Thankful: Your Mind as a Time Machine – Freedom Skate Day 53

November 25th, 2010



Total Distance for today: approx. 29 miles
Total Distance for Tour: approx. 465 miles
LOCATION: South Hill, VA
STATUS: En route to Raleigh, NC


Today’s skate from McKenney, VA to South Hill, VA went well. It was a challenge, as I was finishing the last leg of a three day 90 mile spurt. It was also quite hilly, but not too bad. My parents sent some money so Dillon and I could enjoy a Thanksgiving dinner at Cracker Barrel. More importantly for you: We took some time to film an… interesting video. 😉 That will be up tomorrow, so check back. I promise that you will be entertained!

Your Mind as a Time Machine

You’re used to the standard Thanksgiving exhortations, so I’ll spare you those and suggest something new that perhaps you haven’t thought of – something different to be thankful for. You know you should be thankful for family, friends, a job, your home, a place to lay your head at night, and food to eat. But there’s something more important than all of these things: right now.


Let me be the first to admit that I’m guilty of my fair share of nostalgic reminiscing. I think of simple times, exciting times, and adventurous times. Sometimes, I allow my mind to travel to the future: all of my plans for incredible experiences to come. Back and forth, my mind serves as my own personal time machine. Perhaps you can relate? With all of this time travel, perhaps you also forget to land your mind back where it belongs: here, now, this place, and this moment.


Try this: Think back to your fondest memory. Allow your mind’s eye to drift back to the exact setting as you so often do. I give you permission to see all of the people, take in the sounds and sensations, and feel all of the emotions again. Now ask yourself this: Back in this moment, fully engrossed, are you thinking about any other time than the moment itself? You most likely are not.


The truth is, the greatest and most memorable experiences of our lives are great because they remind us of no other moment or experience. They are inescapably independent, and their memory pervades our consciousness to the point of warping time in our minds. 100 boring days can pass, and your mind might make a few notes here and there; sloppy and scribbled as they are, it’s almost as if your mind planned to forget them. But place your mind in the midst of a unique, interesting, exciting, and powerful experience, and you can be sure that it will take the finest and most detailed notes about every aspect of the moment. One such moment can fill more of your consciousness than 10 years of monotony.


Life, as we would like to remember it, is a string of incredible moments, but your string should have many beads on it. The mind cares not about the distance between the beads. It only cares about the beads; are they deep, energetic, and full of life?


Since the greatest moments remind us of no other moments, my prescription for Thanksgiving is this: Be thankful for the moment in which you currently are. Take it in and decide what it will be now and in recesses of your memory. You are guaranteed nothing else, and you have need for nothing else. This moment will be one of the moments that pervades your consciousness and warps the fabric of your mind so powerfully that it compels you to walk forward. Yes, walk forward, and have another.

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