FRAZIER: Time flies when you are having a good time and when you get older
Published 4:00 am Saturday, September 2, 2023
I blinked my eyes, and it was fall.
This may sound like a catchy first sentence in a novel, but I’m not trying to write a book — at least not yet.
I was actually thinking about how this year is just flying by. In fact, it seems as if the last few decades of my life have happened in the blink of an eye.
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In reflecting on why this phenomenon seems to happen as we grow older — time seems to stand still when we are children — I decided to scout out theories from my good friend Google.
One hypothesis I found on the conversation website suggests the passage of time has to do with the proportion of time we have already lived through.
“To a 2-year-old, a year is half of their life,” the website stated, “which is why it seems such an extraordinarily long period of time to wait between birthdays when you are young. But for a 10-year-old, a year is only 10 percent of their life, making for a slightly more tolerable wait.”
Another premise the website suggests as to why time flies as we grow older is due to our metabolism and breathing and heart rates: “Children’s biological pacemakers beat more quickly meaning that they experience more biological markers (heartbeats, breaths) in a fixed period of time, making it feel like more time has passed.”
Another assumption I found at studyfinds.org. stated as we age, time seems altered because the brain’s imaging speed causes the perception of time to speed up.
“Because older people are processing far fewer images within a given amount of time than they used to in their youth, it feels like time is passing at a faster rate,” the website read.
Regardless of these psychological or physiological theories, time is not negotiable. Just ask the National Institute of Standards and Technology or the United States Naval Observatory, which is tasked with being our official and highly precise timekeeping services. These two federal agencies’ clocks are kept synchronized with each other as well as with those of other international timekeeping organizations.
No eye-blinking or heart-beating speculations under their watch. Just the tick-tock of the clock.
However, even with this knowledge, when I ran across yet another explanation as to why time seems to accelerate as we grow older, I sat up and took notice. Because this concept clocked me in the face. The illustration correlated age and time or the lack thereof, with having to do with how we live our lives.
“Stress, stress and more stress,” the Psychology Today website stated, can cause one to feel as if time is passing by too quickly. “The feeling that there is not enough time to get things done may be reinterpreted as the feeling that time is passing too quickly.”
And while trying to get it all done in a timely fashion may sometimes be a challenge, the website suggests sitting back and smelling the roses.
So, there it is, plain and simple.
If I don’t want time to continue feeling like it’s whizzing by, it’s up to me to quit stressing over every little thing.
And perhaps, just perhaps, if I manage to succeed, there will be time enough to write that novel.