Have you ever noticed that time passes in direct correlation to whatever is happening in your life? We all know that time flies when we are having fun… but why must it creep so slowly when we’re not? When we look back at the past, it seems like time flew by – but contrarily, when we look towards the future, time seems to come almost to a standstill.
Every minute drags on when I’m dieting. The hungrier I am, the more slowly time passes. The few hours between eating seem to take forever. The two weeks of Phase I on the South Beach diet seem to take a lifetime to get through while I’m living it. But suddenly, when the two weeks are over, it seems they flew by. When I look ahead at the months yet to come before I reach my goal weight – I see them stretch endlessly before me. But when I look back over the same period of time when I regained from my last diet, I don’t know where those months went so quickly!
The same principal holds true for almost every aspect of life. Vacation coming up? It will seemingly take forever to arrive, yet pass in a flash. Kids in school? The year drags on with homework. But suddenly we turn around and wonder how it could possible be summer vacation already. Of course nothing passes faster than summer vacation! I used to try to diet over the summer, telling myself that even though each day was taking forever, I would turn around and find 12 weeks had elapsed in a blink of an eye. But they also passed before I had time to get my act together and lose weight:(
Look at how quickly our kids grow up. First it seems like the months of nighttime feedings drag on and on. Then the years of diapers. And decades of school conferences and sport sidelines. Slowly. But suddenly we see our child in a cap and gown, grown up, ready to leave home, and we wonder how they got here seemingly overnight.
If I have something I want to get done but little time to do it – I will look up and see the clock has magically advanced. And when I have somewhere to be and not enough time to get there – tick, tick, faster and faster. But sitting in the dentist chair… longest hour ever! And each drawn-out minute of cycling class… I’ve discovered that the longer I can go without looking at the clock during cycling, the sooner the torture seems to come to an end.
Have you also noticed that the older we get the faster time seems to have passed behind us? Is it because we are inching our way closer to death (sorry to be morbid) or that we are just more aware of life than we were when younger? Each December I am shocked to find myself looking back at another calendar year that zoomed by.
To sum it all up with a key life lesson, in the words of Zall’s Second Law – “How long a minute is, depends on which side of the bathroom door you’re on.”