My dad tells me that if I think time goes by quickly now, just wait until I’m his age. I’ve been thinking about time and our perceptions of time. When we’re children, summers seem to last forever. And we could remember every little detail of running, playing, swimming, making new friends. A lifetime passed between Christmases, and each one brings anticipation and novelty.
So what makes time start to move faster, and why do the holidays run together so that we can’t remember one from another? There are of course, many different theories. One explanation is that new experiences slow down our time perception. So the more we can focus and savor each passing moment, the more time slows for us. Practicing mindfulness.
Routines play a big role here. We easily fall into a groove. The well-worn and comfortable path. Tradition. Conformity. They have their place. But to really live and feel alive we need adventure. Little adventures—different route to work, an outing with a new friend. Or big adventures, even better.
Henry David Thoreau wrote, “I do not wish to take a cabin passage, but rather to go before the mast and on the deck of the world, for there I can best see the moonlight amid the mountains. I do not wish to go below now.” I’ll relate being on deck with an adventure. Going below is comfortable and routine.
Shake it up a little. Make yourself a new adventure every day. I think I’ll skip my morning routine tomorrow. There’s an odd little coffee shop that went in the same building with an automotive supply down the street. Sounds dangerous, right?