I can barely say it out loud, but I’m facing one of those big birthdays this year. You know, one that ends in a fat ‘ol zero. In my case, if you were counting your fingers you’d have had to go on to your second hand. Yep 60. Big fat 60.
Of course, I’m not really 60, I’m really about 23. Well, that’s how I feel (most days… Sometimes I feel 103). The funny thing is, that I’m not thinking ‘my god, I’ll be 60 this year’, no, I’m thinking ‘my god, I’ve been eligible for saga holidays for ten years already’ and worse ‘my god, in ten years time I’ll be 70’ . And the one sure fire thing about getting old is that ten years is most definitely not as long as it used to be.
I remember, in my youth, seeing a science programme where James Burke talked about the ‘relativity of time’. And its true. We all know that the ten minutes at the end of a working day can seem to drag on for hours, and yet, ten minutes lie-in under a snuggly duvet flies by in what seems seconds. Time can drag when you’re bored or race when your busy.
I can be blissfully unaware of time passing when I’ve nodded off on the sofa (a sure sign of advancing age, or perhaps too much partying??), waking up not knowing whether I’ve been asleep for five minutes or two hours. Often the TV channel has been changed and I don’t realise it until half an hour later when I say ‘where’s that baddie bloke gone?’ and am told that that film had finished and we’re way into the next one now.
The other time when you are blissfully unaware of time, or anything else for that matter, is under anaesthetic. They can move you about, prod you with instruments, cut you open and sew you up again, and you know nothing. Absolutely nothing. No pain. No discomfort. No timescale. I comfort myself that that’s what death must be like. A void in which you are unaware. Completely.
Going back to the year’s going faster, I found this explanation on the Naked Scientist website, and although I agree with the main reply, I think the far more likely explanation is discussed further down in the responses, and it tally’s in with what James said all those years ago. A year now, represents a 60th of my life, whereas when I was 10 it was only a 10th. Little peeps are almost living in dog years compared to me.
Well, I guess doing nothing so time goes slower is not really the answer. Rather, I should cram as much in as I can. Don’t waste a single minute and try and fill the next thirty years with wonder. I listen to the Chris Evans show on Radio 2 in the mornings, and every day he speaks to a child who is doing something for the first time that day. The next day he speaks to the same child and asks them to mark their new experience out of ten. Almost without exception they say something like ‘a gazillion and twenty five’ even if its something as mundane to me as a swimming lesson. That’s the sort of enthusiasm I want to regain. Of course, its much harder to find new experiences when your older, but I’m going to do my best to be Adventurous, Brave and Curious.
What was the last ‘new experience’ you had?