What is happening to time?
Time continues to compress. The day and year spin by. We lie in bed at night wondering where they went. What date did Mount St. Helens blow out its side, destroying the beauty of that peak? In May of 1980! Seems like just a decade or so ago.
In a forum, The Town Square, published by a newspaper near Saint Helene, The Daily News from Longview, Washington, a reader explains this phenomenon:
"As we swirl through our vortex of life we start at the outer edge, where orbits through the flow of time takes a longer illusion of distance versus time. Progressively we rotate towards the center and the orbits appear to have sped up, but really have not. It is the perceived distance or time covered that creates the illusion. Time remains the same. Positioned in the center of your swirling vortex is the eye that continually sucks you through allotted time and finally into another dimension. It’s only an illusion, you will be at the eye of your next dimension sooner than you know. You will wonder where time went, there was never any time, time was invented by man. There was only illusion, the same illusion that will let you remember events of your entire life in a matter of moments, as you start sinking through that eye.......illusion......."
Approaching middle age, if one's ancestors were reasonably long-lived, we calculate the time left. Perhaps only half of life is over, and it was a long, long time ago that this journey began. We project an equally long time remaining. We start taking a little better care of the body, reassess goals and dreams. Then in almost an eye-blink, options are fading, half of the remaining time has disappeared. Where has it gone?
Added to not smoking, controlling weight, wearing seatbelts, exercising, and other ordinary care, a way to extend life and well-being is to eat a healthy diet very high in flavenoids, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. That's the good stuff that comes in fruits and veggies, a variety of whole grains, fish, egg yolks, nuts, chocolate, green tea and so on.
Equally important is to live mindfully. As you did when a child, take moments to really look at leaves and trees, flowers, insects, the shapes of clouds. Listen to birdsong, wind and rain. Do something interesting daily; accomplish an item that gives satisfaction, whether it's solving a programming problem, cleaning out a closet, making a home repair, or putting a section of garden to rights. Then stop and admire what you did!
Make contact! Give a hug to someone you haven't seen in a while, invite a person to lunch or coffee, take a puzzle or small interesting trinket to a child, take time to thank someone from the heart for something they have done, taught or inspired you. Do a small kindness to a stranger without expecting gratitude. Really listen during conversations instead of just formulating what you will say next.
Be good to yourself. Take a walk, get a massage (or give one), go to a workout, take part in a sport, if even for 10 minutes. Fix a healthy dish you really love and savor it slowly. Spruce up your wardrobe or polish your shoes. Have a luxurious and fragrant bath, or tidy up your bedroom. As that old saying goes, "Take time to stop and smell the roses!"
At day's end, take a moment to contemplate or write down those chores accomplished, things to be thankful for, beauty viewed or items enjoyed. No matter what your age, you'll add perceivable years to your life.