Day 939: Time Machines 

If I were to use a time machine and travel back to yesterday, I would see these on the board in my office:

If I used Time Machine #1 to actually travel into the past, perhaps I could take some art lessons and draw better time machines.

If you had  time-traveled to that therapy session in  my office yesterday, you would have heard this:

We all time travel, through our thoughts, into the future and into the past. Those of us who over-use the time machine that goes into the future tend to experience worry and anxiety. People experiencing depression have a time machine that travels a lot into the past with regret, guilt, and self-judgment.

I’m now getting into time machine #2 to travel a short distance into the future, wondering what people  will think about my theory of time machines.

Traveling into the past — by just one day, again — I am hearing my boyfriend Michael say:

When I was quitting smoking and I felt like having a cigarette, I would  time travel ten minutes into the future and pretend  I had just had one.  I realized I would be in the same place with or without a cigarette, so why not skip the step of smoking it?

I plan to apply Michael’s technique to quitting cookies.

While I often recommend that people set their personal time machines to “The Present,” let’s set Time Machine #1  to Monday, July 27, 2015, for a brief visit:



As I’m looking at that bunny from the recent past, here and now, I’m thinking:

  • I wonder if bunnies and other animals  time-travel in their minds, like humans do?
  • What number of life-span years would I have given to a bunny, if I had managed to draw one (instead of just a giant tortoise and a human being) in that  pictorial representation  of animal life-spans I retrieved yesterday,  time-traveling into my memory of a children’s encyclopedia from the early 1960s?

  • If you time travel into the Internet (like I just did, 5 minutes ago) you’ll find that my memory of the life span of a giant tortoise was off, by a factor of two.

I believe I’m time traveling a lot, lately, because I’m helping to plan my 45th high school reunion. I won’t time travel two months into the future to imagine that reunion; it will get here, soon enough.

Have any of my readers time traveled into the future to predict what time travel music I might retrieve from time-traveling YouTube?

Instead, I found “The Time Traveler’s Guide, a movie montage by Clara Darko.

Traveling 10 minutes into the future, I think there will be music, and a smile.

Timely thanks to Michael, Clara Darko, bunnies, giant tortoises, human beings who time travel, all the movies and characters appearing in “The Time Traveler’s Guide” and you — of course! — for traveling here, today.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism, Psychotherapy | Tags: , , , | 56 Comments

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56 thoughts on “Day 939: Time Machines 

  1. If I had a Time machine I’d travel to a time where I hadn’t yet thought of giving up cookies. NOt judging, just saying… 😉

  2. Seems the rabbit is looking for a 4 leaf clover to protect from losing a rabbit’s foot.

  3. TheBraceletWriter

    I love Michael J. Fox movies in Back to the future 1 2 & 3

  4. Wondering whether the rabbit ever time-travels has me wondering whether it knows it’s a traveler in space as well. As Kurt Vonnegut said, “Every passing hour brings the Solar System forty three thousand miles closer to Globular Cluster M13 in Hercules — and still there are some misfits who insist that there is no such thing as progress.” Whether that’s really progress is debatable. I take it instead as a reminder to enjoy the moments. Everything is in flux. There’s something else to contemplate: our brains can store things as they once were, and, to some extent, project us into the future–or at least the possible future. Between our ears we all have our own flux capacitor.

    • So wonderful to have Kurt V. and you, Christopher, along for today’s travels (bringing us that much closer to Globular Cluster M13 in Hercules).

  5. The time travel to my past was such a welcome journey. Writing about it helped resolve so many issues I never wanted to discuss. ❤️

    F.I.S.A. ????

  6. Most excellent post and righteous video of time travel. I would like to travel over to one of your therapy sessions, I bet they are fascinating, talking about time travelling and other such interesting things. Party on!!!!!

  7. What a cute bunny, and he let you get so close! That’s awesome!

  8. vrein11

    Sweet article. Its funny how we like to spend so much time wallowing in our past that we cannot get into our future, nor can we enjoy the present. Sometimes we need to let our past go so that we can enjoy the present that we have right here right now. The future will come. and we could go on and on into that subject. Its a good thing that rabbits and other animals don’t worry about the future. They seem to be stayed firmly in the present.

  9. Thanks for the follow-up explanation of the drawing. I thought you were going 70/200 the speed of a turtle!

    I love Michael’s thinking. I wish it worked for doing dishes and catching buses, but I will definitely apply it today to cookies.

  10. Reunions tend to make us time travel alot- they point out the time since, where we are, where we’ve been. I spend a lot of time traveling to the future and worrying about things as you said and getting anxious. I then sometimes travel to the mall which allows me to focus my time travel elsewhere 🙂

  11. Now that’s cool – to plan ahead for something that will take you to the past! Love it Ann.
    I love planning ahead so I can be fully present and enjoy the moment when it comes 🙂

  12. Ann, it’s simply fascinating. I love the idea of a time machine: the Left (past) with some Depression residue, the Right (future) with Anxiety; I agree that this is how it works; although the past has the ability to assist us (as with Michael’s visualisations helped him ease some anxiety). The future, although not known, eventually draws from past experiences to organise itself and confront the unexpected. So I really believe it is like a time machine.

    Some neuroscientists are now saying the brain should be viewed as a whole, so they’re pushing to make “limbic system” obsolete (the “old” brain). What I was referring to was our emotions. Emotions grounded on experience will be in the subconscious. The “neocortex” processes these emotions so that unlike other nonhuman animals, we have the capacity to judge. However, who is always the judge? The SELF. For me, the question is “why is the path to the self so tortuous and contradictory”? Why is it so hidden? As Jung or Taoism say, we have to find a balance between the shadow and the anima, or conscious and unconscious. The “self” is someone we have to monitor closely, perhaps because it is so unique, our brain has encapsulated it. Here’s an old video on Jung’s concept of self which I really like:

    • It’s a funny and old video but it tackles so many existentialist dilemmas. Several oriental religions state that there is no “self”, actually, but two opposing forces trying to reconcile until the end. However, western psychology changed this ancient belief for good, with the emergence of the “ego” and the “unconscious”, as Freud introduced the theory of human growth and development, implying that people do have a sense of “self” somewhere in their psyche, and each with their own stages. Jung went on to call these “symbols” and “collective unconscious”; neo-Freudians continued with psychoanalysis up to this day and age.

      • You deepened this post, Maria, with your insightful thoughts and that fascinating video. Many, many thanks for all you brought here today, from past and present travels.

      • Thanks to you for your clever posts, Ann.

      • Maureen

        I really appreciated your posts today, MariaF

      • Thanks Maureen! There are even more of these videos about Jung in YouTube, and they are so well made, IMOHO. They explain Jung’s concepts in a way that’s easy to understand. There’s one called “synchronicity” which I think also tackles the concept of time.

      • Here it is:

      • I don’t know that everything is necessarily “synchronised” in a symbolic matter, however, but this is what made Jung famous for his “collective unconscious”. Not everyone fully understands this, however.

      • More amazing video travels through these important theories, thanks to you, Maria.

  13. My time machine fantasy is what if the pioneer of something, like Stephenson’s Rocket, Fox Talbot’s photography, Henry Ford’s motor car, could see how it has developed?

    • Great fantasy, Derrick. I sometimes fantasize such things, like Jane Austen traveling through time to see how important her books have been to people.

  14. You are so wise!

  15. Your Time Machine post is so thought-provoking, Ann. I really the your quote from your therapy session. Interesting to speculate about the minds of bunnies, too. I’d like to think they’re too precoccupied with enjoying the present (lots of lovely clover!) to think about past or future. Perhaps we should do the same (minus the hunt for clover, of course).

  16. This has made me think of what it would be like to have a time machine and to be able to travel through time and take a peak at different things

  17. Those two diagrams are so true – depression or anxiety seems to be the two poisons at our disposal almost every day 🙂 And then the fun is how to twist those around to happiness which you seem to be able to do every day ~ really enjoyed this post and gets me thinking and pondering today which is always nice! Cheers ~

  18. And if I had a time machine, I would travel back to a time before you told me the “warm cookies until until 3 am” delivery place was coming to my neighborhood. 😝

  19. I’m proud of you for cookie-quitting to travel back in time with your high school classmates come September, Ann. That’s quite a resolve, my friend.

  20. Pingback: Day 1168: Times | The Year(s) of Living Non-Judgmentally

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