–A crystal ball sits on a red velvet cushion on the table in front of you. There are no strings, nothing to hold you back from using this arcane tool for your own purposes. You lean forward, unaware of everything else in the room, the creak of your chair echoing into nothingness as your vision is consumed with the crystal ball. Inside the depths swirls images, sounds, scents, hopes, dreams…possibilities. It shoes you your life, 10 years into the future. What do you see?–

Ten years in the future puts me in my mid-30s, my parents in their mid-70s, L in her mid-40s. Needless to say, a lot has changed.

I’m settled into a career in education, now. My husband and I are working on paying off a house that we bought when the children came. Where this house and my career are located, it’s hard to tell through the mist of the crystal ball.

My parents seem to be on their 12th career together, and having the time of their lives about it. Obviously they are getting on in years, though, so I’m starting the process of helping them through their old age. They love seeing their grandchildren, though.

I’m still working on a book, but it’s finished and going through the publishing process now instead of just getting bogged down with the writing process. My family is extremely proud of me for this, but I’m keeping it quiet from my friends as a surprise.

I’m also working on my doctorate, apparently. It seems that a doctorate, while not absolutely necessary, is a benefit to getting promoted at work. Also, I’ve always wanted a doctorate, so why not fulfill that dream now?

I’m still good friends with Dawn, Moose, and Mer, although their lives have all headed in different directions from mine. We stay in contact and see each other at least once a year. I have been making more friends through my church, community, PTA, HOA, and work. My husband has, as well.

L and I make an effort to be with my parents at the same time least once a year, whether that is over Christmas, Easter, or a week in the summer at the lake house. We also make an effort to visit each other’s families at least once a year without parental supervision. We’re both adults, we’re sure we can handle ourselves.

There might be problems in the minutia of everyday life, but overall I’m working through life. I’m still aiming for my goals, but I’m also trying to help my husband, children, and other family members achieve their dreams. The world might be against us every once in a while, but our determination and focus are still pulling us forward, building a future on the stones of our past like so many before us and so many will.

–The images and emotions fade from the crystal as you come back to reality. The crystal ball is not actually a crystal ball, no more than the red cushion is a red cushion. Instead, you are facing down an open notebook, pages blank and uncapped pen in your hand. You take a deep breath and put pen to paper. Along the top you write “Dreams and Goals: How I will achieve my 10 year dream.” After all, nothing is actually set in stone. The future you get is what you work for.–