Why Does Time Go By So Quickly?

This past week, I realized two things: that it was November and that it was fewer than 45 days until Christmas. My reaction was a familiar one. Where has the time gone?

If I were asked and had to answer quickly, I would say it was the beginning of June. I would say I had a three-year-old and a six-month-old. I would say I just moved to Indiana. Of course, none of that is accurate. It’s November. Riley is seven, and Maddie is four and a half. I moved to Indiana six years ago, almost to the day. So why does all of that feel like it was yesterday?

Being a psych major, I had to read up on the phenomenon. Is it really true what they say? Does time really move faster when you get older? It certainly feels like it does. Here’s what a few studies have said:

As we age we encounter fewer and fewer new experiences. In childhood, holidays were new, we were learning traditions, school changed from year to year. There was a lot to absorb and learn. Now that we are older, our traditions are secondhand, our work years look similar, and we are more set with our routines. Researchers say that this causes the years to feel faster because we don’t need to spend as much time learning new things.

Some other researchers follow a similar line of reasoning diverging just a bit to say that because experiences were novel for us in childhood we over-represent them in our memory, which causes us to feel like time passed slower then.

So, how do the researchers suggest we slow down life? Take advantage of opportunities to learn new things, have new experiences, and visit new places.

Sounds like a great resolution for 2019! Goodness knows that will be here before we know it.