October 19, 2011
Time was the enemy when we were kids. It dragged on interminably the weeks before Christmas, then flew by with supersonic speed the weeks of vacation. Remember how the tortuous hours in the car driving to the destination seemed to last much longer than the vacation itself? And in the previous millennium, it took forever to reach the age when we’d be old enough to stay up later, wear make-up, drive a car and graduate from high school.
Recently the essence of time has changed. Time is going so fast it’s decreasing. Really. And it’s not just my biological ticking louder and faster, or mommy-time (times flying because the kids are growing so fast). It’s an inescapable fact (of my imagination? Maybe…)
I became aware of this phenomenon with the bi-weekly visit of the Schwan man. For years he’s been handing me a little orange reminder sticker at each visit and saying, “See you in two weeks on November 2.” “It won’t be Novemeber 2 in two weeks,” I reply in disbelief. “Isn’t it still September?” He always chuckles, but shakes his head slightly. He thinks I’m cracked. I’d agree with him but it’s not just me. My kids notice that time is always flying, even during the everlasting things, such as the school year.
I’ve given it much deep thought (usually with a glass of wine. It’s easier to mull on the increasing speed of time if one is relaxing and not in the throes of trying to keep up with it). Here are some of the hypotheses I’ve come up with.
- Culture Shock: Our culture has a compulsion to change things. Some of my favorite examples include: Age changes– “Forty is the new thirty” and clothing size changes– “Size 10 is the new size 4“. Maybe in our inclination to change things, we’ve subconsciously changed the time/space continuum.
- Retailer Syndrome: Retailers load the shelves with seasonal merchandise months in advance of the actual season. Decades of this fraudulent calendar acceleration has affected the cosmic clock.
- Daylight Savings Time: I’m not sure how this would speed up time, but it’s screwy enough to mess with something.
- Global Cooling/Global Warming: In the ’70′s we were preparing for the next ice age. Now we’re preparing for a global oven that will melt the polar ice caps. All this back and forth of temperatures has messed with the earth’s biological clock. Or maybe it’s the hole in the ozone. The different catalysts of impending disaster can be confusing.
- The Spiral Effect: Time is a great spiral, and the nearer we are to the end, the faster it goes, like the vortex of a tornado or water going down a drain (that seems more fitting). Or, if you want a pretty, graceful image, like a ballerina spinning faster when she pulls her arms in. If I’m correct about this hypothesis and the world should end soon, remember I predicted it here and I deduced the cause. Of course, I won’t be around to accept my Nobel prize.