Where Did All Your Time Go? And What to Do About It

by ERIK ORTON

The longer we live, the faster time moves.  We can all feel that.  When we’re kids, summer vacations stretch on forever.  Not anymore.  A semester used to be an eternity.  Not anymore.  But why?  Christian Yates, at the University of Bath talks about logarithmic time, “The idea is that we perceive a period of time as the proportion of time we have already lived through."  I love how this first video explains the math and the psychology of logarithmic time.  It all makes perfect sense. 

But then there’s the heart and the spirit; how we actually experience things.  This second video covers that beautifully.

I know the second half of my life will only be a fraction of the first. I know that if I don’t do the things that matter most now, I simply won’t do them.  Time is spiraling faster and faster.  But I’ve also learned how to slow it down. 

Time slows down when I experience something new.  When I travel to a new country, learn a new skill or make a new friend, time slows down.  Preparing a new recipe, driving to a new place, speaking a new language all slow down time.  The more unfamiliar, the slower time moves.  We pay attention to everything.  We have to.  We become children again, because everything is new.

Settling back into the familiar, time speeds up again.  Our minds and hearts relax.  We don’t need to pay as close attention.  We don’t need to exert ourselves as much.  Comfortable can be good.  We need rest.  There’s a reason children, especially babies, sleep a lot.  Their minds and bodies are exploding with growth.  The familiar gives us a chance to rest.

If my everyday is filled with vapid activities and hollow relationships, I am wasting my life.  If it is filled with new explorations and meaningful slowness, I feel like it is time well spent.

Familiar and unknown.  Rest and Growth.  Fast and slow. 

 

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