My family has a saying about me: Paul has to be the last person to sleep because he's scared someone will say something and he won't be awake to hear it. I won't try and say that it's not an accurate saying, I am that way. I remember when we lived in the apartments (as we called that residence), my parents had friends over and when my bed time came my parents sent me to bed. I sat at the top of the stairs, just out of sight, trying to listen to their conversation until one of my parents came to check on me, and I ran to my bed, not realizing that sound traveled. My parents were less than pleased.
To be fair though, I don't like going to bed when no one is awake either. I remember one particular night, when I simply "couldn't" fall asleep, and my dad came in to help. I explained that I wasn't tired, and he explained a game to me that might help me fall to sleep. He told me to think about what I would do if I had a million dollars. If I remember right I said something like, "I would buy a lot of toys," or something along those lines. "You have to be specific," he said, "which toys would you buy? How many could you buy?" I said I would try it, and he left me with my fake million. To be honest, I think I tried to figure out how many X-Men actions figures I could buy with that much money. I doubt my math was right, but I soon found myself waking up to my mom's voice. Ever since then, I've been hooked on the million dollar game to help me sleep.
The game has changed for me though. Surprisingly, I stopped thinking about X-Men actions figures. In high school, I thought about hockey equipment and ice rinks. After my mission, I thought about cars and big houses. What this post is really about though, is what I think about now. I realized a couple of days ago that my day dream had changed. Getting married changed a few things, but having a baby changed more.
So, here it is. You will soon know what I think about as I'm falling asleep. First, we'd pay taxes. Note that I said 'we.' I hadn't actually noticed until I typed it, but I highly doubt that word ever entered my day dream before I got married. The money would be ours. I also doubt 'taxes' ever came up before either, but for some reason, taxes started meaning a lot more after I got married. So, really, We'd have about $600,000 after taxes (assuming we won the money, or something). With that, we'd pay off the condo. I cannot explain how great that would feel. Then, we'd probably set some aside to buy a car when our Kia finally gives up (the one with the check engine light from a while ago). With those things out of the way, we'd put a bunch away for retirement, maybe a little into a college fund for our daughter, and if there was some left over, clothes and toys for the daughter, cross-stitch stocking patterns for my wife, and a PS3 for me. And that's it. No fancy cars, no big houses, no ice rinks or action figures. Less debt and more stability, that's what I want money for now. It's just strange to think how much I've changed in only a few years.
I wouldn't trade my new day dream for the old one though. I want a good life for my daughter. I want stability for my wife. And I'm not ashamed to say I want both of those things. I really don't want more than that. Occasionally I'll really go nuts and give myself a few more millions, but to be honest, the daydream doesn't change much. I just add in a little more stability. My past self probably thinks my daydream is boring, and I think his is frivolous, but I don't think either of us would think the other is wrong. They are just different, as he is not me, and I am no longer him.