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The elastic nature of time

(31 Posts)
GagaJo Fri 19-Aug-22 10:15:55

I know it's because I'm getting older, but my sense of time is warped.

It feels like last week that my DGS started nursery. But it's been a year.

It feels like last year that I sat on the uprooted tree behind the family home and thrilled myself with how high up I was.

I think it's something to do with the death of my mum 6 months ago. I look at pictures of her when she did some modelling and I can't believe she's lived a whole life and is now gone.

I can avoid the slight distress of this sensation when I'm busy with the minutiae of daily life, but it creeps back in when I'm not busy.

Anyone else?

Marmight Fri 19-Aug-22 10:30:45

Absolutely. Time is a very strange thing. My eldest GS left school last December but it only seems like yesterday that I saw him born and there he is with a g/f (whaaats that all about!) and a year into Uni.
Losing a loved one just just drives home that weird feeling. My DH died 10 years ago & sometimes it seems as if he never was & the memories creep further & further back in my memory. Then, suddenly, I’ll be doing something as mundane as sweeping the floor and a certain memory pops up and Im in floods. Just like that. Life is so very short - especially as we age. Im trying to make the most of every day but by ‘eck, its hard flowers

nanna8 Fri 19-Aug-22 10:43:00

The older you are, the quicker it goes. No one can convince me otherwise,calendars, clocks or anything else !

muse Fri 19-Aug-22 10:59:10

The stepping stones in my grandchildren’s life do that to me.

My DGD1 has just had her 1st year B.Tech results and is looking at universities for next year. I remember so well her first day at primary in her uniform. Where has 12 years gone?

Somethings can have the opposite effect. I met my DH seven years ago 🙂which changed my life completely. I remember it well but it seems much more than seven years.

RichmondPark1 Fri 19-Aug-22 10:59:50

Do you think lockdown has made this worse. Time took on a whole new meaning for me then and normality hasn't quite come back..

When I look at old photos I get that feeling of the 'gap' where people used to be. Yesterday I was looking at old black and white photos of my parents and both sets of grandparents walking along Weymouth prom in the 1950s....a bright sunny day, all smiles, life and best dresses and suits.....all gone now,

Happy, sad feelings and memories of lives lived to the full. Nostalgia overwhelms me sometimes, especially when I'm quiet. Sometimes it's easier than others. I often wonder that my parents and grandparents must have felt the same feelings - but never showed or talked about them.

I'm sorry to hear others feel this same bitter/sweetness but somehow comforted that we are all in the same boat.

Witzend Fri 19-Aug-22 11:03:53

To me, not only does it whizz past alarmingly fast now (how can Gdd1 now be seven?) - but certain times of year move at a faster pace. January to March inclusive drags on for ever, while September to December is gone in a flash.

GagaJo Fri 19-Aug-22 11:06:15

Yes, RichmondPark1, I have photograph albums that are almost exclusively full of pictures of people now dead.

travelsafar Fri 19-Aug-22 11:07:17

'It’s a relative thing. Einstein theory. As we get older each year is a smaller part of our life. When I was 10 each year was 1/10th of my life. I’m now 67 each year 1/67th of my life'

Found this on the internet which explains a logical reason.

I've always thought our brains are only able to store up to so much in the way of memories which is why we remember things which had the most impact and pleasure and many others are just forgotten.

Luckygirl3 Fri 19-Aug-22 11:17:16

I am off on holiday for 2 weeks - I guarantee it will go by in a flash!

Grannybags Fri 19-Aug-22 11:24:33

Oh yes, I agree.

I recently found a photo of my Mum when she was the age that I am now. Such a weird feeling

Dee1012 Fri 19-Aug-22 11:26:44

I've found that as I've aged, I'll get sudden memories of little incidents from the past...some sad and others that can make me smile.

As an example, just drifting off to sleep a few nights ago and a really clear memory of my mum putting her hands under the covers and pulling my pyjama legs down when I was little - I hated the "riding up"!

Does this happen to anyone else?

mamaa Fri 19-Aug-22 12:06:34

I have the same feelings.
My Dad died 20 years ago and Mum died last November, she'd suffered with Alzheimers for the last 7 years so it was a blessed release in 1 way but its like I lost her twice, if that makes sense, and even though she wasn't able to be a 'Mum' in the true sense of the word in her last few years its only now that I find I miss doing things like ringing her for a chat or advice...

I retired early to enjoy my late 50's and early 60's with my husband, children and grandchildren and before the pandemic I never thought of us as being old but found we were classed as such as we were in the 60+ age bracket- and overnight we were deemed at risk and vulnerable- this really knocked my confidence and its been difficult to regain but am getting there now.

I too find myself thinking of happy times when I was a child and have recently had thoughts that there's more years behind me than there are ahead- I never used to think this way. Its reassuring to know others feel similarly. flowers

Witzend Fri 19-Aug-22 14:42:59

RichmondPark, I find some old photos almost unbearably poignant. There was one, in the form of a postcard, sent by a friend to a GM, who was 6 when Queen Victoria died and collected postcards when very young.

It was a B&W shot of several young girls, all looking very serious as they posed for the photographer.

But on the back she’d written, ‘We were all laughing so much we didn’t know how to keep a straight face!’

And all dead, long ago now.

Esspee Fri 19-Aug-22 14:48:31

travelsafar That is the very best explanation I have read explaining why time seems to pass so quickly these days.

Fleurpepper Fri 19-Aug-22 14:50:15

DD1 will be 50 next year. FIFTY - just can't believe it.

It was both yesterday and a million years ago.

VioletSky Fri 19-Aug-22 14:52:26

Some memories especially emotionally charged ones really stand out for me, and yes, do make it feel like time flies

Skydancer Fri 19-Aug-22 14:54:25

I am doing some research on the Ancestry website. Seeing the names and other details of my grandparents makes me want to cry. It hardly seems any time at all since they were here but, since they all passed away, I've been a mother and grandmother. Where did that time go?

Blondiescot Fri 19-Aug-22 14:56:39

I saw a post on Facebook the other day which pointed out that 2022 is as far from 1970 as 1970 was from 1918. Now the logical part of my brain knows that that is indeed correct, but part of me is going "what?"
On a more personal note, my GS started Primary 1 this week and will be 5 in a few weeks' time. It seems like only yesterday that he was born.

Cherrytree59 Fri 19-Aug-22 15:13:17

I can relate to all of the above .

When when covid struck my eldest grandson was 6, now he is 9 and going to to Yr 5 primary school. One more year and he will be getting ready for senior school.

Covid (for me anyway) seems to have somehow pressed the fast forward button, unfortunately I can not find the pause button. 😐

Chestnut Fri 19-Aug-22 15:29:32


'It’s a relative thing. Einstein theory. As we get older each year is a smaller part of our life. When I was 10 each year was 1/10th of my life. I’m now 67 each year 1/67th of my life'

Found this on the internet which explains a logical reason.

I've always thought our brains are only able to store up to so much in the way of memories which is why we remember things which had the most impact and pleasure and many others are just forgotten.

That's very interesting, but I have heard another theory as to why time seems to go very quickly when you're older.

It depends on what you're doing. When we're young we're packing in lots of new experiences all day long, so the day seems much longer and fuller. This stretches time and makes it seem longer.

When we reach old age we often do the same things every day, an endless cycle of repetition. Each day goes into the next day and we repeat again. As there are no new experiences this actually condenses time and makes it seem to go quickly.

If you want time to stretch you need to do lots of new things every day! Not so easy at our age. But this can happen when you're on holiday. Doing lots of new things or travelling around makes the time stretch and you feel like it's a long holiday. Lying on the beach every day reading a book will condense the time and make the holiday seem shorter.

I hope I've explained that properly. I understand what I'm trying to say anyway.

Georgesgran Fri 19-Aug-22 16:44:32

Thank you Travels. I was going to post the same. It’s all to do with the years we have left, but you’ve quoted Einstein perfectly.

Kate1949 Fri 19-Aug-22 16:47:38

Our granddaughter is 22! I can hardly believe it. She has left uni and is working. Seems like only yesterday that we got the call to say 'It's a girl'.

JenniferEccles Fri 19-Aug-22 17:11:25

That’s very interesting Chestnut because after reading someone’s perfectly reasonable point that time goes more quickly on holiday, for some reason I thought actually for me, I don’t think it does!
It’s strange because I nearly always really enjoy holidays, whether in this country or abroad, but by the end of a week it seems I’ve been away for longer. Now I know the explanation!

Old family photos are so poignant aren’t they? I still have some of my much loved parents and grandparents and looking through them can make me quite tearful.
I’m sure it’s the same for everyone.

Doodledog Fri 19-Aug-22 17:33:30

My son married recently, and we were at another family wedding a couple of weeks ago. Seeing all the 'babies' as glamorous young men and women, with proper jobs, partners and mortgages was lovely, but poignant. My son's best man was at nursery with him what seems like a year ago.

The more recent wedding was during a heat wave, and in the evening the young ones danced the night away whilst we oldies sat outside listening to the band and watching the sunset. It's no time at all since we were the youngsters, and yes, the absent friends were noticeable.

Also, something was on the radio the other day about 'back in the 90s'. I was just thinking 'yeah, that was a couple of years back' when it hit me that it was 30 years ago.

varian Fri 19-Aug-22 17:46:31

Other people's children can change from teenagers to middle aged people without you noticing.

They left for university and we never saw them again until they were doing a reading at their father's funeral.