Wednesday, 30 December 2009

Tell me the future

I don't like the uncertainty of the future, it niggles at me. But a lot of people enjoy it. They relish not knowing what's going to happen tomorrow or next month or next year, and they would hate to know exactly what the future holds.

I would love to know what it holds. How long I'm going to live, whether I'm going to get a serious illness, how long Jenny and my mother and sister are going to live, how much money I'm going to have, whether we're all doomed by global warming.

If I knew the answers to all these imponderables I'd be better able to plan ahead and prevent a lot of sudden crises and bad decisions. I'd know what and whom I should pay more attention to and what I could happily ignore.

But the uncertainty bugs me. I want clarity, I want parameters. I sometimes wake in the middle of the night, pondering all these unknowns yet again and wondering how they will all pan out. I'll lie there for an hour mulling them over and obviously getting no answers, just losing some precious sleep.

Other people are equally adamant they don't want to know what's coming. If they're about to get a windfall, or a plum job, or meet the love of their life, they want it to be a wonderful surprise. Or if some disaster is going to befall them, they'd rather not know until it actually confronts them. Wouldn't it be rather depressing, they say, if you knew a whole string of tragedies was coming your way?

Well, maybe or maybe not. If you knew they were coming, perhaps you could avert them. Or if they were inevitable, you could make the most of your present opportunities. If you knew your loved one was going to die, you could take that holiday of a lifetime or buy them that stunning £1000 dress/ suit before they went.

I need to know my destiny. I need a Tardis.


  1. Poor Nick. I need a Tardis too but to go backwards! I don't think I'd like to know my future but for some silly and totally irrational reason, I read my horoscope every day. Work that one out! I can see however that tomorrow will be a holiday, you will have a great New Year's Eve and before you know it, you'll be writing 2010 in your cheque book! Have a happy New Year!

  2. I wouldn't mind getting some hints, at least. Lot of things up in the air around here right now.

  3. I do a lot of writing about it Nick, and vent as you know, but I can honestly say I don't worry. I truly believe that it's every wo/man for themselves in these uncertain times and have taken steps to achieve that and wonder at those who don't.
    Life has never been this ephemeral and I do love surprises, I'd rather not know when I'm going to die. I want a surprise.

  4. I love dreaming, because in dreams there's hardly ever any anticipation, just a free flowing stream of action and events. I like it when life is dreamlike that way too.

  5. Baino - No no, I wouldn't want to go backwards and make the same silly mistakes and go through the same traumas, I want to go forward. And if you look at your horoscope then you do want to see a bit of the future....

    Happy New Year to you too, sweetie.

    Megan - Yes, wouldn't it help to know how they'll all play out?

    www - I wouldn't say it's everyone for themselves, particularly when we need a collective effort against global warming, but certainly relying too much on others is a mug's game.

    Tiara - Oh I have a big problem with dreams, most of mine are pretty weird and scary. Strange things go on in my brain while I'm asleep. I'm always glad when it's daylight again.

  6. I'd be a bit like yourself on this Nick, though being an engineer, I'm all about risk mitigation. Try scenario planning, at least it helps bound the uncertainty.

  7. I wouldn't want to know at all!!!
    My life is one big surprise - some (not many) good, some bad and some truly awful but I would never want to know they were coming and which sort they were.

    Horoscopes? never really bothered with them either but after a particularly nasty surprise last September I read mine.. it said that I should move on and accept all the invitations that came my way - thats been working so far!!!

  8. Sometimes I kid myself that I'd like to know the future... but I don't think I want to know really. It'd be a bit like knowing what all your Chrissy pressies were before you unwrapped them. And say it was all socks???

  9. Thrifty - Scenario planning, huh? Must look into that one.

    Kate - That would be the mainstream opinion on the future I think. Move on and accept all the invitations? Depends what they are....

    Scarlet - That's true, I don't think I'd want to know what my presents were. They might all be pants!!

  10. Nick, would you like to get in touch with some astrologers/palmists etc? I know some charlatans who will enable you to go broke.

  11. Ramana - No way. I haven't tried any of that crowd since I was a kid. I consulted a palmist in my late teens and every single thing she told me turned out to be untrue.

  12. I too wish I could go back a bit, then I could travel without worrying about my chair being damaged, because I would not need one...

    Happy New Year to you and Jenny.

  13. e - Had to check your earlier posts to catch up on the chair reference. A good reason for wanting to go back in time, as you say. Incidentally my sister Heather is also a wheelchair-user as she has motor neurone disease.

    Happy New Year to you too - and all the pussies!

  14. I do all I can to prepare for the future, then try to let go and let it unfold. Easier said than done, as I too waken in the middle of the night worrying.

    Happy New Year to you and Jenny when it comes xx.

  15. A very interesting post, Nick. I'm too scared of the future to want to me a pessimist, a fatalist, a nihilist...

    anyway, on another note, happy new year!!!


  16. Hulla - I assume the picture is you worrying in the middle of the night, lol. Let the future unfold, eh? If only....

    A Happy New Year to you and McBobo and the boys.

    Leah - But if you knew what the future held, maybe you would know there's not so much to be scared of?

    A Happy New Year to you, Sarge and Hedgie.

  17. if we knew the future we'd worry about the bits we couldnt change and fail to enjoy the good bits

    i hope 2010 is a grand one for you and jenny

  18. I guess it's a case for that old adage- live each day to the full.

    Happy new Year Nick x

  19. Kylie - You might be right there. Good thinking. And a supremely excellent 2010 to you!

    Cinnamon - But if I knew I was going to die in a month's time, then I would really make every moment count....

    Have a totally splendid 2010!

  20. Nick,

    Please tell Heather I said hello, and the best in 2010. There's more to my story just as there is to hers. I appreciate your interest.

  21. e - I'll do that. Indeed, being a wheelchair-user is just one small detail of a big life, the rest of which is often overshadowed by this very visible difference.

  22. While I understand all the reasons we are not given to know our futures in detail, I would also like to know because I'm just awfully curious. I justify it as you do, that if I knew I could possibly avert crises and while this is certainly true, it would prevent us from learning whatever we came her to learn.

    I believe in reincarnation, and that each lifetime is about mastering specific lessons. This makes more sense to me than that we are just lumps of protoplasm who get one roll of the dice and that's it. But all that aside, I still wish I could know more about what lies ahead because I would live differently and hopefully, behave more mindfully.

  23. Heart - Curiosity, that's an interesting motive for knowing the future. Like someone who wants to know how the plot of a book works out. But even if we knew the future, we could still learn lessons by preparing for what's coming. I believe in reincarnation but in a very special way - this life is but a dream in the next life. Dying is waking up.

  24. I think every day should be lived as though it were your last. Every opportunity taken and every greeting or meeting done in such a way that there is no guilt or 'I should have's' ... I understand that it might be good to know what's round the corner but surely that interest is mainly related to the need for good news??

  25. Eternally - I totally agree every day should be lived as if it's the last. Squeeze every ounce of juice out of it. What's the point of doing everything in a half-hearted listless trance?

    No, I want the bad news as well as the good, so I can plan for it - and with any luck stop it in its tracks.