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All In Due-Over Time

November 20, 2014

“I have gone to find myself. Should I return, before I get back, capture me and demand to know where the time machine is and what I have done with myself.”

FOREWARNING: This week’s article FOCUSES (shameless plug) on a variety of time travel. If the concept of time travel being presented in a “variety” and in several different tasty metaphorical flavors befuddles you, it may warp your perception and cause irreplaceable damage to your personal space/time continuum. You may read this and feel that you should go back and read it again...and that might be OK.

Oh s***! Why did I say that to her? Now everyone’s talking and turning a friendly compliment into a flirtatious advance. Now the rumor mill’s spinning out of control and there’ll be a confrontation for sure. I wish I hadn’t said anything! If only I could just...

Or maybe it goes something like this...

Everything was going great. We were happy and so in love and then...You know I know exactly when things started to go sour. It was when we were shopping for washing machines. If there was a way to return to that moment. If there was a way to just...

Or perhaps even something like this?

Oh why, oh why did I eat that lobster and tapioca burrito? Now the whole night’s ruined. Feeling so sick now, I’m gonna have to go home and miss girls’ country karaoke night out. I feel so stupid and puked on my new boots! If only I hadn’t eaten it. I wish I could just...

Just what? Go back? Unsay, undo... uneat? Do you want to re-live and change that moment? Or warn yourself in advance of a situation that will have a negative outcome? Maybe you want to return to a point in the past as an observer and alter the events from outside the time line. It goes without saying that at some point or another everyone (aside from a perfect few) entertain such thoughts. Thoughts that implicate time-travel.

This line of thinking is completely normal, logical and in some cases necessary. When faced with a negative present result of a past event it’s only natural to reflect back. To consider what could have been done differently in the past to have avoided it in the present so it doesn’t happen again in the future. Or put more simply: to learn from our mistakes. In addition, daydreaming of days of future past can relax the mind and remind us that there can be a positive outcome. But you can’t live in the daydream.

We are all familiar with the warnings and psychological damage than can occur from “living in the past.” Holding onto and constantly reminiscing our glory days and the best times of our lives makes the present depressing and the future seem impossible. What’s far worse is imagining the past but altering our memories of the events in an attempt to change the present. Focusing our full mental capacity to create a fictional ripple in time that reaches tidal wave capacity in our present. Then as the wave crashes to shore, sorrow and depression follows when we realize our shoreline is the same. Yet we fight and try again and again. Thinking that if we could just imagine it hard enough it would break the barriers of reality and undo all the negativity of our current situation.

Over time this type of thinking can warp long-term memories and cause real memories to deteriorate into fictions, variations of themselves. Eventually this leads to a complete loss of reality, in the sense that nothing being imagined in the past is present in the present. Each time sinking further into fiction and further out of sync with the real world. In the end a “time traveler” becomes nothing more than an empty shell. Existing solely in their own sub-conscious, alternate world they have created. Not living in the past but rather in a present that does not exist.

So aside from costly therapy and/or psychotropic drugs what do you do? How do you escape your own mind before becoming lost within it? Coming to the realization that what you’re mentally implying is time travel and that time travel is impossible (presently) is a good start. Then direct your attention on what you control in the present and how it will alter tomorrow. In addition, distracting yourself with pleasant present activities can help pull you out of your mind. If all else fails yell at yourself! Seriously! If you’re yelling really loud at yourself your mind cannot concentrate on impossible thoughts and scenarios. Kind of like shocking yourself back into the realistic present with a spontaneously loud noise. WARNING: Do not do this in public unless completely necessary.

Questions, comments and column ideas are welcome via through the Focus, or just E-mail me at or you can FRIEND me on Facebook under Saw’s Brood!

Hope to hear from ya, until then try and stay focused. See ya!




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