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Time Hourglass

I was talking to a good friend of mine and she asked me “do you think that time moves faster in the second half of life than the first?” I agreed that time does seem to move faster the older we get. I know that linear time stays constant but our perception of time passing changes.

A great metaphor for time speeding up is to watch the sand fall through an hourglass. We know that the rate that the sand falls through the opening never changes but the level of the sand falling in the top half speeds up as the sand diminishes.

I think that the major reason that time seems to move much slower when we are young is because everything we encounter as children and young adults is new. Encountering new experiences slows time as we become absorbed in the wonders of discovery. When we are young, everything is new.

As we age, everything becomes old. Do you have those times when nothing sounds good to eat? You might feel bored with the same foods that you have eaten over and over again. You crave something new to excite the palate but you rack your brain trying to think what that might be. And if you are like me, when I find something new to eat, I eat it to death. Over and over until that, too, becomes old and no longer excites. The same phenomenon can occur with lots of other situations in our lives: our jobs, our relationships, our sex life, our wardrobe, our geography.

Another phenomenon of time is that it has no anchor. I have found that after retiring from a job with a regular schedule, I am now a resident in No-Time-Land. Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays no longer have the special magic they used to and Mondays don’t have to be dreaded. Every day is pretty much the same as another. Most mornings I have to lay around awhile when I wake to figure out which day it really is. I am not yet sure if this speeds up or slows down time, though.

So the key to slowing time in the 2nd half of our lives is to make everything old new again. Here are a few thoughts on how to do this:

  1. Become as childlike as possible. Playing will help you view the world through eyes of awe and wonder.
  2. Travel. Visiting new places we have never been before creates new experiences and we are absorbed into the moment, forgetting the passage of time.
  3. Find a new hobby that you can passionately immerse yourself in. Whenever we become turned on by learning, time disappears.
  4. Any form of meditation or focusing of the mind will bring you into the present moment, which slows time down.
  5. Watch time pass. Have you ever noticed how slow time moves when you are watching the clock? Especially if you are waiting for time to pass.

I am open to suggestions to add to this list. I bet you have some ideas about how to slow time down and I would love to hear them…

Copyright © 2014 Drake Bear Stephen. Except where acknowledged. http://www.DrakeInnerprizes.com