Time Flies… Or Does It?

Out of Order by David Mach

If you’re like me, you like your routine. I dream of orderly days in which I wake up early and refreshed, read and meditate, walk the dog, have my coffee and then sit down to write. After several productive hours, I can then feel free to workout and attend to whatever other details need attending in my life. (There is lunch in there to somewhere, but I eat it while I’m writing).

However, recently I’ve felt rather blah about blogging. And I’ve come to realize that while it’s easy for me to spend months or even years working on a fiction project and focused on the lives of the characters I’m writing about—blogging demands a much wider focus. A much more varied focus.

As it turns out, I’ve also recently been reading the New York Times bestseller, Moonwalking With Einstein: The Art and Science of Remembering, by Joshua Foer. This isn’t a book review, so I’ll post only a smidgen of the description provided by the publisher, which I took off Amazon.

Foer’s unlikely journey from chronically forgetful science journalist to U.S. Memory Champion frames a revelatory exploration of the vast, hidden impact of memory on every aspect of our lives.

As well as fantastic read, it’s given me something to think about. You’ve probably heard the saying, “Time flies when you’re having fun.”  It’s true…but come to find out, it’s also not true. If you read Foer’s book (And I highly recommend it!) you’ll find out why, but basically, think of it this way:

When you’re young, you are constantly having new and memorable experiences. Think back and you can probably recall the following list:

  • First date
  • First kiss
  • Leaving home for the first time
  • The excitement of landing that first job
  • Getting engaged
  • Getting married (the first time)
  • The birth of your first child (first time they smile, walk, first tooth…)

New, new, new!

However, as years go by, we have fewer new experiences. People with children can relate to this: by the time your kids get to high school it feels as if the years are just rushing by. The reason, as Foer relates to us in his book, is that when we don’t have memorable events to measure time by (a.k.a. landmarks), we are not as aware of time passing and therefore it seems to pass more quickly. So, while time may seem to fly while we’re having fun, it also seems to fly as we have fewer and fewer new experiences.

Unfortunately, our perception of time doesn’t judge these new experiences, so if we have a year full of one new awful experience after another… it may seem like a very long year!

My point in talking about the concept of time passing is to encourage you (and honestly, more important, myself) to break away from routine once and awhile and do something new. Rather than get to the end of your life and wonder where it all went, wouldn’t it be better to think, Wow, this has been one really long, fun and fulfilling life! You don’t have to go jumping out of airplanes or traveling to distant countries to do something new, it could be as simple as listening to a different genre of music, checking out a new coffee shop each week (Okay, that would be tough for me!), learning a new language…or even taking up ballroom dancing!

What would this do for me as a writer? Well, it would definitely give me something to blog about. Maybe it would even shake up my fiction writing. Who knows, my sci-fi characters may start listening to country music!

What new adventure have you planned for yourself today?

 

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