Nicole and Maggie have a good post that is wonderful food for fantasy if you're tired of thinking about academe: What would you do if you didn't have to have a job?
I think I would be like the old joke about farmers:
Man from the state lottery to a farmer in the field: "You've just won a million dollars! What are you going to do now?"
Farmer takes off his hat, scratches his head, and looks around the field: "Just keep farming till it's gone, I guess."
What I probably wouldn't do: buy a new house, a new car, or a trip to Disney World.
What would I do?
1. Pay off debts of all kinds. Give some money to charity.
2. Buy myself out of teaching so that I can spend more time writing. I love to teach, but I could use a sabbatical.
3. Hire a research assistant.
4. Do all the travel I want to do. Go to archives. Never fill out another expense report again.
5. Get a 4G network plan for the iPad.
6. Travel somewhere that is not related to visiting family, going to conferences, or research. You know, like a vacation. I hear that people do that sometimes, but all my travel has been related to one of the above. First up: London.
7. And build a writing house.
Or, if I'm really rich: endow the Undine Chair of Spectacular Knowledge and make myself the first recipient. Do you really think that any university would refuse such an offer if enough cash were dangled before it?
I don't think I'd quit my job, but as the Undine Chair of Spectacular Knowledge, I'd be able to do more of what I love to do.
What would you do?