Old-Timers' Time. Plus, The Alex and Ronni Show
Wednesday, 19 June 2019
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.”
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?
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.