And yet, I suppose you mourn the loss or the death of what you thought your life was, even if you find your life is better after. You mourn the future that you thought you’d planned.—Lynn Redgrave
[one_half padding=”4px 10px 0 4px”]Planning for the future is one of those things we are instructed to do from the moment we first begin primary school. Kindergarten prepares us for first grade., then we’re prepped for Middle School which, n turn, prepares us for High School, and at some point, somewhere, we’re supposed to graduate from something being fully prepared for the future, but we never truly are. There are always surprises. Our best plans are laid to waste when the future doesn’t happen exactly the way we anticipate.
We have ten days left in November. Of those, at least two are taken up with Thanksgiving events and, for us, celebrating a seven-year-old’s birthday. Some of you will spend time traveling back and forth, and the more dim-witted among us will waste time standing in line to spend money they don’t really have on things they don’t really need. When all is said and done, there might be four days of half-way decent productivity before December hits. That’s not a lot of time to plan.
Once December hits, this blog shuts down for the rest of the calendar year. Next week we try cramming in all the stuff that didn’t fit elsewhere. I’ll post something snarky on the first just because it’s my 55th birthday and I can’t let that pass without flinging something silly into the cybersphere. Beyond that, though, the rest of this year is given to planning for the next: what we will post, what we won’t, what we’ll change, what we’ll completely eliminate, and whether there’s anything new worth tossing into the mix. There are a lot of things to consider. We’ve already been doing research, looking at the year’s stats, and formulating ideas.[/one_half]
[one_half_last padding=”4px 4px 0 10px”]Today’s picture is exactly what one would see if they were looking over my shoulder while I’m in research and planning mode, attempting to divine the future. We play with pictures and try new editing techniques. We do a lot of reading. We check trends. Yet, for all that activity, I almost always end up sitting here, pipe in hand, headphones on my head, and when appropriate a shot of scotch within easy reach, wondering if I’m wasting my time.
What makes planning for the future so difficult and uncertain is that we do so expecting certain things to stay the same. We expect the same people to remain in our lives, fulfilling the same roles, behaving in a predictable fashion. We know some things, such as technology, will change, but we expect the base elements of our lives to stay put and when they are suddenly and unexpectedly altered, everything we had planned for the future suddenly goes out the window. There have been too many years where I counted upon a level of stability that just didn’t happen; the future wasn’t remotely predictable.
December planning may be a sure sign of mental instability on my part, but at this stage of my life it’s as much habit as anything, and I really can use the break from trying to find 600 or so words at 4:00 every morning. Looking into the next year, I know PFC Letbetter will be stationed in Japan, a handful of people are getting married, politicians and terrorists will both be disruptive, and mobile devices will complete their takeover of the internet. Beyond that, though, anything is a guess and if you want to see how it all turns out, you’ll just have to keep watching.[/one_half_last]