What’s Next?

Oftentimes, when you hear the phrase, “what’s next,” your first inclination might be, “when’s the other shoe going to drop?” If you’ve had a health crisis, like cancer, your mind often wanders in this direction. Obviously, having thoughts like this is not conducive to healthy living, so let’s look at it another way.

What if we look at “what’s next” as a hopping-off point? An idea of great things to come or some new direction you can take; a pivot in your life that can be a game-changer? What would that be like?

Most of us head in a similar direction in life. We go to school, celebrate the fact that we made it through our primary and secondary years of education with the high school band in the background playing Pomp and Circumstance. Then some of us head off to college where after we’ve made it through semesters of interesting classes (some of us setting our notebook on fire in a chemistry lab) and of living almost on our own (with Ramen noodles as our main means of sustenance), we write in tape “thanks mom and dad” on the top of our caps so they can see it from the stands in the field house at graduation.

We start our career, and years back (the old age as my kids tell me), we get our first jobs out of college literally making a pittance. I look back on my first job out of college with my BS (BullShit as my dad would say) in psychology making a whopping $14,000 per year. Sometimes I wonder how I ever did it. But we all persevere, working hard to climb the proverbial ladder of success. It’s hard work, but we do it because we tell ourselves that professional success is the cornerstone of who we are. We’ve made it, in a sense.

Some of us get married and have kids. No one gives you an owner’s manual for that. If there was one, I really could have used it! How wonderful it would have been to turn to page 62 for tips on how to deal with a pain-in-the-ass-does-not-help-with-anything husband as I had two kids in diapers. Needless to say, I figured that one out quick, no thanks to the lack of the manual.

And somehow, through all of the trials and tribulations of life, we still find ourselves here. We are alive and well and still able to make plans.

What dream did you leave on the side of the road while you were so busy creating and living your life? Have you thought about that?

There’s that saying, “life is what happens when you are busy making plans.” What plans do you want to make for YOU?

Dreams are not just for the young. The day we stop dreaming is the day we take our last breath. We spend so much of our time “adulting” and worrying about the dreams of others, especially our children.

For those of you on the other side of diapers, 5th-grade moving-up ceremonies, high school soccer games, and college move-in days, what are YOUR dreams? It’s high time you asked yourself, “what’s next?”


Connie Bramer
Connie Bramer
Connie Bramer is an entrepreneur, mom, breast cancer survivor, and author of “How Connie Got Her Rack Back,” her comical spin on the journey of cancer. Connie’s mission to help others through her own experiences drove her to found Get Your Rack Back Inc., a not for profit organization that provides financial assistance to cancer patients in Upstate NY. GYRB assists patients – men, women, and children with varying types of cancers – with gas and grocery gift cards as well as medical copay assistance. Connie has been featured in several magazines including Her Life New York and Womenz Straight Talk. As a cancer survivor, Connie was awarded the Hyatt’s prestigious Portrait of Understanding Award. In addition to her inspirational blog, gyrb. She also shares her everyday antics with a snarky sense of humor on her blog, The Humor Of It All. Connie is a contributing author to the inspiring books; Chaos to Clarity: Sacred Stories of Transformational Change and Crappy to Happy: Sacred Stories of Transformational Joy

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  1. Brilliant essay Connie. You really had it have hit me thinking! An analysis past? Critical evaluation of what’s next or what I could have done!? Or wanted to do. Although an obscene word according to Dame Judie Dench – ‘M’ in Bond movie – ‘retirement’ in theory opens up a door if freedom, renews the can-do attitude and leaves behind both less fond and not do fond memories; that’s if the memory serves one well!!! All the way through school – cost my Dad a fortune, being ‘moved’ from left handed to right handed caused dyslexia and a heap of other problems! Essentially I was crap at school! What’s next? I found I could engage with people; bring people together. A love of travel; for business; flying around Europe engaging with various nationalities. On retiring, an instinct; sixth sense in cooperation with my heart opened up voluntary activities including my being an Exhibition Steward at Winchester Cathedral’ Kings and Scribes Exhibition, where I happily meet with and talk with people from the world over. Earlier in life there was never a ‘what if’ scenario. Carpe diem ruled. In moving to the Netherlands when the kids we very young, it opened up a new dimension. They are both multi-lingual have great jobs and I have been blessed with the most gorgeous granddaughter! As per usual, I have ‘talked for England’! Super essay.

  2. Love this essay Connie!
    This is all so on point… when we are younger our choices are less creative; we carry the burden/joy of ‘adulting’.
    I am just recently on the other side of College move in and out days and now learning how to parent adult children.
    My husband I moved to Cascais Portugal in January of this year. Many people asked us “Why”… our only response has been “Why Not”. We are living in “What’s next”.