What do you think of when you think of the future? Is it pleasant? Scary? Horrifying? Exciting? Nerve-wracking? Fun? Enjoyable? What are the descriptive words that you can use to fill in those blanks?
For some people that can be all of the above? It just depends on which area of life you begin to talk about? Even for some they may feel all of those emotions in one area of life.
Kids for example: We can all be extremely excited and overjoyed for our children. Nervous too see how quickly they grow and how they will enter that scary world. So much fun to participate in life with them and enjoy all the fun aspects of growing up, but horrified to find out how they will defy us and deceive us.
Careers: One day you may be on top of the world, with a company for many years, but the next day you come in to your job and there is a mass meeting followed by a mass lay off. Not even a one-on-one with the boss or an explanation or warning. What a let down, you feel so robbed. The words aren't even there, just the overflowing emotions you don't even know what to do with. Now you have to go home and tell your husband or wife that you no longer have that stability that you once had and you have to start at square one and you are already in the second half or third quarter of your life - where do you go from here?
Family: This is ever changing, ever developing. You are born into a biological family that you do not choose, but are woven together with for eternity. Then throughout life you add to your family by weaving on new members. Some are friends so near and dear to your heart that you could not live without them. Others are new family members gained by others getting married or having children. Then there is that special moment in your life when you get to marry or have children and grow your own family. There is the additional family you gain by adding the in-laws and extended family as well. Ever changing, ever growing.
Finances: Planning, saving, spending, debt to credit ratio, retirement, etc. All of these terms we hear so often and we all know that if we don't save we won't ever be able to retire but we spend, spend, spend and live for the now instead of saving for our futures. Why? We end up working ourselves to death and forcing our bodies into retirement literally because we cannot function anymore, yet we cannot afford to live on our own either. Then we are forced to place our woes and livelihood on our children and they have to take care of us and suffer financially because they cannot afford to provide for their families and parents as well. Vicious cycle.
So what do our futures look like? Are they exciting? Are they planned? Are they liberating? Are they scary? Are they reckless? Are they terrifying? Are they nerve-wracking or exciting?
I know that we can never know what the future holds - but we can plan for what we think we are being called to do and we can prepare for that. So what does your future hold? What are you planning for?
Are you planning? Why aren't you planning? How can you start planning? Let's start planning!
Next month I am going to start planning for my future. This is going to be tough for me but it's going to be a challenge. One thing I have to do for my future is save for when I student teach. I won't be able to work for 5 months or at least work full time and that is a scary concept because that means I need to save around $8000 in order to take the time off work and life the same way I live now. Can you believe that?! That's insane!!! Which means, between now and then I have a lot of saving to do, a lot of self control to contain me, and a lot of non spending to do.... o boy. For those of you who know me this will be a huge challenge.
So .... for those of you who are up for the challenge - I challenge you to start planning for your future. Whatever you think that future is supposed to hold or look like and whatever you think that challenge is.
A test of one's abilities
That means... Do not pick something that will be easy for you or that will not challenge you or test your ability. Be aggressive and make is something that will be a risk or a sacrifice.