It seems like we make this big meal, do all the prep and clean up, just to turn around and get Christmas going. There isn’t enough time to enjoy each holiday because it’s one right after another, and it makes the end of the year go by so fast!
No one really knows why our perception of time speeds up as we get older. It’s an interesting concept because as we age, many things slow down: our metabolism, our heart rate, our patience, our breathing… a lot of that has to do with our gradual alteration of biological clock. Children’s biological pacemakers operate more quickly, which means that those things I mentioned before all operate more quickly in a fixed period of time, which gives the impression more time has passed. When I was younger, I felt like once thanksgiving was over, it was practically 6 months until Christmas.
Another thing that could be a possible explanation is how we perceive past time effects the amount of new information we absorb. With lots of new evocations, our brains take longer to process the information… The periods of time feel longer leading to the “slow motion perception”, often reported in the moments before an casualty. The unfamiliar circumstances mean there is so much new information to take in.
A perfect example of this is the turtle. Turtle spirit animal symbolizes longevity and immortality in many mythologies around the world. This may be due to the fact that turtle always looks old with her wrinkly, dry skin and monotonous movement. Even freshly hatched out of the egg, she appears elderly. The association with longevity could also be due to the fact that turtles live for an exceedingly long time, the oldest known tortoise passed away in 2006 being 250 years old, another recently died 171 years. Science is backing what mythology already supports. Researchers have found that the entrails of turtles do not age, which is a astounding in the animal kingdom.
Link that to humans: turtles have a constant velocity, or lack there of, and as humans increase in duration, it goes from one extreme to another.
All the new adventures result in lots of new memories. When we look back at them, there are so many to go through, that it feels as if we were away for centuries.
Alternatively, when we are at home or work and going about our familiar habits (career, household activities) it’s less stimulating and fewer memories are laid down.
We feel that time is flying by because our customary days seem to take decades but are actually passing us by very quickly.
Most memories are compiled between age 15 and 25, when we experience lots of ‘firsts’ in love, work and life. As we grow older and our lives start to follow set patterns, we have fewer new experiences.
The firsts live on forever.