I’m very excited to again this week join a talented group of women who connect each Friday in an online, unedited flash mob free write based on a one-word prompt from our fearless leader Kate Motaung. My timer is set for 5 minutes; let’s see where the word “future takes me.

It’s ironic, really.

When I was much younger — my teens and 20’s — I had the bulk of my future ahead of me. In retrospect, though, I realize I really didn’t give much thought to it.

Oh, I considered what I wanted to do career-wise and who I wanted to marry and how many children I hoped to have (a bare minimum of 5). But think — at any length and in any depth — about the future? Not really.

Now, with my future much shorter, thoughts of it are never far away.

See the irony? Have much, think little; have little, think much. Sounds like a book title.

So what aspects of it — the future — occupy my mind most often?

Not unnaturally, given that my kids have been the main (earthly) focus for over 30 years, I think often of my relationship with them, their relationship with each other, and how that will play out as I age and even after I’m gone. Just a few years ago, I don’t think I would have given this much thought. Our relationship was a constant, and I was happy that they were close, that they had each other and would have each other once I — their last living parent — was no longer with them. 

But things change. Dynamics change. Oh, we’re still close, but not in the sense that we once were. And so, I think about that.

I also think about my financial future. I was able to  resign my job and will be teaching elsewhere this Fall; I’m so excited about the new opportunity, but not so excited at the 22% pay cut I’m taking. 

Since my husband passed away, and even more so as I change jobs, I seriously think about where I’ll live in the immediate future and beyond. I’d love to sell my small home and go even smaller, and I often play around with how I can make that happen.

My future health also occupies my thoughts. I want to be one of those ladies in videos posted on Facebook who are 80+ years old and hiking and whitewater rafting and working out in the gym (well, I don’t want to have to do that, but I’d like to be able to do that) in the best shape of their lives.

I hope and pray that the decisions I make now lead me to a future that is physically, emotionally, socially, and mentally healthy and vibrant. 

And that