Assignment: Take each decade of your life, 0 to 100, and picture what you're doing.
0-10: Trying to find my identity as the fifth of five girls and the older sister of an attention-seeking baby brother. I find success with my quick wit, which is sometimes mistaken for a sassy mouth. I spend a lot of time trying to be like my older sisters but spending the majority of my time with my younger brother.
10-20: I discover boys and have a string of little relationships. I excel in school and music. I make friends with the nice kids in the honors class and usually do not get along with the popular girls. I care less and less about this fact. I start dating a guy named Tony.
20-30: I attend college, move out for the first time and move to Florida for a summer to test my independence. It goes pretty well, but I move home to be close to friends and family. I get my first job as a newspaper reporter and spend my days barking at people on the phone. I enter my second career in public relations. I marry Tony. I get my master's degree.
30-40: Tony and I start a family, either by having kids of our own or adopting. We go through the joys and pains of parenthood. We move to California so Tony can pursue his movie-writing career. I continue to work as I enjoy the interaction of an office and co-workers. I miss my family in Arizona, but we visit often. We visit Paris for the first time. I love it.
40-50: Tony makes it big in his career and I don't need to work anymore. I spend my days working on my book, "The Force of Personality," and continuing to raise kids. This might include carting them around to various activities like horseback riding, piano lessons and French lessons. We take our family to a different exotic locale each year to give them the joy of traveling and the education of culture. Our parents are aging. We feel obligated to move back to Arizona to be closer to family.
50-60: With kids in college or near-adulthood, Tony and I spend our days looking for new projects in which to invest our money and creativity. We spend time with friends and take long weekends up the coast. We still travel, but spend more time in our favorite places rather than trying new ones. We buy a boat and learn how to navigate the shores of the Pacific Coast.
60-70: We become grandparents and discover a new world. We surrender our own free time to spend it all with them, hoping to become the ideal grandparents. Tony takes them on tours of the library and his studio, introducing them to little treasures and wonders he has collected over the years. I teach the kids to bake and dance in the kitchen. We play board games with the family and offer to host slumber parties.
70-80: Age begins to catch up with us, and we decide to slow our pace a little. We move to a smaller home, allowing one of our children or grandchildren to manage our larger place. We make friends in our neighborhood and try to stay in good health with long walks and bike rides. We still enjoy visits from family.
80-90: Tony and I spend most of our time together alone. We reminisce about old times, wish our families would call and talk about what life will be like in the future. I spend time reading a journaling, hoping my posterity would want to read about my life or know something about me. We hire someone to cook and clean for us. Tony hates the intrusion.
90-100: Technology has surpassed our wildest dreams, and we read the news each day on a gadget that hasn't even been imagined at this moment. We wonder at all the new things that come about. We look for pictures of our great-grandchildren in the mail. Or e-mail. Or whatever it is in 2080. We talk about what it would be like to die. We tell each other "I'll miss you." We are happy.