Time flies when you’re NOT having fun?

ACM Ubiquity – Why Does Time Go Faster As We Get Older? – by Philip Yaffe

If accumulating milestones is truly the secret of the accelerating years, what do we do about it? Basically nothing; we just have to accept it. However, this is not necessarily a negative. True, the good things are coursing away faster and faster into the past. But so are the not-so-good things.

I came across the above-mentioned article today and found it very interesting. Interesting enough for me to email the author and ask him about his conclusions. The author is about 20 years my senior so I was interested in any insight he might have had on the topic of why life seems to speed up, the older you get.

Whats perplexing about this idea, is that 1)I have noticed it, and 2) I don’t feel like I am doing half as much as I used to, yet it still seems to flying by, time that is. Why is that?

Is it because I am thinking about it? When you are young you never worry about how much time something takes. You don’t worry if you’ll have enough time to do something. You just do it. Wasting an entire day watching all of the Lord of the Rings movies would be nothing for a younger person to consider, but for me I would feel like I wasted that time. Not that I wouldn’t enjoy watching those movies, in sequence, all together but I would feel like I could have been doing “something else” more important.

I guess that’s the rub to it all. You as a person getting older, would always feel, in the back of your mind that there is a better way to spend what precious time you have left on this world. And do we ever do that “something else”? What is that “something else”? How do we know if we’ve done that “something else”? Maybe this is why time goes so quickly, because we’re always worrying about that “something else”.

What is it about the process of aging that causes us to reflect on what these milestones (as the author posits) are that we’re accumulating. Is it the supposed accumulation of wisdom that causes us to reflect in this manner? Is it because we think too much about such nonsensical ideas? Maybe we should be thinking more about whether the new carpet should be blue or green? Or whether to buy a blue BMW or a green Mercedes. Are we somehow not satisfied with the way our life is going that we need to reflect on why it isn’t good enough or find reasons to be not-accepting of the way it is going and realizing time seems to be speeding up as one “found” conclusion?

Many questions, not enough answers…maybe that’s the problem. Too much thinking.
In any case read the article, its very good. It makes you think.


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