will be lamenting regarding going after work, although I think I will be more inconsolable. After two months off it's inevitable. :)

Posted by: Kate at July 16, 2008 7:44 AM

I'd pay off my house, but wouldn't move. We don't need more house than this and to move and get a McMansion because we're suddenly loaded, well... not my thing, I guess). BUT, I'd hire someone to clean and someone to cook a few meals a week and then I could spend less time with the house upkeep and more time enjoying my family - because face it, house upkeep doesn't just end at doing the laundry - inevitably, I'm stewing because people throw their dirty clothes in a ball in the hallway vs putting it in a laundry basket, and don't they care that I'm picking it up? (Sigh. A housekeeper... sigh... someday).

Then I would probably go to Best Buy and buy all the funky gadgets I haven't bought because my husband thinks I'm nuts. Go on a complete tech buying spree.

And then I'd buy my husband a motorcycle so I wouldn't have to hear him bitch about all my new tech stuff. :)

Posted by: Sarah at July 16, 2008 8:01 AM

I would quit my job IMMEDIATELY. Not that I have any issue with working...just not at this job. Oh, to not have to come here every weekday morning... *sigh*

Posted by: Alissa at July 16, 2008 8:09 AM

I know what you mean about the repeated word; good metaphor for life.

I know it sounds lame but if I were suddenly independently wealthy I know for a fact we'd pay all of our bills and go looking for the perfect house, outside of town. Must have: gigantic yard for kid, jacuzzi, and lots of space and quiet. That's all we really want.

Posted by: claire at July 16, 2008 8:36 AM

Everybody has their list of pay off this, buy this.... but what I'd do if you told me right now at 7:30 am that I am indeed a millionaire and do not have to worry about money at all....I would be making airline reservations to visit the marine in Japan and spend as much time as it takes for me to be kinda tired hugging him. As he gets about 2 free hours a day, it's gonna take me a while.....
Momma misses her boy.

Posted by: Speck at July 16, 2008 8:39 AM

Everybody has their list of pay off this, buy this.... but what I'd do if you told me right now at 7:30 am that I am indeed a millionaire and do not have to worry about money at all....I would be making airline reservations to visit the marine in Japan and spend as much time as it takes for me to be kinda tired of hugging him. As he gets about 2 free hours a day, it's gonna take me a while.....
Momma misses her boy.

Posted by: Speck at July 16, 2008 8:39 AM

Probably find something I like to do (work wise) that could involve the kids. I looked into opening a Pump-it-Up kid place a while back because I love those things and it'd be fun to run. Also, because I could involve the kids. They could play or they could work... whichever suited.

Beyond that awesome setup (which would probably only interest me for 15 years or so), I would find something that's only a few days a week, during school times. Plenty of time for adults and kids in that scenario.

Posted by: Brad at July 16, 2008 8:49 AM

I would start with the standard basics pay off debt. Give one month notice at work. (I don't believe in burning bridges.) Buy a house on the beach somewhere. Buy some new camera equipment. Invest. Probably sounds boring, but think of how peaceful.

I hope today isn't too painful for you.

Posted by: Maria at July 16, 2008 8:50 AM

My boss went on vacation July 4 and is still on vacation until next Tuesday. Which is really to bad for him because he missed me resigning from my job yesterday. (Know of any awesome security jobs in NYC? I have my GCIH now!)

Oh, right, this is about YOU.

Best of luck with returning to work. I'm sure there isn't a pile of work a mile high stuck on your desk and in your email... ;)

Posted by: Poppy at July 16, 2008 8:53 AM

(and by "to bad" I meant "too bad")

Posted by: Poppy at July 16, 2008 8:54 AM

I'd call in sick.

Posted by: Gwen at July 16, 2008 9:01 AM

The first, and I mean very first thing I would do is walk into my job, extend both middle fingers, and walk out. Then I would move somewhere with sand and salt water, likely buy my parents a house there as well because that's their dream, and live like a beach bum forever. We could be neighbors!

Posted by: Stephanie at July 16, 2008 9:02 AM

Hmmm, I think you're onto something, I'd probably move the family to the beach and spend every day with my kids (and their nanny b/c seriously? you can't give 2 children your undivided attention whilst drinking beer on the beach, right?).

I also step back and look at my life and say "Who thought giving me kids and a mortgage was a good idea" but then I remmember it was midget baby Jesus and I smile because that is a funny mental picture.

Posted by: Mymilabean at July 16, 2008 9:12 AM

I'd become debt-free.

That's so boring =]

Posted by: sheri at July 16, 2008 9:17 AM

Oh, I'm jealous. I've never been able to take 2 weeks of vacation at one time. I would love that.

Any way, if I was independently wealthy (which is my goal, just not sure how to get there) I would quit my job, spend as much time as possible with my kids (or as much time as they would allow since I have a teenager and preteens), travel with my family, and send my daughter to the college she wants to go to (she had her heart set on Boston College; at $50,000/yr, it's not happening).

Posted by: Carolyn at July 16, 2008 9:34 AM

I would travel. See all the interesting spots that even slightly attract me. The Galopagos Islands, Iceland, Denmark, Ireland, somewhere I could see the Northern Lights. I would love to wander around the world with cash enough to visit all the small places, not just the major cities.

Posted by: Nic at July 16, 2008 9:36 AM

I'd pay off all my debts, and since I'm already useless at work I'd definitely quit and then I'd buy a beautiful house back home in NE where I could have as many dogs, horses, etc as I wanted!

ahhh.......to dream...tis divine ;)

Posted by: Kris at July 16, 2008 9:45 AM

Very first thing? A happy dance.

The reduction in stress from not having to think about money ever again... knowing I could send the little people to whatever college they wanted without being saddled with debt... it sounds beautiful.

Posted by: sunshine at July 16, 2008 10:05 AM

yes yes yes. I would buy a beach house.

Posted by: alfredsmom at July 16, 2008 10:23 AM

assuming nothing tragic had to happen for us to randomly end up independently wealthy, the very first thing I would do is pee my pants.

Following that, Sweetie and I would pay of all of our debt, set up college funds for our children which would guarantee their being able to afford any college (and grad school, and post grad programs, if we're getting lofty) they choose to attend, and happily continue our life right where we are, because quite frankly, we're pretty stinking happy to be right where we are.

Oh, and maybe we'd get a boat too. And maybe Sweetie would leave his current position and hang his own shingle and make his own hours.

Posted by: chatty cricket at July 16, 2008 10:31 AM

I'm assuming that independently wealthy just means there's money coming out of my ears. QUIT MY JOB. lol Then there's the requisite removal of debt and the moving out of the country.

Posted by: Sparkle Pants at July 16, 2008 10:31 AM

Move out of HOT ASS Las Vegas to Nelson, BC and spend everyday like we're on holiday!

Posted by: lesley at July 16, 2008 10:51 AM

Yeah...totally surreal looking at the kid and realizing it's yours. BTW "porch" and "walk" are both very odd words.

Tomorrow you should dress in normal office attire but still wear the crocs. See if anyone dares to say anything. I bet they won't.

You can get independently wealthy taking bets about wearing the crocs in the office. I'll start you off: 17 cents says no one says anything.

Posted by: jessica at July 16, 2008 10:54 AM

Sorry to hear you are back at work...

If I suddenly became independently wealthy I would:
1. Finish the degree, too close now to quit
2. Pay off all of our debt
3. Pay off both sets of parents debts
4. Help siblings with their debt
5. Beach house with lots of room for Soxy to play
6. Travel whenever the mood struck

Posted by: Krush at July 16, 2008 11:00 AM

Get a new car. I'm currently a single dude driving a minivan.

Let me repeat that....

Single dude driving a f***ing minivan.

So, yeah. New car. First thing.

Posted by: You can call me, 'Sir' at July 16, 2008 11:44 AM

1. Get hip replacement surgery (while I still had my job/insurance but alas, no disability ins.)

2. Buy a house on acreage at the beach (while I still had my job, to appease the bank)

3. Set aside enough money so that my kids who want to attend college won't have to sell their souls to be able to afford it.

4. Quit my job

5. Hire a personal chef to help me continue to lose weight

6. Start training for a triathalon and hire a personal trainer.

7. Travel extensively, starting in Italy

Posted by: zanie at July 16, 2008 11:57 AM

probably quit my day job.

Posted by: ali at July 16, 2008 11:58 AM

I would buy a house. The market's nuts but I don't like renting and I really want a house of my own! Item two: housekeeper ;-)

Posted by: Heather at July 16, 2008 12:36 PM

I'd pay off my debts. I'd pay off Mom's depts, and I'd buy a house at the beach. I'm not sure I'd quit my job though, because it'd be fun irritating the bosses that I've got more money than them.

But I'd take a crapload of vacations.

Posted by: Amy at July 16, 2008 1:04 PM

Ooooh. Mmmmmmm. I think I would hire a maid and then live where I live and travel leaving the live in maid to care for my dogs. Or hire a dog Nanny to travel with us and the dogs. There you go.

Posted by: Maribeth at July 16, 2008 2:04 PM

welcome back the rat race. Erik and I just returned from 5 days in the Methow Valley in Eastern Washington, so can feel your pain with returning to work! To answer the question I'd have to say in the following order...1. pay off all my debt and my family's 2. move to a cabin in the Methow Valley 3. donate, donate, donate, to the causes I feel passionately about and 4. travel/volunteer in places like Afghanistan, Sudan, etc. Really.

Posted by: Jill at July 16, 2008 2:23 PM

Your vacation attire is what I normally wear to work at Cisco. Perhaps you could find a job that will let you wear your beach outfit most of the time. I would find it hard to go back to a job with even business casual.

Posted by: Rex at July 16, 2008 2:24 PM

First thing? Sleep in, call work and resign.

Next step, book a vacation a month and some where inbetween is getting to enjoy life at a decent pace. (Did I mention lipo suction too? yeah, that's #2)

Posted by: crookedeyebrow at July 16, 2008 3:10 PM

I would pay off my house and our little cabin but keep both (and I could then breathe a sigh of relief on even having the cabin);
I would put money away for my father so he could comfortable continue living in his assisted living apartment and we wouldn't have to pay his medicare supplement anymore!;
I'd make sure my son continued to have everything he wanted (and now more!);
I don't know what we'd do about the remodel business, probably close up shop; and then we'd travel a little and I know my husband would fish ALOT.
About Crocs: I was totally anti-Croc. I think they look ridiculous. But I bought a pair (bright pink) one size smaller than my shoe size and I have to say I don't look like Fred Flintstone. They fit and look much better than if I had bought my regular shoe size. But I still won't wear them in public!

Posted by: NancyJak at July 16, 2008 4:10 PM

move to South Carolina.

Posted by: k8 at July 16, 2008 5:57 PM

Such a deep question for the first day back! Hmm...I guess pay off the house, buy myself a brand new minivan (I know, how lame, but oh-so convenient!) Put most of the $$ away for the kids college, pay off my parents house, go shopping like crazy. And maybe buy a boat for the mr.
Welcome back to the real world, at least being back makes you appreciate the times you are off, right?

Posted by: Danielle at July 16, 2008 6:28 PM

I would first stew the love into the soup. Then I would travel the world serving heaping servings of that good ol' stewed soup of love, putting smiles on the faces of the masses.

When this mission was complete I would settle down somewhere in the mountains and know that I had done a good thing.


Posted by: Kelly M. at July 16, 2008 10:46 PM

I've always said the only thing I'd change is that I'd never, ever fly commercial again.

Posted by: Annie at July 17, 2008 12:45 AM

write a song or a novel. or both. then you can retire to the beach. with your guitar and a good book to write more songs and novels. you only live once! :)

Posted by: RzDrms at July 17, 2008 11:11 AM

Quit work!!! Take a LOOOOONG needed vacation....not sure after that. I have the house I pretty much want and I LOVE my KIA Sorento. I'd pay off all my bills. Then I think about actually building my house again. See, we built 2 years ago, and now that we're in and see what we should of done, I'd do it again, only with ALL the stuff we're missing. Like, a light fixture here and there/outlet here and there/ceiling fan/wired speakers/finished basement/speaker system/3-car garage/etc.

Yeah, living at the beach is my dream. So, building my house with the extras on the beach, that's what I'd do.

Welcome back to purgatory.

Posted by: been there, done that at July 18, 2008 2:48 PM