Monday, December 29, 2014

Why does the time fly?

How long a minute is, depends on which side of the bathroom door you're on. 
~Zall's Second Law

It's hard to believe but in couple of days we will welcome brand new year 2015. At times like this I always wonder where did this year go? It was just like yesterday that we welcomed 2014 and in blink of an eye an entire year disappeared into the thin air.

Why does the time fly so fast? It seems that as we get older the time speeds up. Is the time going faster relative to our age or is it going faster relative to the events in the universe?

If you google the question of why does the time seem to be going faster, you'll find all sorts of different explanations. None of them are solid answers of course but rather theories as to why we perceive time the way we do.

1. Theory of Relativity. 
As we get older, years, months and days as well as our experiences make up smaller and smaller percentage of our overall lives. For example, when we are 5 years old one year is one fifth of our entire life but when we are 50 years old, one year is one fiftieth of our life. For that reason when we are 50 a year will pass much quicker than it did when we were 5.  Same thing with experiences.  At 50 years old, a single experience is only but a fraction of the overall experiences in our life.

2. Time goes faster when we are busy.
We are mothers, daughters, grandmothers, homemakers, professionals and often times all of it at once. The more we have on our plates the more busy we are and the less time we seem to have to take care of it all. The perception is that the time flies because we simply don't have enough hours in the day to do everything we need to or want to.

3. The older we get the more mentally busy we become.
When we get older we usually become less busy physically as we retire and see our children grow up but mentally we are busier than ever before.  There are many people in our lives we care for and many more thoughts we process on daily basis than we did when we were younger.

3. Our biological clock slows down as we age.
This theory suspects that we have some sort of internal pacemaker that slows as we age but external time doesn't.  As a result we observe the external time speeding up as years pass.

4. Universe is rapidly expanding.
This theory has to do not with our aging and preoccupied bodies but rather with universe itself. As universe is rapidly expanding the time itself is speeding up and therefore all of us whether old or young can observe the acceleration.

It is possible that all these theories are right in some way and all of them contribute to our perception of time. I asked my 18 year old son today how he view time and he told me that it seems like it was just yesterday that 2014 began.  It seems that no matter how old we are the time is running away from us at the neck-breaking pace.

What do you think?  Have you been able to catch time?

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