As people age, "they just have this sense, this feeling that time is going faster than they are," says Warren Meck, a psychology professor at Duke University.
Some scientists think this is because when you experience something for the first time more details get stored in your memory. Because you are processing so many new events it feels like time is taking forever to "encode" on your mind.
"It's a construction of the brain," says Neuroscientist David Eagleman of Baylor College of Medicine. "The more memory you have of something, you think, 'Wow, that really took a long time!'
Naturally, science has more than one explanation for why time speeds up as we age. You can do your own research on it.
Meanwhile five months of the year have passed: Hubby and I are both a year older (and to be depressing about it -- a year closer to death). Our older dog, Gus, has slowed down considerably from where he was twelve or even six months ago. Luie, the pup, is now a full-fledged adult, willing to accept slower walks in the park and less time romping with his papa. The pink Town Car needs a few more repairs than it did in the late winter months and Hubby has even begun thinking it might need to be replaced. Our shoulders and knee are stiffer while all our joints creak more. We sleep less at night and nap more during the day. We are required to hire more help around the house.
Two things are required, the scientists say, to keep time from slipping away so elusively:
- Take advantage of new and unique experiences; when we go to the same places and do the same things, we don't make distinct memories and time seems to fly by.
- Focus on positive (rather than negative) past memories, trying to live more in the present, and holding a positive perception of the future.