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Today's quote:

Monday, November 16, 2020

Tempus Fugit


The expression "time flies" originated from the Latin phrase "tempus fugit". How fast it flies depends on our age or, to misquote Sherlock Holmes, "It's relative, my dear Watson."

The reason? Our brain encodes new experiences, but not familiar ones, into memory, and our retrospective judgment of time is based on how many new memories we create over a certain period. So, when we are young and experience lots of new stimuli — everything is new — time actually seems to be passing more slowly. As we get older, the creation of mental images slows, giving the sense that time passes more rapidly.

Additionally, when we're children, a year of life amounts to much more time of existence, percentage-wise. For us as ten-year-olds, one year is ten percent of our lives; for me as a seventy-five-year-old now, one year is barely more than one percent of my life.

While we can't defy the law of physics, we can do things to pace ourselves and create more lasting impressions of times past. We can create new, novel experiences that engage our brain. It doesn’t have to be a holiday or a visit to a foreign country to elongate our sense of the past. It can be as simple as consistently trying something new, and continuously learning new things.

I've decided to join Padma at her stitch-and-bitch session in the village hall to learn how to chrochet. Tempus fugit when you're having fun!

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