Thursday, December 6, 2012

Why Time Goes Faster as You Get Older

Have you ever wondered why life seems to pass more quickly as you get older? Each year seems to go by faster and faster. (Wasn’t it just the 4th of July?)  You remember in vivid detail your childhood Christmases, but now they rush by year after year without making much of an impression. What's going on?
     I’ve heard it explained that the early years are full of first-time events - your first date, the birth of your first child, that first big vacation, etc. First occasions are novel events and we tend to make more detailed and lasting memories of those first times. When we repeat the event, year after year, it is less likely to make a unique or lasting impression.
     This doesn't just happen with life events, we can observe the same phenomenon in a shorter space of time. For instance, the first couple of days of your 2-week vacation seem long and leisurely, and the time goes slowly. You're thankful that you have two long weeks of this. But, the next thing you know, it's almost over and you are heading home!
     That new romance? Seems like an eternity between those early telephone calls, but before you know it, it's your 20th anniversary.
     Think about a new job. The first years go slowly and seem full of important accomplishments, then the next many years rush by in a blur.
     So here is the key to slowing down the pace of life.  As much as possible, take advantage of new and unique experiences. When we go to the same places and do the same things, we don't make distinct memories and time seems to fly by. Focus on positive (rather than negative) past memories, try to live more in the present, and hold a positive perception of the future - envisioning a future full of hope and optimism. In other words, use time wisely.


Margaret Tanner said...

Hi Rita,
Yes. The older we get the quicker the time goes. When I was a kid, it seemed like forever between one Christmas and the next. Now I feel as if I have just packed away the Christmas decorations when I have to get them out again.



Caroline Clemmons said...

You're right, of course, Rita. Yes, it was just the 4th of July a couple of weeks ago. ☺ And this is a very good time to live in the present and recall only good memories.

Joan Hall Hovey said...

In my 7th decade, I'm reminded of those calendar pages flying by that they used in old movies to show the passing of time. So quickly the days, the months, the years fly by. You are so right, Ginger. We must use our time wisely. All my best, always.


Rita Karnopp said...

Isn't that the truth, Margaret. Summer vacations as a kid seemed forever ... now summer seems two weeks long . . . I think the fact we are so busy these days adds to that speed. :) Rita

Rita Karnopp said...

I love your comment about a good time to live in the present and recall only good memories . . . it's such a lovely way to put it. Thank you, Caroline. :) Rita

Rita Karnopp said...

Joan . . . this is the image I have, too . . . I'm always saying; 'Isn't it Friday yet?' I'm going to stop that ... and like Caroline put it 'live in the moment.' Thanks for the comment, Rita.

J Q Rose said...

Time flies when you're having goes the cliche. So I think it's great if time goes quickly. That means we're having fun!!

Heather Haven said...

Love it, Rita, and you have the right idea. Jamie Lee Curtis said recently in an interview that the older we get, the less new things we try. We're always after our kids or grandkids to try new things, but we're unwilling. That's what turns us into fuddy-duddys! After her interview, at least once a week I make it a point to try or do something I haven't done before. Maybe I have to rinse my mouth out afterward (Escargo, really? Didn't I see you in my garden yesterday?) or I get lost, but hey, that's what a GPS is for! Living in the moment helps to keep us young...or from becoming utterly boring.

Sheila Claydon said...

So true Rita. Now I'm off to look for a new experience:-) Thank you for reminding me of what I should know but often forget.

Kathy Fischer-Brown said...

So true. The really scary part is when your kids start seeing life in the same way. Then know you're really old.


Rita Karnopp said...

Good point .... 'let's have a party'... Rita

Rita Karnopp said...

I like that way of thinking, Heather... your comment was a hoot! Rita

Rita Karnopp said...

I will look for the unexpected today... I'm sure it won't be as bold as Heather's escargo though!! :) Rita

Rita Karnopp said...

Too funny, Kathy ... and so true... I'm not going there!! giggle :) Rita

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