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Friday, 19 December 2014

What would you do with your last £50?

As I start to write this post, I'm on a catamaran floating around Tenerife watching whales swim alongside the boat (glamorous I know). But as I sit here writing, there's a question tapping at the back of my head that I can't seem to shake (much to Cass's annoyance as we paid a fair amount for the trip). 

It's not whether England will beat Scotland tonight (my allegiances were split firmly between the two), it's not whether Arsenal will beat United (they didn't) or whether Wycombe will beat Cheltenham (they smashed them). No, as I sit here I'm not even hung up on the idea of "have I made enough of my life by my 31st birthday?" (A somewhat inevitable question for another post). No - the question that I can't shake is how I would spend my last £50.

The thought process for getting to this question was actually quite simple. No, I'm not dying (good news) and I'm also not on my last £50 (which is also good news). But as I sit here on this trip (which incidentally cost around £50 each) watching whales dive in and out of the ocean (some so close that you can feel the spray as the crash back into the water) it has dawned on me that whale watching is on a lot of people's bucket lists (something that so many people want to do / experience before they die).

I've never put much thought into a bucket list before. I'd quite like to go into space - but that seems a bit extreme and very unlikely to be affordable in my lifetime. I'd love to para-glide and I'd love to skydive - but I don't feel like I have to do them (if that makes sense). And if I had one, whale watching (whilst being amazing) would also not have made my bucket list in the first place (yet I'm grateful that I've been able to do it).

The same theory for me applies to travelling. There are places that I'd really like to go to (to see the Northern Lights for instance) - but I've been lucky enough to already go to some amazing places and see some fantastic things - so I don't think I'd really regret not travelling more. There is something that I'd like more than anything else in the world (I'll let you figure it out) but as it isn't something that I could buy or pay for, it isn't (or couldn't be) my right to have (and that's something else that I've been pondering recently) so in terms of a bucket list - I'm out.
But that still doesn't cover my £50 question. How would I spend it? What would I do with it?  

For this to work there obviously have to be some form of rules - so we will keep it simple and say that the money has to be spent by you. You can buy something for someone else, but you can't just donate your money. You also can't invest it or gamble it to try and prolong your time or borrow any extra money on top of your £50. If you choose to have other people alongside you for your final endeavour (whatever it may be), your £50 does not need to cover them as well. They can finance themselves. The £50 is yours (and travel to wherever you choose to be is on top of your £50 - so don't worry about that).

So what are you thinking? What will you do with your last £50?

Will you do something big that you have always wanted to do (and perhaps have been too scared)? Will you be selfless in your final act and buy someone something they really need? Will you live out your days playing through the video game you have been waiting for? Will you spend your £50 watching movies you've always wanted to watch? Will you go and see the band that you have always wanted to see live? Would you have a beautiful steak topped with a blue cheese sauce? The list could go on - and I'm sure that everyone has a different response. There are no right or wrong answers.

But how would I spend my last £50? Well even after thinking about this question for the best part of a month my answer hasn't changed and if anything my feelings behind my 'why' have been strengthened by a few things that have happened along the way.
I'd love to say that I'd be selfless and buy something for someone that they need - but if I'm being completely honest with you (and if I'm not this is pointless) I wouldn't do that. I think video games are amazing - but knowing my luck I'd pick a really bad game to buy and spend my last moments playing. I've already seen all of the bands that I want to see live and as much as I LOVE steak - I can think of a better way that I could spend my money.

I think that if I thought through my life and thought of my top 10 highlights, 7 out of the 10 moments (so far) have been spent with my friends and family in some kind of gathering (my wedding is at number 1). A number have been small affairs with just a few of us whereas some of the others have been massive parties. 

So how would I spend my last £50? Very simply - in the pub with my friends and family. It's sounds like such a stupid thing (believe me I know) considering how I could spend that crisp £50 note - but I love spending time with those closest to me (especially in the pub) and I can quite honestly think of nothing that I would prefer to do or anyone that I would prefer to spend my time with. I can't imagine life on my own and in truth it's something that I find pretty scary. But I can't think of a better way to spend my final moments than with those that I love. But even thinking about that has challenged me to think about the people that I spend my life with.

How often do I say thank you for what they have done for me? How often do I say that I really appreciate them? How often do I say that I'm grateful for having them in my life and that I cherish them? The sad unfortunate truth is nowhere near enough. So if you are reading this and you fall into that category - thank you for sharing your life with me and for letting me be a part of it. It's an honour.

It's very rare that these posts have homework - but today I have a double lot for you and it's really simple (please let me know via twitter, email or facebook how you get on). One is inspired from my response and one from whatever you chose. So here we go:
1. Take the time to tell someone how much you appreciate having them in your life.
2. Have you been challenged in any way by how you would choose to spend your £50? How would you spend it?

So, this is the final post before Christmas, but following on from a few posts that could have been a bit merrier - I'll be coming back with my films, games and albums highlights of the year (as well as highlighting some of the shockers). I might also touch on some of my resolutions and how we are looking going into 2015.....

Have fun. Stay safe.

I'll leave you all with this:

God Bless

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