The Bridge

Bridges symbolize change and flexibility! They show us this simple philosophy: When you are on one side, you can easily move to the other side.––Mehmet Murat Ildan

Last weekend my family and I went to visit the Natural Bridge –– a place that Thomas Jefferson described as “ the most sublime of nature’s works.” He bought it and the surrounding property and kept it throughout his life, even when other possessions were sold to bolster his finances. The bridge is indeed sublime.

We’ve lived in Rockbridge County, Virginia, for seven years. The Natural Bridge that the county name derives from is no more than 15 minutes from our home. But I had never visited it until this week.

After a few moves over the years, I’ve noticed that when I arrive in a new place, if I don’t visit the historical sites –– the local attractions––fairly soon after getting settled, the likelihood that I will ever visit those things decreases over time. Perhaps I get too settled, and the routine supplants the curiosity and wonder that should accompany living in a new place, the curiosity and wonder that an attraction like the Natural Bridge should elicit.

I think the same might also be true if we make a point of getting out to discover our new environment. The more things we see and experience, the more likely we are to maintain our curiosity and keep visiting new things. Our friends, the Jones’, made a point of getting out to see the sights when they first moved here, and now, many years later, they still do.

What motivated me to finally visit Natural Bridge?

Our son has been home from college for a few months and said, “What is there to see? What is there to do?” He’s never lived here; he left on a mission the same week we moved here and was off to college right after that.

He asked, “What about the Natural Bridge?” And so, we went.

Not only is the rock bridge awe-inspiring, but we got some exercise en route and enjoyed an opportunity to spend time together.

Whenever someone new is in our life, family, or team, they ask questions like, “Why do you do X like this? Why don’t you do Y like this?

I could have shut our son down—I could have said, “I have too much to do.” And I’ve done that before. So, I know that the more often we say no, the more often we are too busy to do something different, the easier it is to say no the next time. And the next. This time, I instead took it as an invitation to break out of my routine and experience something I should have experienced before I ever settled into that routine here seven years ago.

“Why don’t I do it like this, this time?”

I think I will.

There’s a new memory created—a new neural pathway and a bridge in the brain that could become increasingly natural.

All because of an invitation to do something different, to jump to a tiny new S Curve.

This coming Saturday, we’ll check out the Appalachian Trail. Not all 2200 miles of it stretching from Georgia to Maine, but the length that runs through Rockbridge County, only a few miles from our home.

This week’s podcast also inspired our trip to Natural Bridge. My dear friend, Richie Norton, has a book out this week titled Anti-Time Management. He has a moving personal story (you will want to listen) which led him to the acronym TIME (Today Is My Everything!). If today is your everything, what will you do?

If you respond with one thing you are doing differently because you listened to this interview with Richie Norton, you will be eligible for 1 of 10 free copies of his book. It doesn’t need to be a big thing or a lengthy response. One sentence is ENOUGH!

Today really is your everything!

My best,