Future planning (HLD 180)

18 Sept 2020

Isn’t that the dumbest thing you’ve ever read?

You don’t plan for yesterday or last week, or what’s happening right now. You can only plan for the future – whether the future is five minutes or five years.

I was at a meeting on the weekend where we were given the task of doing a little 30 year planning. It was more like a 30 year wish list, because I think plans need to have a bit more substance that ideas jotted down on paper, but still…

My table got immediately distracted by someone asking the question “What would you have planned 30 years ago?”…

Good question.

Whether it’s family life, work life or personal stuff like health and happiness – would you have, 30 years ago, planned to be where you are now?

If not, what did you think your life would be like?

A little bit, but not a heap, connected to this line of thought is the question “What would have told your 14 year old self if you had the option?”. Now those who are good at maths or own a calculator will know this is unrelated to the 30 year question, in my world.

The first thing that sprung to my mind was “talk to your grandmothers more”. I didn’t have the interest in my family tree then that I do now, but hopefully if the 14 year old Heather had spent a bit more time talking and listening with both of her Grandma’s, something might have stuck in the brain. Maybe I would give my 14 year old self a specific instruction, such as “talk to your grandma’s about their childhood. And take notes.”

I don’t think I have many regrets about my life so there’s nothing I’d want to get her to make corrections for. Maybe staying in touch with school friends might be something she could do. Wear sunglasses, and shoes with decent arch support, maybe.

I think I might have told her to start writing a diary, because back in those days blog wasn’t a word, I’m sure. But the things I have written in the past twenty years or so have been a wonderful way of recalling life’s adventures (and misadventures) as the memory fades a little bit.

Obviously I’d tell her to eat better and exercise more, but I really think the little cow would have just ignored me and had some chocolate. Fair call.

What would you tell your 14 year old self?

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