June 19, 2012 — I don’t like to be wrong. And, it’s hard to admit it when I am. But, right here, right now, I have to say I was pretty naïve to think my life would be different than everyone else’s.
Did I really think I was that special?
The older I get, the more I realize I was wrong to think all those people who advised me to enjoy life because it goes by way too quickly were actually right.
I am still having trouble wrapping my head around the idea that life speeds up as you age. Scientifically, it doesn’t make sense to me.
Time doesn’t actually slow down or speed up, it just feels that way because our perception of time changes over the years. Some say its because the proportion of time decreases compared to the number of years you’ve been alive.
So when you’re 10 years old, a year is 10 percent of your whole life.
But, at age 50, a year only accounts for two percent of your life. Thus, a single year is worth less in proportion to the rest of your lifespan. Hmmm … that makes sense.
Then again, maybe the pace of time has to do with our ability to grasp the concept of time.
When we’re younger, we live more in the moment, with new, distinct experiences popping up all around us.
In adulthood each passing year converts our experiences into daily routines we hardly notice.
The days and weeks blend together and become indistinguishable.
Adults have more past experiences to obsess about and we increasingly project our mind into the future, worrying about such things as getting a job and longing for possessions.
We have trouble staying and living in the moment.
There is also a theory that as we get older, bodily processes slow down.
As our internal clock runs slower and slower compared to the external calendar, time passes much faster than we expect it to. While these are just theories, they may all play a part in this phenomenon we humans witness.
For me, the speed of time is directly related to my to do list.
Time passes faster when I feel rushed and can’t get things done. As I’ve gotten older, life has gotten bigger.
After all, I am not just taking care of my needs and wants anymore.
I am now responsible for my family, a mortgage, pets, work, school, ballet, softball, groceries, yard work, cleaning, cooking, organizing, shopping, paying bills, etc.
Life is so much more complicated than it was just 10 short years ago.
I have 10 times more things to do on any given day, but still only 24 hours in which to do it all.
There will never be enough time to get everything done. Duh.
While I can’t change my biological clock, I can work on living in the moment and being more mindful about daily experiences.
Although, I do love to plan for the future, but I don’t spend a lot of time worrying about what is to come. I am blessed with the ability to adapt and be flexible.
Instead of worrying about the future, I rely on faith to guide me.
Being mindful of everyday experiences is another story, however. Since I am very task-oriented, I tend to enjoy results more than the process.
The numerous experiences that fill a day often do not make it onto my radar as I plow forward to the destination. In my quest to get things done, I suspect I miss some of the most important parts of living.
Slowing down and simplifying my life might be the answer to decreasing the pace of time since it seems the busier I am the faster time goes by.
Now I just need to figure out how to live more minimally and leisurely in a house full of kids, pets, laundry, dishes, dirt and everything else that needs my attention on a daily, if not hourly, basis. Wish me luck!
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