98 – Future

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I like walking on the beach. It is good for the mind, body, and soul – and refreshing on the feet.

At the moment, the day is nice – a blue and white sky with a comfortable temperature. It’s breezy – but not fierce. I’m sure later this afternoon will be different in advance of the approaching storm front due this evening. Surely the winds will increase, and the skies will darken. Here I am in the morning thinking about this afternoon and evening. It’s my time in the present to think about the future.

The future – a time we regard as still the come – a later time than now – the hereafter – a time that lies ahead.

The future – the point in time we associate with vision, fate, destiny, prospects, expectations, outlook, fame, and fortune.

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The future can be upcoming, coming soon, down the road, in progress, short term, or long term. The future is the next second, a few minutes from now, later today, tomorrow, next week, next month, next year, years from now, or an upcoming century.

Whether in 10, 20, 50, 100 years or more, and from the philosophical to the imaginary and the visionary, people will think, write and talk about the future. Given technology’s rate of change and how much I’ve seen in my life, some aspects of the future are difficult to imagine. But not all – then again, whatever wouldn’t surprise me.

I think about how our view of the future varies with age. Children living in anticipation of something – a birthday, a new bicycle, a visit, an event – the future seems to take forever. As teenagers, we wonder about our future as adults – facing what I think is the hardest decision in life – what do I want to be when I grow up? For many, that question stays around for a long time.

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As adults, the future shifts from anticipation to a life of deadlines – a time when we seem hurried and never have enough time. As seniors, while reflecting on the past, we are cognisant of the unknown future of the end of life. To some, the future is the afterlife, but not to everyone – however, I am confident the future will answer that question for each of us.

The future includes the time after our death – a time when the future continues for someone else while my life here is in the past. I will remain in the memory of those who know me, but in time, they too will pass on to the great beyond – and memory of me will extinguish.

Realizing a past walk enters my mind, I suddenly stop and stare at the horizon – to wonder what lies ahead. The horizon is a great metaphor for an unknown future. Although the horizon marks the direction we travel, we seemingly get closer, but the horizon remains a distant mark. The ever-present horizon serves as a future that we never reach.

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Our lives move into the future on the second-by-second continuum that changes the present into a remembrance of the past. The present seems like a flicker – a temporary moment – an instant slice of time that suddenly vanishes into the past. As I walk, every step is a step into the future from the past with little time being spent in the present.

All of us wonder about the future and where it will take us. Our hopes and dreams are grounded in not knowing what lies ahead. Because of tomorrow’s unknown nature, we live for the expected, anticipated, and unexpected.

Although unknown, I am confident the future will include the ups and downs of life. There will be surprises – big, small, pleasant, and unpleasant. I suddenly think of two things we cannot do – none of us know the future, let alone jump into it – and we cannot escape the past.

As I look around, I can see far down the beach because that is where I’m heading – but I’m not there yet. Hopefully, I will arrive safely and without an unexpected negative event. When I arrive, the future I see now will be the present before quickly turning into the past.

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The future unfolds based on our decisions of the present. Therefore, the decisions of today affect tomorrow’s decisions – plus the decisions in all the days ahead. Therefore, our decisions should align with our wants, needs, goals, dreams, and vision – but that is easier said than done – especially when life unexpectedly changes.

The past, present, and future are contemplative facets of time. As I walk, I’m thinking in the present while writing in the future. Because I’m writing in the present and thinking about the past, I’ll publish this in the future. However, after you read this, it will be your past, so I hope your future includes a comment that will quickly become the past so I can respond in the future. In summary, the future is not the past, but it may be if the future becomes the present.

The past, present, and future – all interwoven, intersecting and leaving us with a temporary immediate moment, memories, and much unknown. However, I look forward to my next walk in the future because I like walking on the beach, which is good for the mind, body, and soul – and refreshing on my feet.

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77 thoughts on “98 – Future”

  1. Time’s relative, Frank, and as you’ve described, the whens, nows and thens merge into each other with a strange fuzzy overlap. International time zones are fun with that fuzzy overlap. I can call someone whose time is six hours ahead of mine, so my phone call to them is coming from the past, going into the future, yet happening right now! 🤪
    Your future storm would also have been a thing of the past now, so I hope it wasn’t a bad one.
    Have a great weekend, Frank.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Tom,
      Mentioning the time zones reminds me of the International Date Line (something I’ve never encountered). As we approach a new year, 2022 flows across the globe like a slow wave. I can’t recall exactly, but I think Sydney is 10 or more hours ahead of me. Meanwhile, you got me thinking about my phone – wondering if it is futuristic. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. When I was younger I was rather obsessed with the future…..what would I be doing, where would I be going, would I be happy……and somewhere along the line I just relaxed and decided to enjoy the moment. I’m doing that more than ever now that I’m “of a certain age”. Each day for me is a gift so I don’t really think about the future. I take things as they come. I’m happy to just be here when there were many times I thought I wouldn’t be. Time is interesting – when we’re young it can’t move fast enough and when we’re old we wish it would slow down.

    Hugs, Pam

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Pam,
      Thanks for sharing a bit of your story about the future. Maybe te reason who appreciate the moments today is because of that fixation on the future during your younger years. You mentioned time. I can say that the future has two beach walks about time … and the first will be in the near future.


  3. As you know, Frank, I love thinking about time, and even though it makes my head spin a bit, it’s fun to contemplate. I liked “The ever-present horizon serves as a future that we never reach.”

    As far as storms, I hope in you were not affected by the severe storms that hit last night, and that the present as you read this is bright. In my future–later today–we’re expecting fierce winds and perhaps thunderstorms. Not December weather at all!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Merril,
      I know that you enjoy incorporating various aspects of time into your poems – therefore a reason why you enjoyed this walk. Thanks for letting me know a meaningful point in this walk. Thanks for asking about last night’s storms. Although the forecasters were treating it like a potential Armagedon, I didn’t hear a thing as a slept. The morning news isn’t mentioning any damage in the immediate area. I can tell it rained last night, but that’s it. Hope your area is as lucky. As the day goes on, winds are supposed to increase with dropping temperatures. Yuk!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. What a word… the Future and how beautifully you elaborate!
    There is of course the theory of parallel past / present and future.
    To me though, this word brings dark and gloomy images. May it not be so.
    Sending weekend smiles!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Marina,
      Future is quite the word and worthy of thought. The thought about a parallel past and future is difficult to comprehend. I heard of one thought the a parallel universe exists for every decision we make. One said NO in this world, but another world exists where the answer was YES. Not sure if I believe it, but that’s a lot of parallel worlds! A dark and gloomy future? Hmmmmm …. nonetheless, thanks for sharing.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Dan,
      I smiled at your comment for two reasons. 1) I’m fairly sure you are like me – retired. 2) For a long time, I believe “what do I want to be when I grow up” is the most difficult question one faces in life. For me, it seemed to follow me like a shadow – but I know that doesn’t happen to everyone.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I love your idea that the horizon is like the future because it remains a distant mark. All we really have is the present moment. And you’re right, the uncertain future will be full of ups and downs and all kinds of surprises. I think of how we were blindsided by this pandemic. Thanks for sharing your thoughtful insights, Frank.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Barbara,
      “Blindsided” is a great work about the future. Just the other day we were talking about New Years Eve 2019. My wife mentioned how at midnight celebrators toast, Woo hoo … 2020!!!!! … only to have the pandemic news starting to be reality not too long thereafter. Not the type of surprise any of us were ready for. Thanks for sharing!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Though the horizon seems endless, the past catches up to us…as you said…our past decisions determine our future. But these days it seems the future is running back to meet me. Your musings while you walk the beach are food for thought.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Mary Jo,
      The feeling of the future running back to meet me is an interesting thought. Because of the pandemic? There’s no doubt that the pandemic has clouded the future. We enjoy travel, and boom – that was like whacking our kneecaps. Now we sit with wonderful plans for 2022 – but with heavy clouds of the unknown lurking. Thanks for sharing.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Ah Frank – you are a man of many thoughts. You can’t change the past, you can enjoy and live the present, and you can’t change the future, because it is not here yet. I think I will live in the present and enjoy every moment I can. There is a song, “Don’t worry bout tomorrow, just be real good today. The Lord is right beside you He’ll guide you all the way.”

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Cincy

    We’re dealing with past, present and future as I write this comment . . in the present. The last sentence is already in the past . . and you will read and reply to this in the future. These kinds of posts remind me of a philosophy course, when you sit there and think to yourself that you are simultaneously in three different places, second to second.

    As for the future, let’s hope there is some light to be had. Did you see Brian Williams’s send off on his show last week? He admits that he fears for what comes next.

    There has to be some hope though, right?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Marc,
      I’m touched at the thought you relate my words to a philosophy class. Thanks … and you also validated the way I chose to end this essay. I recall writing it, liking it, and wondering how it would be taken. You made me feel good about it! Thanks. I’ve always enjoyed Brian Williams, but I had not seen his send off. Thanks to you , I just watched it. WOW …. Powerful and sadly true. Below is an exchange on Meet the Press yesterday. (From the official transcript).

      (Chuck Todd quoting an article from The Atlantic – “Trump and his party have convinced a dauntingly large number of Americans that the essential workings of democracy are corrupt, that made-up claims of fraud are true, that only cheating can thwart the victory at their polls, that tyranny has usurped their government, and that violence is a legitimate response.” Hyperbolic or fact?

      (John Heilemann answering) Fact, I think. And I think the strength of this Gellman piece is it lays out, first of all, the extraordinary reality that there’s this research that shows that something like at least 8%, and maybe as many as 12%, of the American people now say that Joe Biden was illegitimate and that violence is an appropriate tool to removing him and restoring Donald Trump. That’s somewhere between 20 million and 30 million people. That’s a mass movement in America in favor of political violence, which is a new thing.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Well it’s true Cincy.

        And that Williams send off, right? I was equal parts inspired and sobered.

        Do you think there is a racial dynamic to this as well? Sometimes I wonder, as per the eight years of Obama these people seemingly resented. Not all of them, of course. But I do wonder.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Jo,
      Without getting into details, thanks for getting me to think about this. Our generation as seen and good through a lot in life .. and seen a lot. Then again, that is true for any generation looking back. But for us, have we ever experienced times so trying. … so trying that the future seems so cloudy …. so we turn to the moment. Thanks again for sharing your thoughts.


  9. Love listening to you, Frank. But future…I don’t know if humanity has one. Everything is existing simultaneously, they say, but that is difficult to take in. I try to live now, and be happy with that, but it is always difficult. To live in the “now” is almost impossible. Only for nanoseconds.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ann-Christine,
      Thank you for the kind words and for sharing your thoughts. I like you thought of living in the now is difficult because inow is so short. Meanwhile, I’m thinking about here we are – you and I in two different countries separate by a large ocean – and both wondering about concerns of humanity’s future. Thanks again!


  10. I couldn’t agree more that views of the future shift with age! Wow is that true. 😱 The idea that past-present-future are contemplative facets of time really resonates with me. For some time now I’ve been fascinated thinking about liminal reality. The ambivalence, confusion and disorientation of the world as we know it today really challenges the future. There’s that, and the fact that in a few months I turn 70! I have a good future ahead of me. It’s just a little shorter than perhaps I’d like. LOL!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Debra,
      I say this because I just read your comment. Within the past 30 minutes, I thought about my future … and like yours, I didn’t think that far into it … This sentence (yours) gets me – “The ambivalence, confusion and disorientation of the world as we know it today really challenges the future.” … Now that captures a lot! … Meanwhile, you also provide a new entry for my ideas list for future walks – Liminal …. hmmmm Thanks for sharing so much while ending with a smile.


  11. One day my future will be my past and I look forward to it in the present. I live in a constant state of anticipation, pleasantly so. I am an unrepentant optimist so I know it’s going to be a good day tomorrow. Relatively speaking.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Pam,
      Cheers to you being an unrepentant optimist. Even from our online engagement, I’ve sensed that! 🙂 … It’s easy to let the bleakness of the day take one down, but I’m with you – so much is how we look at it. Yep – the glass is half full! 😀 Thanks for sharing a bit of your brightness.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. I certainly hope the future (near future) returns to us the freedom of the past we have always taken for granted. Nostalgia is inevitable, optimism and creativity keep us sane. 🙏

    Liked by 1 person

  13. This post reminds me of the saying, “Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift. That’s why we call it the ‘present.'” It’s hard not to think of the past … or hope for the future. But really, the here-and-now is something none of us should take for granted. Excellent thoughts, Frank!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Debbie,
      Thanks for sharing the wonderful quote that fits with this topic. Part of me nods my head – the other part shakes the head because the present is measured in nanoseconds. This dichotomy creates a dilemma … but a good one because it promotes thought. Thanks for sharing.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. I’m with Debbie’s thoughts. So many spiritual teachings say that only the present or now is real. The future is simply thought–and never comes, because it’s always now. The past is only memory and subject to the mind’s interpretation. But the present moment is alive and the biggest gift we have. Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Whoa! These thoughts almost make my head spin! Sometimes when I speak with the peeps or the families of those I care for, we start talking about the future…namely theirs and mine. My faith lets me rest in the knowledge that all is under the control of God, though we may not think its possible at a particular bad or stressful time.
    I often think and voice the idea that maybe its good that we don’t know what the future holds for us, else we might be too scared to face it.
    A favorite song of my youth was: I Know Who Holds The Future .

    I know who holds the future , And I know he holds my hand;
    With God things don’t just happen ev’rything by Him is planned.
    So as I face tomorrow with its problems large and small,
    I’ll trust the God of miracles, Give to Him my all!

    I had to tell myself this truth many times, esp when I was diagnosed with stage 3b cancer back in 2006. It was used to teach me a few things…and to give me wisdom when I care for the peeps in the nursing home, now, many years later..
    My future could have been seen as bleak, but nowadays no one would even know I had been that sick. I am in the future of my life that I did not think I would be in!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ingrid,
      Oh my – THANK You for such a meaningful, personal comment about the future. Knowing a little about how you approach your duties, you approach them as a sincere servant to patient and their families. I stand in awe and with applause to your effort. …. and then you add a personal story of 2006. I imagine thinking about 2007 was a challenge while never imaging 2021 or 2022. Cheers to your attitude!

      Liked by 1 person

  16. many thoughts said here I share with you. Future – don’t plan too much instead live it. I have found that life does not care about your future plans, it throws curves that you have to tackle here and now. So something learned over the years. Short turn plans are ok, but what future brings is a mystery.


  17. I love your final thoughts that the horizon represents the unknown future, Frank. This post is full of good ideas and ways we look to the future with expectation and anticipation as you say. I’m very future oriented being adept at long-range planning, so I do have to remember to stay more in the present. One of your commenters recommends not to do too much planning (sadly I have a brother in law in that camp), but without this skill or attention, many life events simply don’t happen. At the end of the day, believing in the future comes down to faith.

    Liked by 1 person

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