Time Keeps on Ticking, Ticking – John Randolph

I don’t know about you, but it really feels as if time is FLYYYYYYING. I’m starting to acknowledge the fact that once the calendar rolls onto September 1st, the year is pretty much over-rover. How is that possible? I mean, really…how on earth is it possible?

I’m definitely in the camp of, “The older you get, the faster time seems to go.” What I can’t seem to figure out is why this is the case. Is it part-and-parcel of aging? If so, why? This phenomenon seems to be consistent across cultures, but no one seems to have a definitive explanation for it.

I did come across a couple of interesting hypotheses on the topic:

  1. The first hypothesis argues that how we perceive the passing of time changes depending on: whether we are focused on ‘the now’, the past, the future; whether we have a positive or negative view of our past or future; and simply that our brains undergo biological changes as we age.
  2. Another hypothesis (the one that makes the most sense to me!) suggests that our perception of time is influenced by the amount of information stored in our memory. In other words, when you first experience something, your brain does not have memories to draw on, so it has to create new memories and store large amounts of new sensory data. On the other hand, a year filled with routine activities can feel, in retrospect, like it passed rather quickly because there isn’t much to remember.

Hmmm…what do you think?

What I remember so vividly about my year with FBC is that so many days were incredibly long (often hours felt like days!), but the weeks and months went by so quickly. In fact a week from today is the 2nd anniversary of my diagnosis. Wow. Warp speed (major Silver Lining!).

Leave a comment


  1. E.B. says

    I agree with Sandy Frankel's comment about your hitting the nail on the head. My heart goes out to her, that first anniversary is a tough one. We appreciate the time we had with our loved ones, we go on and build new lives, chapters end, chapters begin, but the yearning for their presence, their voices, laughter and wise counsel, is ever present. I believe the very, very best present one can give is one's time. Absolutely love Carolee's advice "The best thing to do is to try to live in the moment; and like a child savor each new day." It is an excellent life philosophy. This blog and its readers are the best! Carpe diem!

    • says

      Thanks so much for your note, E.B.! I agree that this community is the BEST! I absolutely love and appreciate everyone's comments!!! Thank you!

  2. says

    I really like your hypothesis, Carolee! It makes so much sense! Thank you very much for sharing. I love the imagery of being "on the cusp, midway, or in the winter of your life." Beautiful. Thank you!

  3. says

    Dear Kate,
    Hellooooo! It's wonderful to hear from you! Thank you so much for your note. I love that you are now working as a birth doula. How BEAUTIFUL. Those moms and babies are so fortunate to have you with them.
    Music therapy is indeed amazing. I can't tell you how many people it helped when no other intervention would. It is an amazing gift to patients and their families.
    It's terrific to be reconnected.
    Please stay in touch.

  4. says

    My hypotheses is that as a child one is more carefree and every new discovery is one you have time to savor. That is also how we learn as youngsters; thus our days seem long and limitless before us. As we age our lives are busier with achieving, producing, maintaining our lifestyle, raising a family, etc. We are so busy that our hours, days weeks, and months rush by and we wonder where the time went.
    Remember as a child how long a week, a month, a year seemed? But as an adult the time does seem to go faster. For example every thing seemed big as a child; through those same adult eyes they seem smaller. That is the same with aging, time perception moves faster as our expiration date draws nearer. And it can depend where you are in life; on the cusp, midway, or in the winter of your life. The best thing to do is to try to live in the moment; and like a child savor each new day.

  5. says

    Dear Hollye, I read the feature on you in Sunday's Tribune and feel as though our paths have crossed in the past. Perhaps during my four years working as a music therapist for a hospice where you may have been part of the pediatric care team? I feel as though we spent many times sitting across from one another at one team meeting or another, sharing ideas in corner offices of social workers. Regardless, the article that features your philosophy on healing after cancer treatment resonated deeply with me. I am currently using music therapy (more specifically music and imagery) to work with expectant mothers. I work as a birth doula and I strive to help the birthing mothers understand their process of childbirth more fully, prepare mentally and most importantly process what their body has been through after childbirth. I fully believe that my time devoted to working in hospice years ago, helped bring me to a richer understanding of how we experience life and how music therapy can help us more fully embrace life. Anyway, I just wanted to re-connect with you and reach out to you and let you know your blog is a fantastic inspiration and clearly helps you fulfill your passion and purpose in life. Thanks. Best regards to you, Kate Taylor

  6. Kim C says

    I agree with both your points. So, the challenge might be to find meaningfulness (a sense of purpose and joy) in the mundane and stay in the present moment as much as possible. Part of mindfulness training is knowing when we've drifted off into our heads & at the moment of knowing, we're back to the present. And practising this over and over and over! Easier said than done!!! It takes daily practise like we may practise the piano, a new language or a sport. I remember you blogging about this in the past, but Dr. Jon Kabat Zinn's meditation tapes and books are one way to begin. I'm with you – that with school age children, September's a blurrrrr!!!

    • says

      I couldn't agree more, Kim. Thanks! Thanks also for the recommendation on Dr. Jon Kabat Zinn…will look up this today!!!! Thanks as always for your comments!