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EMBRACE THE NOSTALGIA Harnessing the Power of Time Travel
During these cold post-holiday months, life slows down and people have a lot more time for personal reflection. Lately, I’ve found myself thinking back on some of the most inspirational and gripping experiences I’ve had, and I can’t help but wish I had the power of time travel. That way, I could go back and relive the most important days of my life. Just for this edition of the newsletter, I want you to bear with me. Let’s pretend that I’m Marty McFly from “Back to the Future” or Billy Pilgrim in “Slaughterhouse-Five” and have actually mastered the art of time travel. With my newly harnessed power, the first day I would travel to originally took place on a nice summer’s day in 2007: the day my wife Adrienne and I got married. It was a meaningful day for a multitude of reasons. I got to see Adrienne walk down the aisle looking perfectly resplendent in her dress. Then surrounded by our families and friends, we were able to celebrate our relationship and love for each other. But as anyone who has been married will tell you, your wedding day flies by way too quickly! In fact, neither of us got to have a slice of wedding cake until 11:00 p.m. After we did the initial cutting, we were so busy thanking guests, being social, and going through the motions of all the traditions that we weren’t able to sit down and enjoy our dessert. Reliving this day would allow me to enjoy all the same fun I had the first time around, but I would take the time to slow down and truly relish how special the event was. And perhaps I’d steal a few bites of cake!
Dr. Gilbert’s daughter Emily, born in 2009.
Dr. Gilbert’s son Alex, born in 2011.
After reliving my wedding day back in 2007, I would hop in my time machine and travel a few years into the future. I’d stop in 2009, when Adrienne and I had our daughter Emily. Then, I’d stop again in 2011 to relive the day my son Alex experienced the world for the first time. Fortunately for us, both birthing experiences went really well, so there aren’t any problems I’d like to go back and resolve. But similar to my wedding day, both of my kids’ birthdays happened so quickly that it seemed like I had barely blinked and the day was over. People say you never forget the moment you become a parent. While I never will, I do think it would be great to
have the option to go back and experience the emotions, the excitement, fear, and hopefulness all over again. As my time-traveling abilities wane and I return to present day, I’ll continue to look on the memories of these three special days fondly. Maybe someday, scientists will be able to figure out a way for me to actually return to them. But for now, I guess I’ll just have to continue to do what we all do: close our eyes and embrace the nostalgia.
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