Grandma Walters used to say “the older you get, the faster time flies”. She usually followed her statement with a deep sigh. I find myself sighing more often these days.
I remember being thirteen and thinking that my fourteenth birthday would never arrive. I don’t know why 14 was so important, but it seemed like a major milestone at the time. Now 48 turns into 53 in the blink of an eye, to the point where I sometimes struggle to remember if I’m 52 or 53 this year. I guess the answer’s pretty obvious if I can’t remember.
This story on National Public Radio gave me a little comfort and confirmed that Grandma was right.
Have you noticed…that when you recall your first kisses, early birthdays, your earliest summer vacations, they seem to be in slow motion?
That’s because when it’s the “first”, there are so many things to remember. The list of encoded memories is so dense, reading them back gives you a feeling that they must have taken forever. But that’s an illusion. “It’s a construction of the brain,” says [neuroscientist David] Eagleman. “The more memory you have of something, you think, ‘Wow, that really took a long time!’
It used to take a full year–three hundred and sixty five days–to go from Christmas to Christmas. Now I put the decorations away and it seems like I’m getting them out again in just a few months. Who shortened the year?
And didn’t we just celebrate the turn of the century?
Does time fly for you?