I am in AZ, far from the snowstorms in my home state. It’s tranquil here and almost eerily quiet. I have time to simply stare at the sun-soaked landscape and dream.

When I took this photo yesterday, I thought of Robert Frost’s poem The Road Not Taken. Rather than look back at what roads I’ve chosen in the past, this scene draws me into thinking about the road I’m taking now. And, naturally, about the road ahead.

These are topics that all of us creeping up in age have on our minds. Are we making the most of our life now? What does the future look like? Will our health hold up? If not, will we be able to stay in our homes? Or when would it be wise to think of relocating where we could receive care if and when we need it?

Particular questions that my late husband and I faced five years ago involved his sudden diagnosis of a terminal cancer. One of my interests now is advising everyone, especially older folks, to openly discuss together the what ifs. What if you got a terminal diagnosis? Would you seek treatment? What if your spouse/significant other dies first? What then? Where will you live? Where and who are your support systems? Can you handle the finances? Is your paperwork in order? Have you pictured the scenario of living alone?

Unfortunately, there are no absolute answers. But I often discuss these questions now with folks my age. When I have a variety of if/then scenarios in my head, it makes me feel better prepared to face the future. Better than when my husband was diagnosed. I cover our story in my book, Marv Taking Charge: A Story of Bold Love and Courage (forthcoming, Deep River, 2023).

If you wrestle with these same questions, chime in. The more perspectives we hear, the more we all can learn.