I finished The Time Traveler’s Wife a few weeks back. It has been tugging at the corner of my mind since then, not quite done with.
I have been interested in time for a while now.
In how it stretches and tightens and is far less static than I used to assume. How the direction is not a given although the passing of it is.
I guess this is where it intersects with age.
I have been thinking about age too.
A few weeks ago, I was in a restaurant. Halfway through the evening, the room gradually quietened as one party started singing Happy Birthday. The rest of the diners quickly joined in, which was kinda sweet and not unusual, but what caught my attention was the oohs and aaaahs that followed the announcement of the Birthday Girl’s age. 84.
It is funny that something we (I) celebrate decreasingly eventually flips. We spend years wanting things to speed up, then regret the time passing, and then finally stand back again.
Perception is a wonderful thing.
We have no control over the ticking of the minutes or the passing of the years, but we can change how we experience them.
We can change how we experience them.
We were talking about time in the office last week. About how it flies when we are doing the same thing and about how it slows right back down when we’re packing in lots of new experiences. How years that are marked with job changes or house moves or new adventures seem far fuller and lengthier than those where we have been stuck in a groundhog day routine of getting up and going to work and coming home and doing the same thing all over again.
There is, apparently, some science behind this. When we do things for a first time, “we tend to make more detailed and lasting memories”; further down the line, the event becomes a little meh.
I love this.
I had noticed that my 101 challenges thing stretched out the summer and that last year, when a lot went on for me, felt far far longer than the proceeding ones – but I hadn’t realised the reason, nor recognised that it was replicable.
It is incredibly exciting to think that packing in new things – or doing old things in new ways – could make it feel less like time is running away.