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A Second Second Anniversary

Old-Timers' Time. Plus, The Alex and Ronni Show

Pretty much all old people complain about how time moves faster now than it did when we were younger. An hour can, and frequently does, feel like 10 minutes to me. But if you compare your clock to a young person's, they match no matter what your subjective estimate of time's passage is.

Children are well known to have an opposite “wait” problem with time. Even when their birthday is due in a week, it feels to them like the day will never arrive.

I have my own theory about what makes time perception so different between children and old people. I doubt it's unique – I probably read it somewhere but here it is:

Children have short attention spans. They switch what they are doing more frequently than grownups. Coloring is fine until the dog wanders by and the kid wants a snuggle. Then she settles down with a new favorite book until that pales and she tracks down the movie, Frozen. And so on.

In that same period of time, her grandmother has probably read a few news stories – one activity compared to several of the child's. The child, obviously has many different and more importantly, often new experiences in that period which tends to stretch out their time perception, making the activity more memorable than an adult's with fewer new activities.

I've spent a lot of time in my life trying to figure out the slipperiness of time and I've accumulated a small but impressive library of books on the subject.

The website, Exactly what is...TIME?, has collected a lot of information about time too and made it easy for non-philosophers and non-physicists to understand.

People have been trying to figure out time since – well, time immemorial. According to that website:

”Nearly two and a half thousand years ago, Aristotle contended that, 'time is the most unknown of all unknown things', and arguably not much has changed since then.”

No kidding.

In general, time cannot even be adequately defined. Many years ago, I kept a fortune cookie fortune taped to my desk because its definition of time seemed to me to be as good as anyone else's and practical too:

”Time is nature's way of making sure everything doesn't happen at once.”

Works for me. And now I find out that definition is prominently listed on the Time website, where you can also read about black holes (where time began?), the big bang, deep time, space-time and many other theories of time.

Not to mention an excellent sources and references section if you want to dig further and deeper.

Since the mysteries of time are unlikely to be solved any time soon, I'll see if there is anything I can do about my personal difficulty on the subject:

My lament nowadays is how long it takes to do almost anything compared to the past. Apparently I move at about half the speed I once did and time itself seems to be moving at least twice as fast as it did back then. You do the math – no wonder I'm always behind.

What about you?

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My former husband and I held our biweekly chitchat yesterday - The Alex and Ronni Show. We discussed my “new look”, parents, old age and related topics.


Such a svelte look for you that works with your finely-shaped head! I vote yes for this au natural look.

There is one advantage to this time compression thing. When I buy things online, I can choose the cheaper 3-4 day shipping option and to me , it feels like express mail.

You look great! I like this new look, it's cool! For a woman, any woman, to be accepting and okay with her physical self is always very cool. The first time I saw a totally bald woman was in a theater in New York. She was black, big earrings, great dress, and her head was so beautiful! Yours too!

And now that I've listened to the podcast..........yes, why not envision whatever you like for whatever comes after death? The multiverse is so beyond comprehension that anything we've imagined or dreamed or never considered is possible. It always amazes me how people can be absolutely sure about what will happen after we die. The next great adventure?

Love the commando look. And what a sweet pizza delivery boy!

I like the philosophy Bruce expressed. I've noticed that myself, and don't know whether I've become more patient, or it's just changes in my sense of time, but things do seem to arrive much sooner, even via the cheapest shipping rate.

Another interesting conversation between you and Alex again today. Your ability to have such a cogent, open and honest conversation about your thoughts and feelings on death and what might happen after that, is refreshing. And you both look great without hair! Kudos for embracing that!

Ronni, you look awesome!!!!


Your Montreal Fan

Ronni, you look really great. The sunglasses are wonderful.

I do think there's an afterlife. The what and why of it I can't explain. Maybe it's because I was the kind of child who sat the in backyard with my sister as we tried to levitate. At 6 and 8, we chalked our failure up to not knowing how to do it correctly. Then also I've experienced a number of things in my almost 80 years that I cannot explain in light of more "realistic" thought. Having had a biologist for a father, I'm aware that while things can become other matter/energy, it doesn't actually disappear. So I'm going with my gut feeling that there is more and what an adventure that will be. And, my heart feels I'll see those I miss in some other place in some form, so I'm going with that too. As Lily Tomlin's little 5 year-old character would say "and that's the truth," followed by a noisy raspberry.

You are GREAT !

You have a nicely shaped head! And, your complexion looks very smooth and pink.

As I age, I notice how quickly time flies. A year goes by very quickly.

Love the new look. Also loved the discussion and interplay with Alex.

At nearly 72, I'm in a continual argument with time, as there just isn't enough of it to do everything I'm still trying to do. (Maybe I need an attitude adjustment? :-)

I woke up this morning thinking about this, possibly from pondering on the subject of time from your post yesterday, Ronni.

For many years, when ever the topic of time comes up I have a little reminder in my head of the Time Warp song from Rocky Horror Picture Show. Now that I think about it, the older I get, the more this seems to happen. Listening more closely to the words, it occurs to me that the words may provide much insight into the discussion: "it's astounding . . . time is fleeting." Perhaps there is "a void that's calling. . . and in another dimension . . . we'll see all." Maybe we should just get comfortable with the "time slip and the mind flip," and just "do the Time Warp again."

I do like what Alex' dad said about we just go back to what we were before. Star dust in my mind.

Love your new look, you have the head that can carry it and those glasses are awesome.


Lately, I don’t know why, I’ve almost been obsessing about death. I’m 72 and still in good health. I am a widow with no children, but I have friends and keep active.

I’m not sure what I fear. I know it’s not pain because I feel confident there is relief for that.
It’s somewhat that I don’t want a long drawn out process in some nursing home, but of course, I could refuse to eat and drink, if I still had a mind. I’m not in an enlightened assisted dying state.

But even though I’m basically an agnostic/atheist, I fear the unknown. I’d rather it be oblivion and never again have to remember some of the loneliness of childhood or the mental hurt I dealt with, that had to do with my marriage in its later years.

I’m odd in that I hope there is nothing, because there’s no guarantee that it’d be good.

My perception of time has certainly changed over the years with days, weeks, months flying by faster with every passing year — a sense of not enough time to accomplish all I want to do.

The faster I go, the more behinder I get — but “fast” for me now has become quite a relative term as I seem to run out of gas much too soon compared to what I could accomplish only a few years ago. Some of what I used to achieve in a day gets spread over more than one day now.

But there’s something different going on. Even if I do nothing time escapes me, does not hang heavy on my hands, no time for boredom.

Hi Ronny, my mother loved your blog. i'm not sure if she ever wrote you any comments, but i know that she loved reading your blog. she passed away recently and i'm doing my best to thank those people that gave her joy or useful advice or perspective in her last few months of life. thank you for you blog.

isaac hou (writing on behalf of diana hou)

Glad to see you I haven't been doing very well myself I had a very bad fall and broke nine ribs had a splenectomy to go along with my hysterectomy and my appendectomy so I have become invalid. Your teeth look wonderful. Even had two weeks in rehab after hospital.
Then I had never been skunked because I can't walk and occupational therapist and physical therapy and I don't know what's going on myself so I just take stay home my husband is my best friend he helped me with the bet the most he can and I'm so glad I still have him God bless Sydney and I wish you a complete recovery.
Refuah Shlaymah.

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