Time and again…

We spent just over a week up in the Eastern Cape which is a beautiful part of the world. We flew into East London and then had a short bus trip for an hour north through the rolling hills of the Transkei. We finally dropped down to the Morgan Bay Hotel which I would highly recommend for anyone wanting a relaxing family holiday. You can see an overview of the area on Google Earth.

What struck me on day one was how time slowed down the moment we had unpacked and were relaxing with the kids. We all remarked at how relaxing it was and I started wondering what made it different and why time had slowed down. This time thing is interesting. My father always says that time is flying and it just keeps getting faster. I hate him saying it because there is a part of me that knows it is true.

There are various theories about. One of them is that as we get older each year is a smaller portion of our lives. So at age one the next year is 50% of our lives – a fairly large chunk. By the time I hit 40, where life really begins, 1 year is a mere 1/40th or 2.5% so it stands to reason that a year will go past 20 times as quickly at 40 as at age 1.

The other theory is that our metabolism slows down as we get older. So as with slow motion movies which actually film at high speed so that when you play back at normal speed they appear slow (if you’re still following the logic you’re doing well), kids who have fast metabolism’s experience life relatively faster than the older folk with slower metabolisms.

My latest thought on the subject of time, resulted from my experience in the Eastern Cape. One of the things that happened when I arrived was that I de-coupled from my diary which simply had holiday written in for 9 days. So I didn’t have anything to punctuate my days other than breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Which brings me to my latest theory which is that time speeds up with more punctuation and slows down with less. A day with no appointments goes much slower than a busy day.

What I’m experimenting with now is to have fewer and longer chunks of time in my day to create a sense of slowness. This fits my approach of lining up a couple of things that can all be achieved at the same time rather than running around from one thing to the next in a mad rush.

Perhaps time is simply a figment of our imagination. If so then do we really have the ability to slow it down or speed it up by – changing our mind?

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Author: Dale Williams

Dale is based in Cape Town on the southern tip of Africa from where he maintains connections with people all over the world through his portfolio life.