Tag Archives: Future

Umm, so when you buy your own domain and launch a new blog an' all you're supposed to announce it to world and do a song and dance about it before you start posting stuff. Yeh, well, that never happened - I don't like to be conventional you know.

But anyway, here we are. Life in Exile.

Goodbye Shoreditch. Hello Zone 6. Also known as The Country/Back Beyond Yonder/The Bush/Exile.

Gone are the bright lights and convenience of Zone 1 life. Gone are my Bengali neighbours, East enders, hipsters, tourists and street art. Gone is my Eastling Crew - I miss you, let's hang out sometime.

Instead I have to walk in the dark when I get home late and we all know that the country is where the crazy axe men are hiding out - I miss you bright street lights and busy roads.  And  now my nearest corner shop is a 7 minute walk away! Can you believe it?! What am I supposed to do when my parents have forgotten to buy milk?

I’m surrounded by 2.4 lifestyle families and pavements with grass verges - which let me tell you is the most annoying thing when you have your very best shoes on and to avoid getting mud on them you have to take a flying leap into the car.

But I do get to enjoy being almost the only commuter that wears bright colours, hi-tops and reads children’s fiction on the way to work. I don’t like the fact that I’m almost the only one who seems happy to be alive - wake up people, life is for living.

This is life in exile. There’s lots to be learned. Come join the party, it's gonna be pure jokes.

Who will you spend Christmas* with when you’re 65? Something I was asked recently and in line with the whole Quarter Century Crisis thing, this has proved to be quite a relevant question. But it got me thinking, not only who will I spend Christmas with when I’m 65 but who will I be when I’m 65? 
 
I’ve always hoped that at some point in my life I would become one of those super accomplished women. You know, the ones who can juggle work, family, friends and life while managing to effortlessly rustle up a gourmet meal for twenty at the drop of a hat whilst wearing a ballgown. It's not hard to see that I am so not her right now. But surely now is the time to start becoming that person?
 
To be honest I find it hard to envisage life beyond July (although plans for August are beginning to look Excellent As) and so thinking about the next 42 years is Far Out. But here are some considerations for Christmas 2055:
 

Will I have an open house policy of welcoming any family member (including the ones you'd rather not be related to) plus assorted guests into my home with open arms? Or will I only invite a privileged few (and definitely not those strange relations who rather lower the tone) to share the yuletide festivities of my home?

 
Will I have taken time to put up decorations (complete with this year’s theme of handmade arts and crafts ) or will a sullen looking artificial tree crammed into the corner of the kitchen suffice?
 
Will I have managed to effortlessly cook a five course feast (including four meat choices, two fish courses and at least five different desserts) without ending up on the kitchen floor crying for my mother?
 
Will I be serving only seasonal and organic produce or will I be microwaving whatever was on offer at Tesco? (avoiding anything that claims to be beef, obvs)
 
Having decided that pointless gift giving is a wasteful social norm, will I have braved the wrath of many by giving everyone a Kiva loan instead? 
 
Having banished all internet and game devices for the day will I manage to keep everyone entertained with a rousing sing-a-long around the piano (expertly played by myself of course)? Or will it quickly descend into chaos with small children mistaking the household pets for moving Piñatas and the teenagers taking bets on which pet will get caught first?
 
As Hostess Supreme will I mange to help feed the babies, soothe the toddlers’ tears and appease their older siblings’ ploys for more attention without neglecting the elderly relatives? Or having been pushed to the limit by cooking and having too many people in my space will I be grumpily hiding away in the garden hoping that no one can see me smoking and swigging wine from the bottle?
 
Will I make time to actually talk with my family and see how they are or just make awkward small talk about the weather – I mean it has been rather cold lately and they’re saying it might snow in the new year, which would be terrible because how could I possibly get to town to do some sales shopping because we’re hoping to get a new radio in the sales because blah blah blah.
Will I cheerily wave everyone goodbye at the end of the day already planning next year’s festivities? Or will I let them see themselves out in favour of opening up the good bottle of wine that I didn’t want to waste on them at dinner?
Well, I’ve got 42 years to figure it out. Piece of cake.
Who will you be when you're 64 65?
 
*well, actually they said thanksgiving because they were American. But fear not I have a Cultural Relevance Adaptability Licence so it’s ok to change it.

 

So you’re wondering what’s next, what do to with your life. Join the club. This has been my most FAQ for the past couple of years. When I was in New Zealand we had many many conversations about calling and identity. We had one speaker tell us that we should pray like crazy and not do anything unless God tells us to do it. Another said that we’re not idiots and God knows this so we should figure it out ourselves. I was totally (to use an old skool phrase) confused-dot-com.


And since then it hasn’t gotten that much better. Over the past couple of years I have received a lot of advice on future plans and what I should be focusing on. Some of it has been really helpful and some of it not so much – one friend told me that I should “do something irrational. Have a family.” Thanks. Good Plan. That would solve all my problems right now. And I've even had that awkward conversation of “God told me you should train to be a missionary and then come and join me on the mission field in Asia. Just kidding. But not really. Just kidding. Hahahaha.” Excellent. Ha. Ha. Ha. I just threw up from laughing so much at the hilariousness of that comment, you should really consider becoming a stand up comedian.

Talk about first world problem – too many options and don’t know what to do.

Here is a collection of advice and thoughts and bits of conversations I've has over the past couple of years on how to figure out what's next:

The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind...Love your neighbour as yourself. Matthew 22 v 37-39

0 to 25 - Try everything but sin (rock climb, play sport, study arts, study science, write a book).
25 to 30 - Focus on ten things.
30 to 40 - Do two things really well.
40 onwards - Mentor and invest.

So do not worry about having enough food or drink or clothing...Your heavenly Father already knows all your needs, and He will give you all you need from day to day if you live for Him and make the Kingdom of God your primary concern. Matthew 6 v 31-33

God’s will is all over scripture, we know what He wants so why do we keep asking what His will is? Why don’t we instead try and figure out how we, in the fullness of how we've been made, play a part in it? 

How do you want to be living? What are the values and rhythms you want to be living out?

I think we assume that everyone knows what they want to do. It’s much closer to the truth to say that most of us somehow fall into the jobs we have. And only half of those people end up doing something that they like, and only half of those people do something that they love.

We’re not really given space to wander. Some people try out a number of different career paths before they find one they’re comfortable with. But we frown on this and say that they’re flaky. When maybe they’re the ones brave enough to try new things in search of what they enjoy. 

We’ll probs be working till we drop dead on the job, so do something you enjoy. If it takes ten years of wandering to get there then don’t sweat it, you still have another million years until retirement/dropping dead. So don’t be afraid of wandering, but do be intentional. 


Who do you know? Who do you enjoy working with? Who inspires you? What work environment suits you best?

What would you attempt to do if you knew you could not fail?

Maybe there’s not one perfect career for you. There could be several different things that you could really enjoy doing and that you could thrive in. So there’s not necessarily one right option. So don’t worry about making the wrong wrong choice.

Go to New Zealand.


Don’t forget to b r e a t h e.

 

 

I have been all over the place with this. I’ve had days when I’ve been super excited about the future, days when I’ve been so stressed I couldn’t do anything but try to run from my own thoughts (well, more kind of like baking than actually running) and then there’s been the days when I’ve not thought about it so it’s been fine.

The most important thing I have learned about this is that God is there no matter what. Whether I come up with a five year plan in the next week, or whether it takes one/two/five/ten years, God will be there no matter what I end up doing. He does not change. I can count on His character and His promises no matter where I am or what I am doing. And at the end of the day, I’m only visiting this planet.


"And be sure of this: I am with you always, even until the end of the age" 
Matthew 28 v 20