Sunday, February 18, 2007

Time-Lapse Living

Over at Unknowing Mind, Mike theorizes about why time seems to pass faster as we age. His answer is framed from a Buddhist perspective involving karma, intention and mindfulness and it's worth reading. Here's my reinterpretation of his idea: you're conscious of the passing of time only when you're conscious of what you're doing; and you barely notice time when you're operating on autopilot. The longer you live, the more situations you have an automatic unthinking response to. When you're 13 and you do the laundry for the first time, you think about every step and worry that you're not getting it right. When you're 31 you do it automatically without even noticing, and so much less time seems to pass for you. As you become more competent in so many areas, your life flies by like a time-lapse film, the camera only capturing a frame during your increasingly rare "what the fuck am I doing?" moments.

Mike suggests living more intentionally -- deciding what to do and doing it mindfully. Maybe another trick would be to try lots of new things and take more risks. Try to put yourself in situations like you encountered so often as a child: trying to do important adult things for the first time with small uncoordinated hands.

No comments: