There are all sorts of “interesting” things about aging. Having just experienced a birthday, it is perhaps not surprising that one’s thoughts turn to the passage of time. More to the point, the speed of that passage.
As I age, the sensation that time is passing more rapidly is growing at an alarming rate. Has it really been 10 years since Steve Jobs introduced the world to the iPhone? 20 years since Jurassic Park was released? 30 years since the Challenger disaster? 40 years since I graduated from college? And can it really be 50 years since The Beatles’ last public concert?
Though new to me, this time-is-accelerating phenomenon has apparently been recognized for years…127 years to be exact.
According to Scientific American, “Psychologist William James, in his 1890 text Principles of Psychology, wrote that as we age, time seems to speed up because adulthood is accompanied by fewer and fewer memorable events. When the passage of time is measured by “firsts” (first kiss, first day of school, first family vacation), the lack of new experiences in adulthood, James morosely argues, causes ‘the days and weeks [to] smooth themselves out…and the years grow hollow and collapse.’”
“Grow hollow and collapse”? Geez Billy, thanks for the glad tidings.
I suppose that — like arthritis and hair loss — this is another minor ordeal that comes with the ever-increasing numbers attached to another birthday.
Yet, as I am reminded by a friend of mine, it beats the alternative.
Today’s Fact Cetera
The youngest pope was 11 years old.