When I was a young boy growing up in New York City, I dreamt of living in my distant future, and 2020 was the year that represented that faraway reality. To me, it felt like a time beyond which I could not fathom myself inhabiting. Too much would be different. And I would be… old. Someone else, in fact.
Technology would be infused into every part of my life. I had “Star Trek” as my guide, and though I was fully aware of the limits of science fiction, I was hopeful that the future would still have many crazy-cool gadgets to play with. (As we all know, pieces of ‘Trek’ tech are now real, like hand-held communicators, universal translators, and yes, motion-sensor sliding doors.)
When Barrett meets Barrett in a Temporal Nexus
Fast forward to 2020, and the truth is I got about half of it right. Although there are no flying cars and we can’t travel at warp speed, technology is indeed infused into many parts of our lives. And while I have, in fact, aged, I’m kicking the can of ‘old’ down the time portal a couple more decades. (I reserve the right to revise my view again in 2040.)
I think what I got most wrong was my prediction that I would be someone else. To know for sure, I would need a time machine to bring the two Barrett’s together. (And we’d sit six feet apart to avoid both a temporal paradox and COVID time travel.)
If my younger self sat me down and interviewed me, I think he would be surprised.
I know I’ve changed in any number of ways. That’s supposed to happen due to the slings and arrows that life throws at you. But I think my fundamentals haven’t changed. He would still see himself in me. And I expect he’d be pleased to admit his mistake.
This is the Year to Tap into your Inner You
Still, he’d also be a little suspicious. That’s because it wouldn’t only be a one-way interview. And he’d pick up on that. I’d be asking him questions too. I’d want to tap back into some of the refreshing simplicity of his boundless optimism.
Life doesn’t often support that naive level of positive energy for any extended period. But just touching that memory is always enough to refuel the soul.
And 2020 is the perfect example of needing to tap into your inner you during this global stumble.
We probably won’t get the chance to spend nurturing time in a temporal nexus with our younger versions. So, we’ll just have to find the strength to move forward using what’s in our existing bag of tricks.
That’s life, baby.
Using Tech in our New Normal
How ironic it is that as a boy, I couldn’t imagine a future beyond 2020. It was always a sort of temporal mystery, being so far out. And of course, now that it’s here, our global reality has been reset in so many ways due to COVID. Disruption and change is clearly the norm of 2020. Much is still a mystery.
So, what comes next? What will the future look like now? Sorry to disappoint, but I don’t have that answer. (My time machine is in repair.)
All that any of us can do is ride this turbulent wave and looks for ways to maintain balance and hold onto whatever sense of normality we can. On the home front, I’ll keep playing with the technology that boy Barrett hoped I would. And I’ll continue to try to use this tech to improve (or at least maintain) my day to day.
Whether that’s truly happening or my gadget purchases are simply masquerading as a cozy blanket to help me feel good remains an open question.
Maintaining Order with a Robot Vacuum
Case in point: I just bought an iRobot Roomba on Amazon Prime Day.
(Yes, I succumbed to the marketing machine. But I’ve got to admit it felt great to buy something on Amazon that wasn’t related to supplies for our home during COVID.)
I’m not sure how our cat is going to react to our Roomba, but at least boy Barrett would be proud of me. A robot vacuum? How cool is that!
(Just please don’t tell him there are no flying cars yet.)
And my choice to talk about robot vacuums is a good sign that things could be worse. In fact, I’ve got a lot to be grateful for in 2020.