It seems like only yesterday that I was wishing everyone a Happy New Year at the dawning of 2013. Or is that just me, being a year older, and once again falling victim to the cognitive illusion that time speeds up as we age? Or, is it all the fun I’m having that’s making time fly?
Well, whether time does or doesn’t (speed up, that is), it’s certainly a sign of age that I’m even considering this as a topic for discussion. Young people have a very different sense of time. I’m sure my grandchildren aren’t sitting around, pondering this phenomenon. In fact, they’re probably complaining about how it feels like forever until they’re old enough to have their own I-phones.
In any event, whether it took twelve months (real time) or twelve days (perceived time) to get here, a new year is indeed imminent.
Well, we’ve made it to the end of another year. And in spite of predictions to the contrary, you might have noticed that the earth as we know it was not destroyed on December 21, 2012. That is, unless you’re still hiding in your underground shelter and are not planning to emerge until your beef jerky and bottled water supply are depleted.
I had an inkling that the Doomsday interpretation of the Mayan calendar might be incorrect when I noticed with some relief that the gardeners in my neighborhood, most of whom hail from south of the border, did not throw down their hedge cutters and walk off the job. Instead, they went about their business as if it was an ordinary day. Honestly, in the face of an apocalypse, would an untidy lawn be of any consequence?
The other day I met a friend that I hadn’t seen for a long time. “So,” she asked, “are you still working?” “No,” I answered, “I’ve recently retired.” “So,” she asked again, “how have you been spending your time since you retired?” She might as well have asked me to explain Einstein’s Theory of Relativity because, as I opened my mouth to respond, I found that, in fact, I could not. Respond, that is. The truth was, that although the days seemed to be passing quickly, I couldn’t account for my time.
This was startling. When I worked and had family responsibilities, I could tell you (although I have no idea why you would be interested) that I would be grocery shopping on Wednesday at six pm and folding laundry two nights a week at eleven o’clock. (In fact, one of the things I promised myself in retirement was never again to be folding laundry at eleven o’clock at night!)