Tag: Future

Future Imperfect

One of the much-remarked on psychological phenomena of this year has been the flattening of time. The lack of traditional breaks or transitions, whether holiday breaks or normal celebrations, has made it harder to mark the passage of time in the ways that make it feel as though we’re moving through it intentionally. Instead many people, occasionally including myself, feel like we’re not living so much as existing.

I recognize that this is a privileged position to be in and that we’ve been spared the personal tragedies (thus far) that have demarcated this year for so many, but thinking about how I’ve spent the vast majority of a year in a single desk chair is staggering tome. I try to remember what happened this year (Australian wildfires, anyone? Holy hell, Tiger King was THIS year?) and stuff sort of blurs together into a messy collage rather than a timeline.

2020, the year that wasn’t. But also, horribly was. We have the collective casualties to show for it.

Trying to look ahead is also difficult. We seem so desperate for change that we look to future deadlines as though they are going to be some kind of magical reset button. January 1, 2021–as though a global pandemic and all its satellite disruptions is going to magically vanish. Brexit on the same day, as though it’s going to reset British and European politics to something more healthy and serviceable. A new US presidential administration as though the climate and policy impact of the last four years will simply vanish into smoke instead of requiring years of lived impact. A vaccine delivery–as though we haven’t been told time and again that the roll out will take months.

I’ve been trying to visualize the new year in some sort of intentional way, and it keeps slipping through my grasp. Setting goals for it is hard – professional and financial risks abound, most of them utterly beyond my control. Preparing for possible dangers is hard – on the one hand what could top this year, and on the other, let’s be real a LOT of bad shit could. Trying to identify motivations is hard – most of the things that incentivize me like travel are still frustratingly dangerous and out of reach, and more humble motivations for day to day life and health feel burdensome and sloggish. Partially due to a bout of depression which seems to land this time of year like clockwork, but mostly due to the General State of Things.

Trying to come to terms with a year steeped in tragedy, even if most of it is experienced at a distance, is rough. At work I’ve been responsible for helping to draft and distribute the words that tell people their jobs are at risk–horribly grateful to not be among them yet, and deeply conscious of the fact that I may be soon. We had to cancel a trip to see Jeff’s family, meaning he hasn’t seen them in person in two years, something that I know weighs on him differently than it does me. Reading the updates every day for two countries about death tolls, lockdowns, economic impact…just like time, my brain struggles with the sheer scale of it all.

This isn’t the part where I wrap up with some sappy insight into myself or the wider culture, and it certainly isn’t where I get some breakthrough or personal clarity, the wisdom of which I’m able to distil. I’m struggling. I’m a person who thrives on change and forward momentum, trying to process a year of being stuck in a time loop like a twisted Groundhog Day and failing. And I can’t imagine I’m the only one.

A New Week and…GAH!

“Alright, just stop panicking.”
“Who said anything about panicking?  This is still just the culture shock.”
– The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Douglas Adams

Last week was a trial, kittens.  No question of it.  But J., perhaps sensing my deep inner need to hurt something, wisely diffused me by taking me out twice, once to my favorite restaurant and to see a movie (Easy A. Quite funny.  Go see it).  And so, having lost my initial hatred for humanity, I had very little choice but to be happy and content over the weekend.

This week is going to be much calmer and less interesting…

Oh wait.  J. has three interviews with Big Four firms, we have three business receptions to go to pre-interviews, he’s got two major tests, and we’re flying out to California to celebrate the adoption of our little nephew being finalized.  So, with the exception of that happy last item on the list, this week is going to largely impact the rest of our professional lives.  And of course, J. and I are both coming down with something.

Shut up.

*Breathes into paper bag*

To Paraphrase…

“I had to scrap and entire post about my future library because you beat me to the punch.”
“That just means you have good taste too!”
– C. and Vodka

The term “Someday House” entered my vocabulary at a very young age.  My family has had many houses as we’ve flitted from country to country and continent to continent, but my mother and father would often (usually in the middle of a Great Purge) get a far-off look in their eyes and say, “In our Someday House, we’ll have…”

The insides change, but for some reason, my SH's exterior is invariably Georgian. This particular house with a yard for dogs, kids, and croquet please!

A Someday House is more than a Dream House.  The latter you just wish for, the former you actively plan for and will absolutely achieve one day.

The first time I used the phrase, “In our Someday House-” to J. he was completely baffled.  These days I can smugly note that it’s part of the Small Dog Family common vernacular.  We are slowly building our Someday House in our head together (awww…) and it’s shaping up to be a rather nice one, though I say so myself.

I was talking with Sav and Vodka the other day about future homes, and let the phrase “Someday House” slip.  I felt a bit silly saying it to Outsiders, but it turns out they both loved it!  We then had a long in depth conversation about our Someday Houses, and I was planning on blogging about my desire for a library…when Vodka did it first!

Go check it out, she said everything I was thinking, only better!