It’s possible I could be psychic but spent half my life (okay three quarters) grossly misinformed. How did this happen? I know what you’re thinking (hello, I’m psychic), and although you’re wide of the mark, I’m about to set you straight.
The truth is we all come preloaded with the proper mechanisms to reasonably predict (create) the future, but I think we’re intimidated by our own potential, or fail to recognize these latent abilities. I say start small, move on when you’re ready, or approaching wits’ end.
For example, if I want a cup of coffee, it’s not going to jump out of the pot and come to me. And by the way Alexa is useless. I have to decide to brew or buy, walk or door dash, drive or call my sister and beg her to bring me a cup.
All of these are viable options come with predictable futures based on the assumption I will be drinking a cup of coffee soon. Once I decide on the best option for me, considering how many days it’s been since I’ve washed my hair, how desperate I am, or the congeniality of my sister, I can accurately predict the future.
That’s how it works. Start with simple applications that are associated with predictable outcomes, like flossing if you want to be able to chew your food in the future, or wearing a seat-belt and lo and behold your survival rate goes up dramatically when driving in a vehicle.
When ready, we can progress to developing our quiescent skills, applying them for the greater good, and creating a new destiny. Baby steps.
How else could we survive as a species if we didn’t possess the ability to innovate, create, or explore the future? This is our linchpin and it is vital to our ability to not only survive but thrive in this world. Don’t procrastinate with your future. That should be a bumper sticker, maybe it already is, I told you I was psychic.
I realize the future can be paralyzing, especially if you don’t have a plan, or a rough sketch of what is (could) to be. It’s particularly intimidating when you come to a major crossroad in life or maybe you’re the type who enjoys staying in her own rut.
“Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass under trees on a summer’s day, listening to the murmur of the water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is by no means a waste of time.” J. Lubbock
It’s sort of weird because I remember being forty-five just last week, I woke up (so to speak), only to discover I’m hanging on the edge of a whole new decade by my fingernails. What the hell? Clearly I need to read up on Einstein.
“Albert Einstein, in his theory of special relativity, determined that the laws of physics are the same for all non-accelerating observers, and he showed that the speed of light within a vacuum is the same no matter the speed at which an observer travels. As a result, he found that space and time were interwoven into a single continuum known as space-time. Events that occur at the same time for one observer could occur at different times for another.” Nola Taylor Redd
I can get wildly creative and consider all sorts of futures or I can continue in a predictable sort of conformity, protecting my place in the tribe, staying in my lane.
“At age 20, we worry about what others think of us. At age 40, we don’t care what they think of us. At age 60, we discover they haven’t been thinking of us at all.” Ann Landers
Maybe it’s time to go rogue?
As if a naval missile testing base in the Mojave Desert, I had a series of unexpected explosions, all in one day. Not only did the vacuum cleaner erupt while I was attempting to de-ash the lake house (reread Einstein’s vacuum theory), but my blow dryer blew up in my hand (hair still wet), and the front driver side tire on my car suddenly deflated on the way home. Are you thinking what I’m thinking? Exactly.
They’re signs. What else could they be? The message is loud and clear, I’m approaching end of life, in need of a new filter, have a short fuse, and possibly a slow leak. All true.
Regardless, I’m pretty sure there is new adventure in my future, robotic vacuums, iconic hair dryers, and fully inflated tires that will escort me in new directions.
The truth is, if I have any hope of defending my psychic abilities, I’m going to have to tackle a series of questions, questions I typically ignore. I would prefer to stay focused on flossing, securing my seat belt, and tracking the whereabouts of my sister, but explosions have a way of redirecting your focus.
You might ask what celestial seasons, cardinal directions, gospels, deadly horsemen, classical elements, and nucleotides have in common? Since you’re not psychic I’ll tell you. The number four, therefore I decided on four questions to consider when confronting the future, enter at your own risk.
- If 70 is the new 65, maybe I have some time, but how I want to spend this time becomes the core issue. George Burns says, “retirement at 65 is ridiculous. When I was 65 I still had pimples.”
- Obviously I need a sustainable income, wine cellar, and travel budget (there might be 30 years left in this old girl ~ I need to be prepared).
- I keep hearing about the wicked income gap (difference between what you spend and what you have coming in). Don’t panic, sticking with a budget is not my favorite thing, but something to consider seriously in retirement. It could be fun (not)!
- When does Social Security kick in? Delaying retirement for maximum benefit might be the key to financial security. You have to play with the math, reread Einstein, or talk with a psychic. (I’m best after 9:00 am)
- How important is it to have family and friends nearby? I think that’s my number one consideration. It’s not necessary to have adjoining fences (although that remains my premier fantasy) but I enjoy dropping in on my kids, staying for dinner (part of my new budget), sipping wine on the patio, chewing the shit.
- What sort of lifestyle are you attracted to? Oh how I dream of a rutless retirement, hopping in big red, taking off without a map, see where the road leads us. I know, dream on, but it would be nice to make some room for the unexpected. Anthony Bourdain says noting exciting happens when you venture out with a set itinerary but then again you can end up lost.
- Consider weather preferences? I’m Swedish and like the cooler climates, goes perfect with coffee, chocolate, candles, and soft throws. It’s referred to as lagom in Sweden or getting cozy.
- My thoughts on downsizing have always been derogatory. This is a tough one for me, but yes we will be hosting the mother of all garage sales when the time comes, cash only, plan for it.
- Big city or small town? I like to have options. Could we consider living in Paris for six months? Then maybe a prolonged stay in Australia while I convince my son to move home. I could manage a month in Hawaii, in between a couple of cruises, maybe an east coast excursion in the fall? How about you? Maybe we go homeless, bloom where we’re planted, live the vagabond lifestyle? I’d break out in hives by the end of the first week. So no.
- Unless we want to end up watching Bachelorette on Monday, playing bingo at the community center every Tuesday, and grabbing dinner at the Hometown buffet on Wednesday, we’ll have to create alternative plans. Learn the mystery of tango, take up pole dancing, or sky diving? Grab 12 friends and do a charity calendar? Macramé a hammock? Do the Loop? Swim through an underwater gallery? If desperate you can always mess with your friends front door cams? Don’t get me going. The world is our oyster!
- Do you want to work part-time? I already work part-time so maybe quarter time and spend a little more time writing. I’m sure Larry will love this idea?
- Volunteer? This is a must. I think it’s time to align myself with a cause I’m passionate about and work to connect needs with solutions. “Where your talents and the needs of the world cross; there lies your vocation,” says Aristotle. We have a unique opportunity today with the fertility of social media to drum up enormous support and awareness. I’m making a list of social issues I care about starting with pension plans for psychics.
- Discover a new hobby or develop a talent? Yes, I recently learned I have a knack for blowing things up but also sparking interest? See where this is going? Out with the old in with the new.
- Travel? Hello, yes! Anywhere, anytime, anyhow (is that a word?)
- Fitness? This a a developing talent but one I will consider pursuing because muscle tone totally rocks!
- Hopefully there is some overlap with your partner on bucket list items. If not invent new ones together; afternoon tea at the Ritz in New York, take the grandkids to Disneyland, relive your honeymoon (although two of the hotels we stayed at went down in separate earthquakes-don’t go there), celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in Ireland, ride in a hot air balloon, or cage diving with the Great White sharks off the coast of Africa. There so many choices. Lean out.
- Decide if you want to pursue some interests alone? Larry isn’t much into writing workshops so maybe that’s something I do alone. I’m not into mountain biking and he’s fine doing that with the guys.
- I plan on taking advantage of every senior citizen discount currently available. I was in CVS the other day and the clerk asked if I had a senior citizen discount card? So rude, I’m not eligible for a couple of years, but can we agree to error on the side of discretion? I hear there are movies, cruises, motels, restaurants, flights, tours, trains, concerts, museums, resorts, etc. that offer various discounts to seniors. Worth a lookie-loo when developing your bucket list.
“Before you speak, listen. Before you write, think. Before you spend, earn. Before you invest, investigate. Before you criticize, wait. Before you pray, forgive. Before you quit, try. Before you retire, save. Before you die, give.” William A. Ward
- It’s scary when you start to make the same noises as your coffee maker.
- An elderly farmer in Florida had a large pond down by his fruit orchard. One evening he decided to go down to the pond and took a five gallon bucket to pick some fruit. As he neared the pond, he heard female voices shouting and laughing with glee. As he came closer he saw a bunch of young women skinny-dipping in the pond. He made the women aware of his presence and they all went to the deep end. One of the women shouted to him, ‘We’re not coming out until you leave!’ The old man thought for a second and said, ‘I didn’t come down here to watch you ladies swim or to make you get out of the pond naked.’ Holding the bucket up he said, ‘I’m here to feed the alligator!’ Moral: Old men can still think fast.
- I refuse to admit I’m more than fifty-two, even if that does make my sons illegitimate. Nancy Astor
- Happy Anniversary to my sister Nancy and brother-in-law David ~ 35 years of wedded bliss ~ feeling the love.