Earlier this month Liz and I made a real nice trip, combining some vacation days with work and a wedding.
Our sequence was from Wooster (Ohio) to Louisville (Kentucky), to Nashville (Tennessee), to Charlotte (North Carolina), to Peach Tree (Georgia), back to Charlotte, then Cheraw (South Carolina) and back to Wooster. We drove over 2200 miles and really enjoyed the trip.
To entertain ourselves we started checking the license plates of every car and truck around us, collecting the different states we could find.
In the beginning the list grew fast: Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Kentucky, Illinois, Wisconsin…
Obviously as the list got longer it became progressively more difficult to find new ones. We would celebrate finding the more difficult ones: California, Rhode Island, Washington, Alaska, and we learned there are many trucks with license plates from Maine (we still wonder why).
As we passed 30 of the 50 states it started to be really hard to find additional ones, but we kept looking. By the time we reached the furthest point of our trip we had added the Southern states (North Carolina, South Carolina, Alabama, Georgia, Florida) and our list was at 41.
Sometimes I drove dangerously close to other cars to try to read the plates. When we were half way back, and still with 41 I passed a truck and I had to slow down to confirm: got Oregon for 42. Already in Ohio a pick truck passed us and we could read North Dakota: 43, which ended up being the final number.
The problem came after the trip: after doing this experiment for 11 days, I can’t stop! More than a week later I am still looking at the plates of every vehicle around me. I don’t want to, but I can’t shake it.
I am obsessed! I need therapy!!!
The human brain is amazing: by doing something repeatedly it becomes a habit, then you do it naturally.
This applies to good things and bad things, good thoughts and bad thoughts.
Now I understand better why Paul says in his letter to the Philippians:
“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”
P.S. Yesterday I saw South Dakota, but I don’t think I should count. That trip is over.