It’s down-right tiring repeating how fast time goes by as we get older. The cliches- especially as we mark the end of the year- grate on every nerve.
We are told we perceive time going more quickly because we’ve been there and done that so many times, we stop noticing and caring. Repetitive and predictable days do not make for strong engagement or flow, thus not creating lasting memories of our daily life. We are mired in routines – routines compress time in our minds. Newness and freshness expand time in our minds.
While the remedy for this problem is obvious, it’s implementation is less than clear. How do we make time to change things up and engage in new, stretching activities? A key feature of being a grown-up is being paid for our expertise. And the last thing anyone needs is a new item on the to-do list. Striking a balance between the need to add the line-item to the agenda and the desire for fun instead of duty is tough.
For me, the new activity should be tied with something social. Ideally the activity would involve learning something. So a continuing education class at the local university or museum would fit the bill. Contributing to a worthwhile cause feels invigorating as well.
Soon we’ll be be celebrating a New Year: Twenty-Seventeen. I want to make every minute of this new year matter. I do not want months to go by in a haze of monotony and routine, punctuated by useless worries over trivial things. I want Twenty-Seventeen to feel like 1985- my first year of college (or 1999, the year I had my first child.) I want my life filled with discoveries, adventures, hard work and engagement.
In 1985 everything was new and exciting. I was just discovering my capacities and limits. There were thousands of people a similar age with similar goals and an entire faculty whose job was to teach and mentor us. There were no onerous responsibilities or the spectre of past disappointments. It seemed like life stretched out into infinity in front of me with no constraints.
Sadly, that feeling of boundless possibility does not last forever. Soon enough there are responsibilities and limitations and failures clouding the horizon. Daily life becomes less about challenges and discoveries, and more about managing and juggling and balancing.
Those limiting feelings are the enemies of living life fully and engaged. So here I am planning how I will make the new year sparkle and crackle with excitement- because I don’t live on a college campus tailor made for helping me grow and stretch- and my schedule is filled with other people’s needs on top of my own, so I’ll need to be very deliberate in order to catch a bit of that magic again.
I would love it if you joined me on this quest- actually- you would be helping me by providing feedback and camaraderie. I will blog three times a week- MWF. For the rest of this year I will publish pieces about how we perceive time and how we can make our time more impactful and memorable. I would like to hear from you as I plan how to make the coming year a good one. I think it would be great fun to work on this project together!
Wishing you a very Happy Thanksgiving!