Moving Day, Part 3 – Time Flies
Moving also reveals how fast time “flies.” I moved offices two years ago, but it seems it was two months ago. So what’s up with time going by so fast?
One view says it’s not time that’s passing quickly, it’s our perception of time. Paul Janet theorized that time’s value decreases as we age because it represents an increasingly smaller chunk of life—sort of a time inflation effect. Thus, a day for a one-week-old is 14% of its existence, but a day at age 60 is only .005%.
But that seems insufficient. For example, what we experience affects how we view time. Pleasant experiences (like my favorite football team having a dominant win) seem to go faster, while a poorly played game drags on. The days leading up to a highly anticipated event take forever but normal days pass quickly (why do the last two days of the work week seem so much longer than the two days of the weekend?).
“One hour spent in the company of a beautiful girl passes more quickly than an hour spent in a dentist chair.” Albert Einstein
It’s difficult to measure an hour on the back porch at my sister’s house in Mars Hill, North Carolina, looking at Nofat Mountain and listening to the wind through the trees. Time seems to lose its value altogether vacationing on the Frio River in Leakey, Texas. We’re off the grid—no internet or cell phone reception—and without relevant time markers, we have to work to remember what day it is.
“And Your Point Is…?”
It comes down to how we live our lives in the time afforded to us.
We can’t “buy some time” or “spend time,” though we often speak in those terms. We think of “investing” time, but we actually aren’t. We can’t actually “manage” time. Time is not a commodity. Time is not money. It’s not a resource; it’s not consumed or reclaimed. These are analogies to help us understand that time just is, and we happen to occupy a range of it as we live our lives.
The Big Picture
It’s a wisdom issue: We can make the most of every minute, hour, day and week on meaningful things, or we can … not.
“I wasted time, and now doth time waste me.” Shakespeare
So what will you do in your life’s time?