Future Me

I had a definite vision when I was younger of what I would look like when I was older. Generally, I would be taller than the average height I find myself at currently. My hair would be really long, and so would my legs. In short, I’d be an older but more attractive and put-together version of myself. (What could go wrong?)

Fast forward about ten years and you’ll find that age has not been kind. Everything about me is pretty average, which is to say, not what I imagined. I certainly didn’t know how future me would fare, but I wasn’t thinking this.

And even now, I’m still making trouble for future me by assuming what she’ll look like or what she’ll want to do.

For example, I’m a bit lax when it comes to laundry. I let clean clothes pile up on my floor until they grow metaphorically moldy and need to be washed again. I actually try to trick myself by putting the clothes on my bed so that I’ll have to put them away before I go to sleep.

Enter future me. Future me does everything that present me doesn’t want to do. I think, future me will be a lot less tired than present me is. She’ll put these away.

But of course, in addition to being a disappointment in looks, future me is also a disappointment in acts. Because what ends up happening is future me takes the clothes off the bed and sets them on the floor. Or she sleeps on top of them, the clever fox. It’s just pointless to ask her to do the things I need to do in the future. It’s almost like I have to make it seem like it was her idea all along…

And really, it’s not fair of me to put all of that responsibility on her. It’s not right that I am going to put off things just so that future me can deal with them. It’s not good that her “to-do” list is as long as my arm.

And here’s the biggest problem with letting my future self do the things that I should be doing: I become my future me before I know it. That’s right, it doesn’t take long for present me to overtake future me. And then I’m stuck with stuff that I could have done beforehand and there’s less time to do it in.

So, my advice is to consider your future self. Can you save her a little time by doing something now? Can you make her quality of life a little better by helping her out? If you can, you won’t have to see the future to know that she really appreciates it.

Date with Death

I was actually typing up an entirely different blogpost when my computer’s battery percentage caught my eye. It’s nearly dead, and the icon is red, urging me to go get my charger, as if everything is so urgent. (It’s the same with the dashboard lights in your car. I swear the alarms go off when you are running low on window washer fluid.)

And so, I do what any lazy one of us does: I procrastinate. I let the battery run down to the wire, playing a terrible game with my valuables. Will I lose all of the words I have just typed out when the screen goes black, or will I get my charger in time to reboot it up quickly, leaving me where I left off?

I wonder all of this, and then I wonder, if somehow, the fact that my computer keeps track of when it is going to die somehow makes it worse.

I mean, what if people were notified in the same way about when they were going to die? Like a special watch or an egg timer that you kept in your pocket that incessantly clicked. Would you want that device? Or more to the point, would you want that knowledge?

Of course, some of us don’t get that choice; it is thrusted upon us. Terminal patients are given an estimate. Some exceed the limit, some don’t. But they are more or less told when their lives are going to end. And so, you have to decide what to do with your time left. You either make amends or you make memories. You do what you can with the best that you have.

But.

Isn’t that what we are all doing anyway? We may not know when we are going to die, but we know it will happen. This encourages us to make decisions and forego others. We’re all doing what we can with the best that we have, whether we know it or not.

And you may argue that people with terminal illnesses are different because they know the time they have, and it isn’t much. A sense of urgency is not lost on them like it is on the rest of us.

But I have to wonder if it actually is. If we’re all not procrastinating bigger decisions, just letting our batteries run out, no matter how long we have. Because even if we know when we’ll die, does it make it any easier to live right now? Shouldn’t we all be living like tomorrow is our last day?

The end of this story is that I eventually got up and grabbed my charger before it was too late.

I only want to make sure that it isn’t too late for you, either.