Yogi Berra, the greatest philosopher and sage of our time, put it this way: “The future ain’t what it used to be!” No, it’s not … it’s what we imagine it to be. How do I imagine the future? At almost age 80, I imagine a future that is not far off. Indeed, nearly five years ago I imagined a future that would put us in our forever house. Oh, how wrong I was. Why? Because I learned that it is near impossible to imagine a future that is different from the present. Let me clarify.
Five years ago we decided to sell our house on an Upper Tampa Bay canal and move across town. We discovered the picture-perfect house, one with a gorgeous pool and a park-like woods in the back. Unlike other houses we had lived in over the years, this one offered amenities we had never experienced before: four bedrooms, a double front door entry, three bathrooms, a huge master bedroom, and a wraparound yard perfect for doggies. Never in a thousand years, thought I, would I want to leave this wonderful, picturesque home. This was truly our forever home.
Oh, how wrong I would be … now, nearly five years later we are on the hunt for our forever home. While our beautiful house has aged some, we have aged, aged, aged ever more! I can no longer do even the simplest things—like changing out a fluorescent light in the kitchen. Woe is me!
The lesson learned: it is near impossible to imagine a future different from the present. Methinks Yogi is on to something—the future ain’t what it used to be.
Don Menzel is a past president of the American Society for Public Administration, author and international speaker on ethics reform. Before his move to Colorado, Don organized OLLI-USF’s China Special Interest Group. He also served as an OLLI-USF faculty member for over 10 years.