"One million dollars!"
My loveliest of lady friends asked me recently what I'd do with a million dollars. This is a great "getting to know you" or first date question because it opens up a person in a way you can't really get to with "what made you want to be a proctologist?" It's also an interesting way to discover what you really want to do with your life.
So, if I had a million dollars, I'd put half in savings and use the other half first to take care of a few things: a new car, some help for my family, and a fat down payment on a house with land. The rest will be divided between:
Setting up a wildlife rehabilitation center
It's this last one that's been a desire of mine ever since I found out that people can do that. What could be better than watching a hawk fly free again after injuring a wing? Or releasing a raccoon or deer back into the wild and knowing it will be able to take care of itself? I want to know what to feed all these creatures, the proper formulas for abandoned litters, the best way to splint a leg, the best way to keep them wild during rehabilitation, and the best way to socialize young wild animals. And actually, I'm stoked for next weeks' first aid class in which I'll learn splinting (people and animals aren't so different, right?).
There are so many things I want to do before I die: learn sign language, get an advanced degree, travel the world, write a book (or two or three), become fluent in Spanish, learn photography, see elephants in the wild, study culinary arts... The more I learn about the world the more I want to experience. It's a never ending list; just like now there is a dozen unread books on my shelf, there will always be something else for me to learn, some other life goal to accomplish, some other job I want, some other thing to do when I grow up. I think my next life goal is conservation: study conservation and maybe my PhD thesis can be on how elephants and people can peacefully coexist. Lofty? Maybe.