Thursday, 5 February 2009

MULTIPLY United Friends Challenge #115: The Future

Qwith's Challenge

From Barbara DeMarco's Pen on Fire p.8

Think about what you wish for and imagine how you'd like your life to be in 6 months, a year, five years from now. Age doesn't matter here, especially if you think that you should already have realized your dream or that you're too young to see your dream come true for a good many years.

Focus on the dream itself. Envision your future as you'd like to live it. Have you secretly wanted to transform a guest room or corner of your garage into a writing studio? Write about that, down to the type of flooring it will have and the type of chair you'll sit on.

Be specific: How will you spend your days? Do you see yourself writing full time? What will you write--stories, articles, essays, poems, novels? Don't skimp on details.

Fate may just need to know the color of the walls or the make of the car you'll drive or the design of the desk where you'll sit if it's going to fulfill your dreams.

It's important to see yourself iin the sort of life you want. If you can't see yourself as a writer, how will you ever find your way there?

This is a challenge and not a challenge for me. First of all I have to go back before going forward. I left my home country, England, and arrived in Switzerland at the age of twenty. My goal then was to learn a foreign language. This goal was achieved and after living the last forty two years of my life in Switzerland I speak fluent German. My past life was composed of bringing up my two children and then returning to the world of business. In three weeks I will be retired at the age of 62. Apart from my daily work as an export clerk, I always cultivated my private interests. I actually only really started writing more seriously about a year ago. My husband was always interested in literature and art and I shared these interests to a certain extent, but we mostly have different tastes. He prefers to read everything in German, although his English is good and I read the German authors in German and the English in English. That is perhaps a short introduction.

So what will I be doing in five years – I would not dare to think further. I have no real ambitions as a writer. For me writing is fun and should be an enjoyment. Am I a good writer or not? I cannot answer this question myself and would not dare to. I flow between two languages and in character I am very down to earth. This might show in my writing. I can be very logical and I find I am not at all lyrical. My poetic efforts are based on rhyme. I just enjoy telling a good story. How this will look in the future is difficult to foresee. I sometimes sit at the computer, a blank screen in word and ask myself what comes next? I start to write, may it be a challenge or a picture and most of the time things seem to fit into place. I do not ask myself what will happen in five years, but whether I will have an idea for the next week. When the ideas flow, then I write, but will the ideas still be flowing in five years. I have never really tried to get anything published, although I was once asked for one of my stories. I had a book of short stories published, but by a self publishing organization, comparable to Lulu, but in Germany known as BoD. It was an experiment on my side, but I actually did sell some copies of my book.

After my retirement I intend to keep the knowledge of the foreign languages I have needed over the past years of my working life. I speak French and Italian as well as German and for ten years learnt Russian and I would like to take up my Russian again. It was never perfect, but I can still write and read in Cyrillic and it would be a shame to give it up completely. Man forgets so quickly what he once intensively learnt.

I am satisfied with my surroundings and do not really want to change very much in my home. Perhaps it is a sign of getting older that everything around you should remain as it has always been. I know that my three cats would join me in this wish. I have a room that I could call my office and can work in peace and quiet on my writing, as well as on my photo projects. My oldest son is autistic and still at home. He is lucky and has a regular job in a nearby factory. My youngest son is working in Belgium and visits when he is on holiday.

As far as transport is concerned, I have no dream car. I just need a car that moves. It should have no problems, and not be in the garage for repairs most of its life. Public transport in our village is a train into town. From town there are connections all over Switzerland, without having to use the car. I drive, but can just as well walk or take the local transport. I cannot say that I really enjoy driving. I have become a bit of a stay-at-home person over the years. When I was younger my husband and I would spend our holidays in other countries in Europe and we once even stayed a week in New York; an unforgettable experience. We now live in the country, surrounded by nature, a river just around the corner and I am satisfied. If we do visit one of the larger towns in Switzerland such as Z├╝rich, Bern or Geneva, we are usually glad to arrive back at home. The fast life of the cities is to be consumed in small doses. I think I will spend my future days indulging in reading, writing and photography. Most likely taking walks in the countryside and taking photos of the surroundings. I like to take macro photos of insects.

I was actually wondering whether to meet this challenge or not. Basically it is not really something that I study in quiet moments. There are stages in life when there is always something in front of you. I have now been educated, had a family, worked and now retirement looms ahead. What is left in life? When I think of my father in London who is now 94 years old, there is a lot left in life, but I will now take it as it comes and enjoy it by doing what I want to and not what I have to.

United Friends Challenge #115 The Future

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