Today’s post is inspired by a prompt from 365 days of writing prompts. This is a lot longer piece than I usually write but I am trying something new.
Please let me know in the comments what you think of this post.
You wake up tomorrow morning to find all your plans have been canceled for the next seven days and $10,000 on your dresser. Tell us about your week.
As the daylight starts filtering it’s way through my beige mini blinds; I tell myself what I do every morning without fail; I really need to get darker curtains.
Ugh, it is morning already and I was having the best dream. I really don’t want to get up yet. Oh, I might well because now I have to pee.
As I stretch and yawn trying to wake myself up, so I can traverse the distance between my bed and the toilet in the bathroom without bringing harm to any of my toes, I start to run through my plans for the day and the coming week.
When I finally swing my legs over the side of my bed and stand up I spot something on my dresser that I know for a fact was not there when I closed my eyes last night.
It is a huge bag! No, it is more than that…it is a red velvet bag tied at the top with a silky golden cord. Wait, there is an envelope resting right on top with my name on it.
What the? Who could have gotten in here without me hearing them? What is in this bag? How do they know my name? A million questions flood through my head at once.
My first thought is to grab the envelope and read because my parents always taught me to do that when it came to birthday presents (read the card first) or Christmas gifts (always read the tag first to see who it is from).
So I am conditioned to find out information first before ripping into anything. It might contain vital instructions like open from the top, or do not use a knife.
My bladder reminds me again that I need to visit the bathroom…NOW! Okay, okay I tell it in my head. I snatch the envelope and head to the toilet.
Sitting there I feel the relief as I open the envelope. Darn! I hate it when people seal envelopes shut. That is so annoying because I don’t want to risk tearing the paper or card inside.
Who keeps a letter opener in the bathroom anyway? I work at getting my fingernail under the one end of the glued flap where the envelope isn’t quite sealed.
Ah, success, I have managed to rip the flap open about a third of the way across. From here I insert my finger and savagely rip it open the rest of the way.
Upon pulling the folded sheets of paper out and opening them up I read what is written on them in a perfectly formed cursive script.
Dearest Susan, Please forgive the abruptness of how you found this package and note. I could not risk you finding me placing it there on your dresser. There would be too many questions and I wanted you to discover it just the way you are now.
There would be too many questions and I wanted you to discover it just the way you are now. Please allow me to introduce myself.
My name is Kendra Jackson. I am a wealthy billionaire and this is a social experiment of sorts that I am inviting you to participate in.
I have arranged to leave this $10,000. on your dresser to see what you will do with it. Will you be generous and share it with one or more people? Will you keep it all for yourself?
I am eager to see how you handle this dilemma; what will you do with all this money? Your schedule has been cleared for the entire week. My people have arranged it to be so in order for you to do what you feel you must with this cash.
You have one week to complete this task. You must use the entire $10,000. either giving some or all of it away or putting some or all of it in your bank account. Either way, all of it must be used.
At the end of the week; I will write you another note and leave it here in the same place on your dresser with further instructions.
Wow! I have been blown away and a flurry of thoughts fly through my brain while I try to digest the contents of this note.
Hastily I finish in the bathroom and hurry back to my bedroom; partially to get dressed but mostly to open the bag and see this money for myself. I need to be sure it is real.
This feels like a wild dream and I am not even sure I am awake right now. I test this by pinching my own arm. Ouch! Nope, I am definitely awake, that hurt!
I throw on some warm clothes, the weather is starting to get chilly, and grab that silky golden cord on the bag and uncinch it to open it up.
Yes, there before me are 10 bundles of $100. Canadian currency with 10 notes per bundle.Confirmed all $10,000. is there.
Looking at it all leaves me a little light headed. I have never seen this much in one place before. Think, Susan, what are you going to do with it all?
Today is Saturday so I have until next Saturday morning to spend/keep or give away $10,000. cash. I shake my head in disbelief that I have been given this opportunity.
Sure, I have a generous personality and will usually put others needs before my own but with this amount of money I can really do some good for myself too.
Until now I have always worked with a very tight budget and do the best I can. This, though, gives me a chance to do so much more or do I stash it all in my bank account and not ever be stressed out about bills month after month?
This last is so tempting and I wonder what it would be like to just live instead of always having a calculator in my head every moment of the day and night trying to figure out if I will run out of month first or money first.
I decided to keep a diary of what I do with the money with daily entries to document where it goes and keep a running total. I have copied it below so you can see how my week goes.
Out to the kitchen, I go, to put on a pot of tea. This requires some serious thinking and planning and I need a tea to properly wake up and think clearly.
The first $1,000. is going to the local food bank. I put the cash in a plain envelope and donate it anonymously.
I have used their services more than I care to admit and giving back even a portion just feels right, feels good.
The second $1,000. is left, again anonymously, in an envelope in the collection tray as it passes by me at the church I go to every Sunday morning at 11 a.m.
Tithing is important to me and God only asks for 10% of what you have with offerings or donations to ministries above and beyond that.
10% of $10,000. is $1,000. The math makes sense in my head and it makes me smile to be able to give the proper amount.
I have decided to buy my friends and family something special. One item for each of them that I have always wanted to get them but could never afford to.
Shopping is a lot of fun when you don’t need to worry about what the taxes will bring the total to. Likewise, you needn’t concern yourself with what the price tag says either.
I won’t detail here what I purchased for them. I don’t want to give away any surprises after all. LOL The receipts all total up to $2,411.25.
Now to get them all wrapped and delivered. There goes another $242.30 in postage fees. The clerk at the post office was astounded when she saw all the parcels coming in at one time.
Next, comes the donations to various charities that are near and dear to my heart. The top two being The Heart And Stroke Foundation and The Alzheimer’s Society.
I deposit $2,000. into my bank account and write the cheques to send off. My top two get $500. each (in my Dad’s name) and I choose four other charities and divvy up the remaining $1,000. between them at $250. each.
I think funding research into eliminating these devastating diseases is so important. I wish I could afford to give to them every year but my cheque is usually just enough to live on.
This is fun figuring out what to do with all this money but I must admit I panic a little when I see the balance going down, down, down.
I hope I am spending it the right way and am concerned that I will run out before I do all that I hope to with it.
Today I stayed home and carefully considered what to do with what remains. Besides I am a little overwhelmed and need to rest.
Thursday $3,346.45 (still)
I have decided to splurge a little on myself. Having given away the majority of the money now it is time to pay some attention to my wants too.
Normally, I don’t spend on things for myself. It is enough to make sure my rent and bills are paid and there is food in the house.
I visited my favorite jewelry store in the mall and picked out the most beautiful diamond and 14K white gold ring. In the center is my birthstone, a citrine, and the setting is tasteful and not too big and gaudy.
I have been dreaming of one day affording this ring and had pretty much given up hope it would ever become a reality.
The price of this trinket? $1,725.80 The way I look at it is this is an investment at the same time.
Gold prices keep going up and should I ever need to I could sell it or pawn it to get emergency cash, but only if I absolutely had to.
The remaining money goes to my creditors. I really like the idea of living debt free. It is like the weight of the world is off my shoulders finally.
My debts are cleared and I now have a clean slate; a new lease on life. I think I spent the money well. I spread it around a fair number of places.
I feel guilty for spending any of it on myself, though. I am not used to doing that and it feels wrong somehow.
Saturday (again) $0.00
It is Saturday again and the week seems to have flown by. I jump out of bed and make a beeline to my dresser. There, true to her word, is an envelope with my name on it is that same cursive script.
This time, the envelope flap is simply folded in. I suddenly feel very exposed. Did I say that I hate it when people seal envelopes out loud on the toilet last Saturday, or just think it?
Sliding the pages easily out of the envelope, this time, I begin to read.
Susan, I am aware of where and how you spent the $10,000. I left for you last week. I am very pleased. You have shown a great awareness of what is important in this life.
You seem to have struck just the right balance between philanthropic causes and enriching the lives of those around you. I am glad to see you bought that ring as well. We all need a little something to make us happy.
You will not have to ever sell it or pawn it for quick money. Please deposit this cheque for $500,000. in your bank account; I don’t want you to ever worry about money again.
Now that I have seen how you handle it I know that you will do good things with your newfound wealth. With warmest regards, Kendra
I fell back on my bed clutching the cheque and her letter to my chest and cried like a baby. The stress is completely gone…so this is how it feels to just breathe. 🙂