Time is short – relatively

by Yutaro Fujiyama

Do you think that the 24 hours granted to us in a day is too long, or, too short? Personally, I feel that this is not much. I imagine that most of you feel as I do. The feeling that you haven’t done anything except for browsing Facebook, eating, taking a bath, or doing some homework without enthusiasm and thinking in bed “Whoa the day went fast…. but I can’t even remember what I’ve done today”.

I want you to recall your early childhood memories: a time when it wasn’t like this. Try to remember when you weren’t even at primary school, but when you stayed almost all day in your house and always with your mother or father.

I feel like a day back then felt like two days by today’s standards. Happy times passed slowly. The warm moment after bath and before sleep, maybe sipping a steaming hot chocolate, watching funny TV shows on the cozy sofa and, most importantly, being with your loving family. And I guess you felt like that happy moment was actually continuing forever. One hour felt like three.

Similarly, I have always loved long distance journeys by car. Three hours in the car felt like a decent chunk of time, allowing me to infinitely play Gameboy and daydream…

I have lost that sense. Three hours are only three albums of music.

Why?

I asked Professor Google. One opinion I found is that it’s  because the ratio of a day compared to your whole lifetime becomes smaller the longer you live. For example, a day of 5 years old is about 1/2000 of his/her lifetime. A day of 20 years old is about 1/7000 of his/her lifetime. My 85 years old grandpa’s day is about 1/30000 of his lifetime… no wonder he said that a year feels like a week.

Another opinion I found is that young children have so many “new” experiences that they have much denser memories. Denser memories create a longer sense of time. Older ones are more anticipated, thus do not create this spark in your brain, which supposedly is to give us more weight to our memory.

However, it is not smart to come to an easy conclusion that life becomes less stimulating as it continues. People can read more interesting book when they are older. You can have a better philosophy of life the longer you live. We can use our accumulated knowledge to enjoy more aspects of life. Of course, every new day is a culmination of your life.

Yutaro Fujiyama
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