Alaskan Artist - Elise Tomlinson
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05/02/2005: "What would you do if...?"

I was bitching today about how I cant afford a new outboard for my sailboat. Its from 1977 and the time I cant even get it started. It happens at the worst possible times, trust me, you dont want to be floating powerlessly towards a million dollar boat or a pile of rocks. Either way, its a lose/lose scenario.

So the conversation went something like this:

Me I hate not having money

She you have a ton of money by world standards, excuse me if I dont feel sorry for your not being able to afford a new outboard for your sailboat when there are people starving all over the world

Me O.K, Im an ass

I know there will always be people better and worse off than me. I tend to compare myself to only those better off which isnt healthy. On a related topic, I have 2 questions I sometimes ask myself to sort of take stock with where Im at in life:

1. What would I be doing today if I only had a year left to live?
2. What would I be doing today if I suddenly came into 50 million dollars?

Its a way of accessing where Im at, for example: Where would I want to live? Would I keep my current job? Would I spend more or less time in the studio? etc.

If too many of my answers are far off from where Im at today, I start thinking about how I can make adjustments so that Im taking an active, rather than passive, roll in my life.

Its interesting that what Id do in scenario #1 is totally different than what Id do in scenario 2. For example, in scenario 1 I probably wouldnt change much in my current lifeie. Keep the same house and job, probably spend more time in the studio, take more vacation time to visit friends and family etc. In scenario 2 Id change a lot, almost everything in fact. Well, for one thingId probably buy a new outboard for my sailboat!

Replies: 4 Comments

on Monday, May 2nd, holly said

Oh please. Ignore that kind of self-righteous soapboxing. It is also not healthy to beat yourself with the guilt-hammer because you happen to be fortunate enough have the life you have. Yes, it's good to put things in perspective, but you shouldn't deny yourself the things you want as long as you aren't harming anyone in the process. You work for your money, it's yours to do with what you please. Plus, I can't really see you as a selfish type of person who wouldn't help a person in need if you could. I hope you can figure out a way to get your motor.

As for the second part, I think in both cases I would definitely be off in Europe somewhere. In case one, I'd be alone. In case two, I'd have the entourage with the decked out elephants!

on Monday, May 2nd, Elise said

Ooooo decked out elephants, I want to be in your entourage! I could be your personal artist and document your various exploits on canvas...

For me, in case one I'd still be worried about paying bills and buying food and having health insurance.

but in case two I'd start an artist colony for all my poor creative friends and it would be built using green engineering...and there would be ample travel funds and free art supplies (as much vellum as you please), and trips abroad...Giza first I think, and I'd only ever eat at dives and leave at least a hundred dollar tip everytime and start a domestic animal sanctuary in the woods.

Oh, and I'd hire a film crew to shoot a low budget film from one of my screen plays.
I'd want aimee mann for the sound track and it would star Philip Seymour Hoffman, Jane Adams, and cillian murphy (they'd work for little money due to the brilliance of the screen play).

ah, now, how does one go about acquiring 50 million dollars? (or pounds would be even better)

But I guess that's not the purpose of the exercise.

on Tuesday, May 3rd, Markus Barca said

Holly pretty much hit the nail on the head in her first paragraph. I hate it when people try to guilt trip me that way. My eyes usually glaze over, my hearing becomes muffled, and I begin to daydream about me throwing the yelping moralizer into a volcano.

Ha ha. I'm kidding. I would never throw anyone into a volcano. That's too much work.

Now, what would I do if I had a year to live? I'm not sure. To be honest, I probably wouldn't do anything. What's the point? You only have a year to live. On the other hand, I might sell all my belongings and take a trip by myself someplace and only return on my last days to be with family and friends.

As soon as I have recovered from my salivating panic attack after having fifty million dollars thrown at me, I would put half away in investments to keep me from blowing it all on something I would regret later. I would use ten million to start a micro loan organization for third-world entrepreneurs (something I always wanted to do). Finally, I would use the rest to buy books and live in lustful sin.

on Tuesday, May 3rd, Elise said

Hey Markus,
That's a terrific idea about starting a micro loan organization for third-world entrepreneurs. I saw a special on that on PBS I believe many years ago and it really left an impact. It's a way of creating huge quality of life increases on a small, case by case basis in a way that allows people to create sustainable incomes.

Gee thanks, now I feel guilty about my using my money to film a movie!