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Where does the time go?

Published on
01 July 2010

It’s July 1st. How did half the year get by me already?

When in grade school, summers seemed long & luxurious. Lots of time to do all the things that I wanted, plus extra things that were not on my personal to do list (like paint the laundry room in the basement). I had what seemed an infinite time to read, visit friends, go to camp, ride bikes, climb trees, build forts, etc, etc.

Now everything seems to be a blur. Is it just that time moves more quickly, or do I move more slowly?

There is a theory that each year of one’s life passes more quickly than the previous because it represents a smaller percentage of one’s total life. [My initial reaction to that was “hunh?”]

The math experts explain it this way: When you are 10 years old, one year of your life is 10% of your lifespan. But, when you are 50 years old, one year is just 2% of your lifespan, so it seems to go by a lot faster. In other words, it’s all relative.

Which brings me to Albert Einstein’s Big Idea: Time is Relative. He hypothesized that time moved slower or faster depending upon the speed that one thing moves in relation to another. He was able to prove mathematically that as one approaches the speed of light time passes much more slowly than it does for those of us stuck at human speed.

This helps me understand why time moves so slowly for young kids — they have a lot of energy, and move a lot more quickly than adults! So, seems to me the message is that if we want to slow things down, we need to speed ourselves up!