Updated: Jan 19, 2021
Some say it’s a mathematical trick played on the mind. The longer you live, the smaller percentage a year of your life amounts to, so it feels like it goes by quicker. Sounds reasonable, but it doesn’t fly. A year is still a year — 365 days. 24 hours in each day.
Seems to me that what matters is the amount of life each year, each day, represents. When you’re younger, things fill you with more wonder. Each day presents itself with its own small surprises: an open door, a cold night, a light rainfall, new things learned, new people met, new places seen. As you get older, though, you find yourself lapsing into more and more routines. You stop trying to learn, perhaps, because you feel the pressure to already have all the answers. You stop taking chances and, instead, spend your time adjusting to and apologizing for your mistakes.
But time doesn’t have to fly. Let it saunter. Each day at 50 can be just as long as it was at 5. It’s just a matter of being open to life’s small surprises. It’s a matter of seeing, listening, paying attention, being awake.
It’s easy to look back and think, “My, how time has flown.” But maybe it hasn’t. Maybe it’s actually taken its time. Perhaps time saunters after all. Maybe it’s just a matter of how deeply we’re living it.