Children & The Space Time Continuum

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DISCLAIMER: I don’t actually know what the Space Time Continuum is.

HOWEVER: I can promise I can teach you how to slow down time.

My time related epiphany

My wife’s water broke around 5am. I lept out of bed. I panicked, exactly as I had promised not to. I struggled into my trousers, grabbed the hospital bag and started the car. I realised my wife was still upstairs calmly calling the midwife and turned off the engine. I sheepishly returned to the bedroom.

15 hours later she was in the pool at the maternity unit making an ungodly amount of noise.

6 mins later she was holding our first child, I took a picture.

I still have that picture, the one of him less than 60secs old. That was when I had my time related epiphany.

The aging process

This experience made me address how we appreciate time and in particular how we view our own aging process.

I held my son before he was 5 mins old. I went home, cleaned the house, slept and came back to the hospital and held him again, within the first 12 hours of his life.

Anyone with kids will know, due to developmental milestones, you measure that first year in weeks. Much to the irritation of non-parents.

“Aw, that’s a cute baby, how old is she?”

“24 weeks”

“Oh right…err…6 months then?!”

After that things stretch out to months.

“He’ll be 18 months soon”

Then, from around 2 years till 10 years old, it extends to fractions.

“I’m 5 and 3 quarters!”

Most 12 year olds claim to be 13 about 364 days too early. Same with 17/18 year olds.

Once you enter your second decade on this planet most people seem at peace using the singular year metric.

“Tomorrow I’ll be 24, feels like I’ve been 23 forevs!”

As we enter our 30s the years start to be clumped together.

“I’ve met this really cute guy, he’s in his early 30s”

At 40 and 50 whole decades are being combined.

“I don’t feel that old, I’m only in my 40s”

After that we drift out of standard numerical terms and begin with more abstract terms like:

“He’s a mature fellow.”

“She’s entering her twilight years.”

(God I’m going to get some flack from my parents for saying that!)

I can help you slow down time

Do you remember when summers seemed to last forever? Now it seems like whole years fly by before you’ve stopped for a breath?

I recently discovered why and what you can do to regain control of your own timeline. I read a fantastic article from Art of Manliness called “Be a time wizard: How to slow down and speed up time“. It goes into very interesting depth on the subject.

It’s all about how our brain maps our experiences.

When I was holding my son for the first time it was an entirely new experience. Those first few hours passed so slowly. This was because my brain was working hard to map and code every new stimuli I was experiencing.

The same as it was when I spent my summers at the sand dunes or on sports camps. I was meeting new people, playing new games, everyday was an adventure and my mind was mapping like crazy.

Now we spend our time driving the same route to work and then driving the same way home. We spend a lot of our week in the same office or on the same treadmill, our evenings on the same sofas. Our brain doesn’t have to work hard. It’s already mapped most of these experiences.

When our brain is working hard and mapping our new experiences then time seems to slow. When it’s seeing the same repetitive stimuli it already understands then the memory skips quickly over it.

This is why kids are so wonderful. Not only are they constantly providing some wild new experience but we get to see the pieces of life we take for granted through fresh new eyes.

So you want to stretch time? Look back on a life lived to the fullest? Start referring to yourself as 43 and a half years old?

Then get out there, make yourself have new experiences, challenge yourself to find new stimuli, new feelings, new adventures. Get your brain mapping again and time will start stretching out in front of you instead of rushing past you!

You’re welcome.

Andy

(32 years and 40 weeks old)

(Not enough detail for you? Want to learn about “retrospective time“, “brain time” and “Matrix time“? Check out “Be a time wizard: How to slow down and speed up time“)


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