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The Sassy Sandpiper: Fast Away the Old Year Passes

Time | Sassy Sanpiper | M.R. Wilson

The Sassy Sandpiper contemplates how time flies by.

By M.R. Wilson, TB Reporter Columnist

Time is perplexing.

We spend it. We never have enough of it. We kill it. We try to save it.  We find time. We lose time. We play perverse games with it: springing forward in March and falling back in November. (FYI, a bill has been filed to end Daylight Saving Time in Florida by 2019.)

Time drags. (“Oh, the root canal just flew by!” said no one ever.) Time flies—this particular year at supersonic speed.

I truly cannot remember a year moving so quickly. Is it because I have slowed down?

I know. I know. We all have approximately 24 hours a day and we still agree to conveniently round off the length of a year to 365 days.

But how can Christmas be one week away? I was just thinking about taking my kite over to Joe’s Creek Greenway Park since it was such a nice, blustery March day.

Kite | Sassy Sandpiper | M.R. Wilson

I know the apparent acceleration of the passage of time is an artifact of perception, and brainy people have offered some theories as to why it affects us more as we age. You’ve no doubt heard the expression “Familiarity breeds contempt.” Turns out familiarity also breeds a faster perception of time because things are routine and we’re not getting all jazzed with new experiences which release that wondrous neurotransmitter, dopamine. Giving our brains novel stuff to process, becoming absorbed in the details in a childlike way, might just make Father Time stroll instead of sprint.

Another idea is that as we age, the gradual alteration of our biological clocks makes time seem to zip rudely by. Perhaps the “logarithmic scale” of time makes sense to you; near as I can figure, it’s something like ranking earthquakes with the Richter Scale. Changes are so huge, a wider range of measurement is needed to make sense of it.

I’ll say. I feel like 2017 hit me like an earthquake. Magnitude 4:  no real damage, but a lot of shake, rattle and roll.

So if I do new new things and approach the novel experiences with childlike wonder, time will slow down? Not at the quantum physics level but in my own hulking human scale Valentine’s Day won’t suddenly morph into Thanksgiving?

Okay. I’ll give it a try. I’d welcome 2018 to mosey by, as slow as molasses in January.

Time | Sassy Sanpiper | M.R. Wilson

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