Monday, October 11, 2010

Time

“Time waits for no one…” - Rolling Stones

My father warned me: time will go faster as you get older. He was right. It seems I took the tarps off my porch furniture a few weeks ago and now the leave are turning. Where did the summer go? I still have mini-golf coupons I meant to use – now expired. I thought I had plenty of time.

Why is time moving faster? I recall Einstein had something to say about time. I’m not a physicist, but I don’t think he’s going to be any help. It’s in my head.

Time hasn’t changed; it’s not really accelerating. My perception of time has changed. Is it because every day feels the same? Have I been in my routines so long that every day just melds into the next? I can do things in the same exact pattern every week, and that makes every week the same. Is the similarity and lack of novelty making time seem faster?

It does scare me. It goes too fast now. At this rate, in just a few months of perceived-time I’ll be really old, slower, and less capable.

“Hours are like diamonds, don’t let them waste…” - Rolling Stones

What to do? How do I slow it down?

Time goes quicker when I’m “in the zone” – writing a story, figuring out a challenging coding problem, or yoga class (sometimes). I’m happy when I’m zoning, but time moves even faster.

I really dislike flying. When I’m aloft, time crawls. Perhaps that’s the secret – just make yourself miserable and time will slow down. That doesn’t seem like a good idea either though.

Is the problem due to the lost hours? Hours drugged out on TV or the internet (billions of website and not one interesting thing to read)? Time has a way of getting away from you during the lost hours. It doesn’t go fast, but it disappears just the same. I finally turn the device off and wonder what happened to the last few hours.

I’m not sure if I can change any of this, but a few things seem clear. If it’s going to go fast anyway, I might as well spend as much time as I can zoning – at least that feeling of engagement with life is satisfying. I should minimize the number of lost hours. I should interrupt my routines more often to make the weeks different – cause some days or weeks to stand out more.

In the end, I just have to accept it – and do my best to enjoy what little perceived-time may be left.

1 comment:

Perplexio said...

There's something about the passage of time on airplanes and in hospitals. It's as if time is somewhat elastic and it tends to stretch out when you're in the hospital or on an airplane (or at an airport).

It really does a number on a person's perception of time too. Hours feel like days, days feel like weeks.

Whereas the good times bend the opposite direction, they compress instead of stretch. Time passes far too quickly. Days feel like hours and hours like minutes.