How to Slow Down Time

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in Happiness

Before she passed away, my grandmother was fond of telling me – every time I saw her – that time was speeding up. Each time she said it, I thought to myself, “Poor thing. She’s losing it. Time does not speed up.”

Now that I’ve gotten a bit older, I think she might actually have been right. 2010 disappeared in the blink of an eye. It was a hang-in-there, hold-on, make-a-change kind of year that was over before I knew it. Days just disappeared. Gone.

When I was a child, a day lasted forever. Summers stretched into infinity. Everything under the sun was possible and doable.

That no longer seems to be the case. Time may indeed be speeding up.

Which makes me think about my want-to list. You know what I’m talking about. The list of dreams and desires tucked away in a journal, on a scrap of paper, or lurking unofficially in your consciousness.

One of these years, I’m going to build a house filled with light.

One of these summers, I’m going to go to cooking school in Italy and live in a small villa.

One of these Christmases, I’m going to go to Europe and ring in the season by dashing through the snow on a horse drawn sleigh.

One of these days, I’m going to start practicing yoga.

Both of my grandmothers lived into their mid-eighties. If I am lucky, I will reach that age and then some – which means that I have 40 years, 40 summers, 40 Christmases and so on, to do the things I deem remarkable and interesting.

Not a lot of time, really.

How many of these times do you have left?

In reality, no matter how many of these times you think you have left, it may not be enough. Especially, if you don’t make room for the things you say you want to do. If you don’t pick one and plan for it. If you don’t make a commitment to yourself.

Another year, another summer, another Christmas, another day will slip away and you will be left wondering what happened and where the time went. How it flew by.

This year, let’s try an experiment in slowing down time:

  • Pick something meaningful from your wish list.
  • Incorporate into your daily life.
  • Dedicate time to it.
  • Plan for it.
  • Anticipate it.
  • Savor it in all its incredible detail.
  • Do it.
  • Celebrate and memorialize it.

The year won’t have just evaporated and passed you by. Instead, it will have come alive to be remembered.

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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Erica Cosminsky January 6, 2011 at

Hey Andrea,

An interesting story to go along with this post. I have an associate’s degree in Agronomy and Soils. During one of my agriculture based physics classes, we worked on a project related to time slowing down and speeding up related to age.

The idea of the study was that as a adult time went faster after having children, because of the revolution of life around a smaller being. (I know this sounds strange for a second.) The concept continued that time seems slower when you are a child because the whole world revolves around you just like the sun doesn’t notice time. It got even more complex when it considered the impact on grandparents and further out. At first it seemed a strange concept the teacher had just made up but we do some experimenting in wind tunnels and that type thing. I think I still have the papers and video around here someone if I can find them. It was pretty interesting.
Erica Cosminsky recently posted..Ten Apples Up On Top

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Andrea January 6, 2011 at

Wow. Erica, I’m so intrigued by that … I had no idea. If you can dig up your papers, I would be so interested in reading them. All I know is that I can certainly relate to the idea of time going faster after you have children! Know you can, too. :)

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Roy A. Ackerman, Ph.D., E.A. January 7, 2011 at

Hi, there:
I was turned on by Sandi Amorim to you. And, you completed the action.
Thanks for sharing your thoughts.
I DO believe we can say “I want to create when I grow up”. The only problem is the ridicule and astonishment such a declamation receives.
(Just to return the favor of making one smile: There was a cartoon years ago in a magazine called Industrial Research. A queue of blokes were walking in the hallway, with a handyman on a stepladder, changing the lightbulbs over various folks heads….
Keep your lightbulb lit!)

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Andrea January 7, 2011 at

Hi Roy! Lovely to meet you and thank you for making me smile. I’m visualizing a lightbulb over my head. :)

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Sandra January 9, 2011 at

Andrea,

Gosh time really is moving faster. It seams just yesterday we were walking down Fourth Avenue on our way home from Manhattan, dreaming about the future. Blink…here we are living it.

I’m really enjoying getting to know you again through your posts. Thank you so much for sharing.

The reality is that as humans we need to be fed. One way to feed ourselves is to fulfill a wish or a dream. Checking an item or two or ten off the “want-to” or “bucket” list each year is so very rewarding. Not only will it make us happy but every new experience broadens our perspective and serves to help us find our authentic selves. The cascade effect is the slowing of time. We remember to breath and enjoy our life. Although some of the items on our “bucket” list may be tasks that involve planning, money and effort (fixing up that guest bathroom); we are still moving in our unique positive direction. Movement, when meaningful slows time. Not only that, but a goal provides a focal point for the future, a place for us to land and a means for us to set our intention. When we get caught up in our responsibilities or our perceived obligations we can lose sight of the fun. Make life fun, set your intentions on a goal, and check another item off the “bucket” list.

I’m off to plan my next garden corner with a smile. Who knows, I may find myself eating Gelato on the Italian Riviera this spring.

Sending gratitude, Sandra

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Andrea January 10, 2011 at

How wonderful to reconnect with you here! I totally agree … it seems like just yesterday that we were kids. I love the idea of “feeding” ourselves with meaningful things and making life fun. I hear the Riviera calling!! Looking forward to hearing more about what you’ve been up to and will be in touch. Thanks for chiming in!!

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Angel January 13, 2011 at

Andrea…. this is the BEST post I’ve read here YET! This is a subject so close to my heart. I’ll be e-mailing a link of this to everyone in my personal address book as well as linking back to it from my next post… I would scream this from the rooftops, I swear to you… It’s so important for us to remember (as scary as it can be to think about) that life goes by in the blink of an eye… The things that are worthwhile to us are really the things to spend our limited resources on (time being the most precious!). The other junk is just that… junk (in the grand scheme of things). This is not to discount the responsibilities that we all have.. just to say that sitting in front of the tv for hours on end may not be the best use of one’s limited time (my personal pet peeve, can you tell?? :-) ). Anyway, wanted to let you know that i saw this and loved it!

Great stuff.. rock on!
Angel recently posted..Pink slip

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Andrea January 13, 2011 at

I love your energy and appreciate your words. Thank you, thank you Angel! So good to hear from you.

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