They’ve done studies (pardon the Wikipedia link) where the older you are, the faster time seems to be moving. There are a lot of reasons for this, but one, I think, is because each year that passes becomes a smaller and smaller percentage of your life. At 50, one year is only 2% of your life. But when you’re 10, it is 10%.
By 50, I’ve lived through so many years, so many seasons, so many recurring things like elections, Olympics, taxes, birthdays, holiday seasons.. That every time one comes up, it feels like just another one. Since my kids became teenagers, each passing year stopped having so many major milestones and physical growth for them. So time has reverted back to “every year is much like every other”. And the pandemic has made it all worse. The past three years all feel like one time period, discrete, isolated, outside of normal time. And the pandemic isn’t over.
Of course, when I think back to what has happened over the past three years, there is a lot. Work, personal projects, a few trips, major accomplishments by the kids (like college!), deaths… But it all shrinks together unless I purposely think about all the smaller pieces individually.
The same goes for the past 50 years. It feels like just yesterday I was in high school. Not over 30 years ago. But when I think about all the things I’ve done SINCE high school… jobs, marriage, my kids’ entire childhoods, their entire homeschooling years, divorce, 10+ years with Rory, so many interesting trips, books written… it does all add up to something. But it feels like… blink of an eye.
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