New Year’s Day 2035 — A Memoir

I can’t believe it’s New Year’s Day, 2035.

My retirement party last week was enjoyable, although I didn’t get as much champagne as I would have liked. But my two kids were there, looking all grown up with their significant others. And I received lots of well wishes.

Which I’m going to need, since I’m not really sure what my plans are now. I was going to move to Virginia Beach, but I had to sell the waterfront property that was to be our retirement home there. A few years ago–2032 I think it was–the city condemned the lot since the seawater now covers it more than half the year. I took the city’s “fair market value” offer, which was a fraction of what I paid.Happy New Year

But living by the water was really my wife’s idea. After she passed away in 2030, there wasn’t much point of holding onto it anymore.

Honestly, I won’t be missing my job. Though I stayed with the same company for nearly 40 years, it was never what I’d hoped it would be. It was my fault, really. I never caught up with the single most important economic trend of the century: mobile information.

All those devices and apps feel just as foreign to me now as when they first appeared decades ago. When I graduated from college way back in 1990, I was completely unprepared for what was to come. I naively believed that a liberal arts degree would provide enough opportunities to allow some choices, some flexibility in where I’d go, who I’d be. Instead, the degree was a ball and chain. For my entire career, I felt I was barely keeping my head above water. Sure, the pay and benefits were sufficient to raise a family on, but I never felt that I was very useful.

I was a legacy of a dying economy. The new century flooded in and my generation was drowned by the flow.

My kids have managed to make it, no thanks to anything I was able to teach them. Resilience is key, and I just didn’t have enough. I was effectively retired from service a long time ago, so this “retirement” thing is just a formality.

Still not sure what I’ll do. Travel sounds good as long as my health holds out. Maybe I can finally take that trip to the South of France–the part that’s still above sea level anyway. It’s somewhere that my wife and I had dreamed of going years ago.



    • Matthew Taylor

      No, I haven’t read Brooks’ book. Although I did read David Brin’s Earth which is set in 2040.

      I do enjoy good futurism, although this was intended to be little more than a personal projection, an ode to the soon-to-be obsolete.

      Thanks for reading. I hope you’re enjoying San Diego.

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