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Time Warped

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.
I saw Christmas decorations in a department store yesterday. No matter what the reason is for time speeding up, be forewarned and prepared for it–  Thanksgiving is tomorrow and there are only thirteen shopping days left until Christmas. Unless the world ends first.
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8 comments on “Time Warped

  1. I actually resent my job a lot (for many reasons, but anyway…) simply because I’m in publishing, so we’re always working months ahead. For instance, right now I’m working on things for Halloween 2012 and we do winter holiday stories in June. It makes it hard to live in the moment.
    Add in the fact that everyone is hurrying up to get somewhere to talk about where they need to be next, and it can be easy to lose track of time.

    For me, I make a conscious effort to remember that time really isn’t going any faster than it was when I was 12. It’s just that I’m filling my days with things that don’t let me appreciate that time like I used to. While some are mandatory, obviously, it can be helpful to prioritize other things that let you relax–even for 10 mins–and appreciate where you are at that time. A bit hippy dippy, but that’s me 😉

    Then again, I don’t have kids. That would be a game-changer 😉

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    • It would be tough to have a job that skews the holidays like that. And I’m one of those people who’s head is always on my next thing. I’m really trying to break that habit…

      Maybe I’ll try to schedule time for the kids and I to stop and appreciate where we are. What a great habit to get into when you’re young.

      The Schwan man came today, and after he scheduled his next delivery, he’s the one who commented on how fast time is flying 😀

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  2. If you allow time to be measured by others, its three years past your death date, while to your own eyes, your still 30. [OK, if your only 20 something, then you just hit puberty, while retaining the knowledge of a courtesan]

    Yeah, I cant wait until the valentines day cards arrive, oh, yeah, I forgot, mothers day is next week.

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  3. I really agree with you about time. somone’s done something to the clocks. I just saw the first adert on Telly which mentions Christmas. What is going on with that for heavens sake

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  4. I first understood that time was relative when I sat in a dentist’s chair. Time stood still. When I’m composing a blog, the morning vanishes.

    You’re so right. I want to buy summer clothes in the summer, but they aren’t available–all I see are sweaters and long-johns. That’s wrong on so many levels!

    One constant remains–at 3:00 my dog wants to be fed. He lets me know. I think he knows how to tell time… 😉

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    • The clothes thing drives me crazy too. It seems my kids always outgrow their snow boots in January. No matter what store we go to to get them, they are all sold out by January.

      But I could buy them water shoes. They have plenty of those in January.

      Sorry, I’m doing a little ranting here 😉

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