While devouring a copy of the AARP Magazine—that I definitely didn’t steal from my building’s mail slush pile—I read a letter to the advice columnist. The writer asked if their experience of time speeding up as they were aging was “just them” and the columnist replied, “Nope, not just you.”
The columnist wrote that as people aged, the bold markings of time were often fewer and farther between, with the big milestones in the past and an increasingly habitual pattern of everyday life. Much of what we do each day follows the same general format. Set enough of these days beside one another and, the author notes, it’s difficult to piece them apart into distinctive memories, which is what helps us to feel that time has slowed.
So… “Where did the time go” is a more germane question to ask when I, say for random sake of example, watch Netflix after work each night or putter about my generic homecare errands each weekend?
The columnist suggests to punctuate this tide of calendar pages with events that are out of the norm. Say, again for random sake of example(!), going to see Trombone Shorty tomorrow night, or taking my keyboard down from storage and actually trying to play it last night, or visiting the art museum this week with my girl friend.
It doesn’t feel to me that the surge of lost days and years is a consequence of advanced age. I’m a few weeks shy of my 37th birthday, and I know of what the letter writer speaks.
Allowing days to pass with no significant deviation from the norm may feel calm, but it sure don’t feel memorable.