I understand that some fellow named Einstein came up with a theory that time is relative. He said it can run faster or slower depending on how rapidly you’re moving through space.
Well, I certainly can’t claim to understand what Einstein was talking about, but I do think I’ve begun to notice that age has somewhat the same effect on time as speed does. Maybe the two are related.
When you’re a youngster, the time you spend at school goes by at an incredibly slow pace. The clock on the classroom wall hardly moves at all, especially as it approaches three o’clock and time to go home.
Clocks also tick very slowly at home while you’re waiting for dinner or for your favorite TV show to start. On a larger scale, the time from Thanksgiving Day to Christmas Eve seems to take forever.
But when you’re my age, time races by at an amazing speed. Those alarms your spouse sets each day to remind you when to take your pills seem to go off every few minutes. Your dog needs you to take her out for another walk immediately after her last one. And the monthly bills you just sent in are back on your desk for another payment in a day or two.
I think we’ve uncovered an important corollary to Einstein’s theory. Not only is time relative to how fast you’re moving through space. Time is also relative to how many years you have been here on the earth.
On the one hand, this means that as we age we sometimes have to make bothersome adjustments in our lives – doing certain chores more often than we want, going to the bathroom more often, finding that a night’s sleep is over in just four hours.
On the other hand, it’s possible we might be able to find positive ways to take advantage of this speed-up in the passage of time.
For example, with time going so much faster, nobody should criticize you if you seem to eat snacks more often. It’s not that your eating habits that have changed. It’s that the increased speed at which time flows by between your snacks makes another due sooner.
And you should be entitled to leave boring meetings before younger people do, since the amount of “your” kind of time that you spent there adds up to more than the amount of “their” kind of time at the same meeting.
Finally, when you get to my age, time is flying by so fast that you really ought to be entitled to open a birthday or Christmas present every week or so.
When you are young time moves very slow,
but as you age nature speeds up the flow,
which makes me wonder, did Einstein know
that it’s not only speed that says how fast time will go?