It’s the end of the first month of this “New Year” (which is no longer all that new) and I can’t help but wonder: Where DID the time go?
I know it’s true that we perceive time as passing faster as we get older and I (basically) understand the neurological factors that cause the phenomenon. The thing is, understanding why it happens doesn’t make it any less disconcerting!
I remember being a kid, maybe nine or ten, and saying to my mother: “Don’t you just feel like you’ve been alive FOREVER? I do and I’m young. You? You’re ANCIENT!”
Now that I’m “ancient” myself, I completely comprehend and appreciate the dirty look my mother gave me that day.
But time going by faster these days isn’t all in my mind. Well, okay, technically, it is. I know there are still the standard 24 hours in each day and all that.
What I mean to say is that I really DO have less time these days. And by that, I mean “free time”: time to relax, sleep, be with friends, and basically enjoy the kind of leisure-dominated life I led as a child.
Which makes me wonder: Does the perception of time change based on what you’re doing with it?
As a kid, when all you do is play (and go to school once in a while), time seems like an ocean—a never-ending, massive body of water spread out beyond any limit that the eye can see.
But as a grownup, when you’re working and cleaning and cooking and trying to squeeze in exercise and hobbies and friends and, you know, eating and breathing? Time’s like a fast-moving stream of water flowing out of a small bottle—and you can see just how little of the water is left before it’s all gone.
Maybe the key is to take a cue from children and just . . . slow . . . things . . . down.
Maybe time would seem to move a little more slowly if we took a bit more of a break every now and then (which is unlikely in my case—my last vacation was my honeymoon, all the way back in March 2000).
The thing is, I love what I do and I’m glad I have so much on my plate and I adore the feeling of being absolutely exhausted—both mentally and physically—at the end of another hugely productive day.
So, I guess I just have to accept that time is going to keep rushing past and enjoy what I do with the hours I have, trying not to let that rapidly emptying water bottle give me the willies. At least not too much.
But all you normal people out there: Maybe try a nice vacation or a little time spent relaxing. Let me know if it helps.