Creating a New Future Worth Living

Yesterday at lunch I was talking to a friend who reads this blog. We were talking about hope and how he thinks I have none because of the gloomy things I write about. I told him that wasn’t true in the slightest. In fact, apart from the occasional slip into doom-mode I am usually a very happy person. Yes, I can see the predicament we are in and I choose not to stick my head in the sand, but that doesn’t mean I’m pessimistic and hold no hope for my future.

I’ll admit that when I first started learning about the confluence of the triple threats of Economic collapse, Energy depletion and Environmental devastation I was a little panicked. OK…I was a lot panicked. Most people who discover these issues will probably have a similar experience and more than likely will continue to cycle back to these feelings on occasion. However, everyone who confronts these issues has to work out for themselves how to stay motivated, while not panicking or agonising over the future.

We’ve all had expectations about what the future would hold for us, and have made plans based on what we thought we knew about the world. When we discover that we will likely be living a very different future it can be disconcerting to say the least. 

I’ve found the best way to deal with this is to transform my relationship to the future; to use this time as an opportunity to reassess my values and determine how I really want to be living my life.  While I have very little control over what the world will become in the next decade, I have a lot of control over the role I will play in it.  For this reason it’s important for me to create a new future worth living.

Sure, many of the roles I play in my current life will disappear. I’ll probably not be an aerospace engineer or frequent world traveller in the decades to come. However there are new roles which I will step into. I think about these often and while I have no concrete idea of what my life will look like in ten years time I can imagine some of the things I’ll be spending my time on. Perhaps I’ll be a mother, most likely I’ll be supporting aging parents, I hope I’m helping my community to prepare for energy descent.  I imagine I am living a simple, frugal life filled with nature, relationships and rich experiences.

I encourage you to start thinking about what future you think will be worth living.  Yes, you’ll have to let go of the future you thought was ahead of you, but designing a new future for you and your family can be an exciting exercise. Designing your own future rather than just letting it happen to you can be very empowering. I urge everyone to make the most of this opportunity.

Photo by: alicepopkorn

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4 comments

  1. I know that I have little or no hope. I realized it and deleted my blog.
    You have hope or you wouldn’t bother with the blog. What little hope I have is why I read what I can and try to understand what to do for people and what can possibly be fixed or repaired or built better. The devil will be in the details of understanding when TSHTF.
    Knowing history only seems to make things bleaker for me, because history reveals that we’ve been here time and time again, with the oligarchs driving the soldiers and peasants before them into the abyss of falling empires.
    We need the peasants to lead now, but how can they when their food and money makes them sick, lethargic and poor?
    (Raises glass) Here’s to Collapse. May you carry your tools through the rathole into the future.

  2. A relative of mine (upset about me talking about Peak Oil) on Facebook recently said “you may be happy living a reduced lifestyle, but not everyone is”. Which lead me to think hard about this issue. The conclusion when we totalled up all of the factors was that his lifestyle (including over two hours of travel each day to work) is more “reduced” than mine.

    He doesn’t get to spend the time with his children that he wants to, he has stress from two mortgage, and no guarantee that his job will still exist in the future.

    So I agree heartily Mia: people need to have a really hard think about what (really) matters to them and work out how they are going to protect those things from the changes that Peak Oil and everything else is bringing.

    Like me, they may find that taking action can actually improve their lives, not “reduce” them.

  3. I too face the future certain there will many major changes as time progresses and peak everything takes its toll. However, having said that, I am full of hope and even dare I say…anticipation!

    I see so many positives in a world that reverts to more of the old ways, from more family time, building resilience into local communities, greater appreciation for the true costs of labour and goods, less pollution, greater stewardship of our mother earth…..I could list on for hours.

    I have hope and enthusiasm whilst maintaining a realistic perception.

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