Some say time is relevant. Others say it’s measurable and quite finite. Religions have different views of time and theories that vary considerably. For instance, some believe the so-called seven days of creation might have been several hundred years of evolution. Whether it was guided or not might be the province of another column or debate. I leave that to your own beliefs. I just want to assert my view on time, which has changed so much as I’ve gotten older.
I remember so clearly my take on time when I was a kid. The school year seemed interminable and when summer arrived, it felt like this long oasis of potential fun and adventure. When summer inevitably ended and the school year began again, I was sure I’d never see the next summer, it was so far away. Now, when summer begins, it feels like the blink of an eye given how quickly it passes.
When I was a kid, the big events that lay ahead often kept me up at nights, sleepless with excitement – especially the night before. We often went to Disneyland for my birthday and the few weeks before felt so far away. Now, whenever we plan something – however far away – I know that it will seem to come up very quickly.
The biggest change in my perception of time was after having my boys. I now look at my almost 20-year-old and my almost 17-year-old and simply think of the Fiddler on the Roof lyric, “Wasn’t it yesterday when they were young…” I stand next to my 6 foot 3 inch older son, look up at him, and remember when he was crawling at my feet. My 17-year-old drives, is fully independent, yet I picture in my mind the doll-like picture I have of him when we took a professional photo one time when he was a baby.
There was always – until recently – the only time I was assured that time would slow down which was when I was in pain and/or sick. I had a painful shoulder surgery many years ago and time did slow down a bit during that recovery, but since then, the rare times I’m hurt or get sick – even though my healing takes longer with age – I seem to turn around and I’m better. The cold is over; the sore is mostly scabbed and healed.
My theory of time is one I’ve not heard elsewhere. It basically is that we view time in relation to where we are in the length of our life. Naturally, no one knows how long they’ll live but on the assumption we might live to be 80 I believe that when we’re 8 years old and have only lived 10% of our life, facing 90% ahead of us, time goes slowly. On the other hand, when were 72 and have already lived 90% of our lives that last 8-years/10% zips by.
I know this theory has no basis in anything other than perception. Mine.
I’ve also read and heard that time is not linear in the views of some religions. I heard a fascinating explanation of this a long time ago. I don’t remember a lick of it, other than it had something to do with an oblong circle of time. Who knows?
Based on how long my parents lived, I would be lucky to have lived 2/3 or my life so far, leaving a possible 1/3 left. I find that almost impossible to believe. Heck, my dad is now gone nearly ten years. I feel as if I just buried him. I can’t believe – since I still occasionally have dreams about my parents – that both have been gone many years now.
Soon, baring bad luck, both my boys will be living out of our house. My wife and I have pretty much decided to re-locate when our youngest graduates high school. We will then embark on our last chapter. I know it will speed by.
Will it go even faster if/when the boys get married and/or have children? I don’t know? I do know that the exciting trip we’ve got planned for December/January, which now is months away, will be here in a flash. I know that while I’m on that trip, perhaps the only thing that will seem slow will be the very long flight(s) to get to the Middle East where our trip begins. The same will hold true for the even longer trip back from South Africa.
Then it will then be 2014. I’ll be checking the ski reports and before I know it, we’ll be skiing. Next thing, I’ll be attending first my younger son’s high school graduation, and then my older son’s college graduation.
Shortly thereafter, I will qualify for both Social Security and Medicare. And then, I will look in the mirror and mouth, “WTF!”
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