How Do You Slow Down Time?

By: Ginger Hanson

As I’m writing this, I’m less than two weeks away from my due date. Crazy, right?! As it approaches, I’m reminded more and more of the passage of time. I notice it now more than ever – the days and years are passing by so much faster than they did when I was a kid. What’s interesting is while this has been weighing on me lately, I’ve been reading Gretchen Rubin’s book, Happier At Home. And I recently came across the following passage in her own reflection on how fast time passes:

I’m not the only one to feel this effect; as we get older, time seems to pass more quickly. As poet Robert Southey explained: “Live as long as you may, the first twenty years are the longest half of your life. They appear so while they are passing; they seem to have been so when we look back on them; and they take up more room in our memory than all the years that succeed them.” Research supports Southey’s observations. According to work done in the 1970s by Robert Lemlich, people who live to be eighty years old have passed through 71 percent of the subjective experience of the passage of time by the time they’re forty; the years between ages sixty and eighty feel like just 13 percent of life.

Intense, right? What feels like the longest period of my life – the first twenty years – are the years that were often spent wishing to be older, dreaming about what life will be like when I was “on my own.” I completely agree that those first years are the ‘longest’ in my memory, the years that passed by the slowest. So, the question that keeps coming up for me is how do I make sure my son takes full advantage of the longest period of his life? How do I slow down time while he is young so we can both enjoy it?  

I can’t say that I have the answers, but I’m going to try. Here at 30 Day Gals, we just hit our one-year anniversary and for the next year, we’re framing our challenges around three main pillars that we’ve each chosen as the focuses of our improvements. One of my pillars is “parenthood” – being a good partner and parent. An upcoming challenge of mine will be focused on being present and mindful when Baby Hanson comes along in an effort slow down time. For those who might feel the same way, I’ll keep you posted how my effort to slow things down goes. And if you have any suggestions, send them my way!

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