On April 20, 2078 I’ll turn 100 years old. I plan to be alive then. And that’s the first step, right? Having a plan. So I’m on my way.
First of all, we’re going to have a party that day. I know some people get to a point where they don’t celebrate birthdays, but I like ice cream cake damnit, and my birthday gives me an excuse to order whatever kind of ice cream cake I like. So I’m celebrating my birthday every year.
Ice cream cake forever!
I tried to imagine what my life might be like when I turn 100, but it’s difficult. What am I going to be like in 63 years? Probably nowhere near as dashingly handsome as I am now. And how about the world? You think it’s f&$@ed up now, just wait to see how we humans can screw up over the next six decades. But let’s not focus on the negative.
We should add some perspective though: Someone who’s turning 100 today was my age on January 4, 1952. Things have changed since then, for that person, and the world.
But thanks to Dr. Emmett Brown and his flux capacitor, I’ve been to the future, so I know what it’s like.
Believe it or not, still no flying cars. Apparently it’s just too dangerous to have the general public moving their vehicles in three dimensions instead of two dimensions. However, since computers drive our cars, you’d think we could program the computers to handle such a task. But you’d be wrong. So George Jetson is still ahead of us.
Now, for less disappointing news. There is no oil. I mean, there is oil, but nobody cares anymore. At some point, many decades before, a visionary president of the United States devoted the full force of the country behind an effort to find cheap, useable, renewable fuel within a decade. Eight years later the transition to complete reliance on solar energy began.
In 2078 everything on earth is powered by energy from the sun. We’ve discovered how to store it, transport it, deliver it, and convert it. All with no waste. My great grandchildren marveled at how any society could be so stupid to rely on the finite remains of dead plants and animals for energy. In their eyes, we might as well have thought the world was flat.
There’s plenty more to tell about the world in general. I could tell you how Texas finally got its wish to form its own country. And how it’s been begging to come back into the U.S. ever since.
Or the Cubs dynasty teams of the 2020s and 2040s, although some people debate whether just six World Series championships in ten years can be called a dynasty, especially after the ten straight they won a couple of decades before.
Or how health care costs shriveled to practically nothing after we finally realized that the way we produce, grow and eat food was killing us.
Or about the explanation behind the Kennedy assassination, which was revealed when a set of secret papers were released.
That’s all big picture stuff though, and I want to talk about me. Enough about the world.
My four kids have grandkids of their own and once a year we have the entire extended family out to the family compound in Colorado. We all catch up with each other, talk about our travels, the movies we’re making, the books we’re writing, the experiments we’re conducting, the food we’re growing, the lessons we’re teaching, the people we’ve met. It’s a blast.
I’m still running. My 5K time has decreased over the past few years, but my doctors are still amazed that my knees are holding up after seventy-three years of pounding the pavement.
My wife and I have made plans to go back to the mountains of Tennessee next year to celebrate our seventy-fifth wedding anniversary. It’s the diamond anniversary. Time to go big or go home, so I’ve got a whopper of a gift to give her.
I don’t sleep much any more. Four hours a night is more than enough. We’ve always liked staying up late, but now when we do it we don’t sleep until ten o’clock the next morning. You’d be amazed at how much you can accomplish when you’ve got twenty waking hours every day.
But let’s not jump ahead too far, here. We’ve got a long time to go before I turn 100. There’s much to experience. The next sixty-three years will pass fast enough. No need to hustle them along.
Better to remember the best advice anyone has ever given or received: Stop and smell the roses.
This post was written as part of Blogapalooz-hour, ChicagoNow's monthly writing exercise in which we're given a prompt and one hour to write on that prompt. This month's prompt: "Pick any point of time in the future and write about what you hope/think/fear/expect your life will be like then"
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