The future I am talking about doesn't have anything to do with what is on your 2011 calendar. I don't mean your next 10 or 15 years, or your professional or educational future. I am not even interested in knowing about your retirement expectations or financial security.
What I am wondering is ... can you picture how you will actually live your life when you reach the grand old age of - say 85 or 90? How do you see yourself at that point? Will you be living independently or needing assistance? How about managing your own finances, health care, social obligations or will you need help? Do you have a thought of how to fill the many hours of each day? Will you be happy just sitting and being a "watcher," or will happiness be achieved only through taking part, keeping connected, being involved?
Today I had a small glimpse into the lives of some very senior elderly who may have never given any thought to those questions. Long ago they were focused on the day-to-day tasks of life, and pondering their distant future as a very old person may have been just "too far over the horizon" to think about or plan for. Now living into their 90s they are sitting right in the middle of those questions that were avoided or just not considered.
It seems that the very elderly fall into two camps. Some who reach the older senior years aren't much concerned about filling time. They seem happy to sit quietly with their own thoughts. No need to read a book, talk to a friend, or watch a show. They are happy to sit for hours on end watching life happen around them without participating in it. Others seem to draw energy from activity, walking the hallways, joining group activities, visiting with friends. They are more likely to inquire, to ask questions, to express opinions. Setting aside the issues of dementia and other mental diseases in the elderly, I suspect that neither group of older seniors thinks much about how they are living their daily lives now! They are just following a pattern of life that they always followed.
What is your pattern of living? Is it a predictor of which group you fall into years from now? Can you create the future you want by how you live now? Or is the die cast by genetics and chemistry?
As for me, I vote for making my own future.
I sure hope you get a choice!!