Frank has set us the theme of Future this week.
It opens up memories of visions of different futures, dreams and plans, and when I look around, what I see is not what I imagined but I’m not complaining.
As a teenager, the year 2000 seemed a long way off, but now it’s actually 18 years behind us.
My great niece was born in 2000 and is thus 18 this year, having the right to drink, vote, get married without parental consent as she is considered legally an adult.
What does the future hold for her I wonder? Looking at the headlines, I wouldn’t want to change places with her, the lack of jobs or potential home ownership, and even the place you live may be fraught with danger, unrest and dissatisfaction.
On the flip side, she lives in the computer age, awash with technology and possibilities.
At 18, I didn’t have a boyfriend, just dreams of getting married, owning a home, and having a large family when I eventually found ‘The One’.
At 21 I was married, at 24 separated and divorced at 25, luckily no kids, but I did get custody of the dog and my car as I was paying the loan off for it.
Then in 1981 I took on a ready-made family and another set of dreams entered my head.
Alcohol on his part and depression on mine killed those and in 1989 we parted company.
But, there were good times, my fostering days I will never regret, and I was given a chance to be the person I wanted to be and rebuild my life. He just wasn’t part of it.
Now I look at where I am. Twenty nine years down the road with the same guy who loves me unconditionally and totally. That was the biggest something I’d hoped for all those years ago.
No kids, but we’ve had dogs (they do count!) and our claim to living the dream is our boating days. It’s a year come the 19th that we took her up for brokerage. We said goodbye to three years aboard, and looked to an immediate future of house hunting and all the trials and tribulations that incurred. And here we are!
Our future as pensioners is looking dodgy thanks to our government moving goalposts and tweaking figures. To qualify now, we have to wait a further four years, by which time some of the perks like free bus passes for senior citizens and free TV licences for the over 75s (not that we have a TV anyway and haven’t for over 10 years) may be things of the past.
We are lucky that we own our home outright, though should we need healthcare in our later years, we may have to sell.
But you know what? You might think I’ve painted a bleak picture of our future, but it isn’t.
We’ll never be rich, but we have each other, and our life is pretty damn good actually!
Our immediate future now is filled with anticipation of homegrown veg as we’ve planted the spuds and got the seeds in pots in the spare room for tomatoes and green beans. As soon as the sogginess has gone from the veg patch after all this rain, we shall be putting in our onions. Such simple pleasures, and the government can’t tax us on that!