See Life with New Eyes, Slow Down the Passage of Time
“I wish there was a way to know you’re in the good old days before you’ve actually left them.”~ Andy Bernard
My mom had delicious sense of humor and latched on to witty sayings she’d hear. As I grow older, I’m beginning to see this with new eyes. She adopted some of them and used them often enough we weren’t sure which ones were original to her and which ones weren’t. (Hmm, that’s where I get it, right?) One of her favorites was “in the good old days, previously known as these trying times.”
Why does time seem to pass more slowly when we’re young?
To a large extent, the answer is we were paying more attention. We were seeing life through new eyes. We were living in the moment and tuned in to the present moment. There is solid science behind this. When we’re young, we’re constantly learning and experiencing “firsts.” During that time, our brain is hard at work exploring and recording every detail which creates rich, dense impressions and memories. Time seems to expand when we’re tuned in that way. Ever notice how a child can get completely absorbed in something and lose all track of time?
Later on, when we’ve mastered many skills and learned what we need to navigate our daily life, our brain turns off the camera so to speak. We’re not expending a lot of mental energy. We’ve all gotten bogged down at times by the sameness and the demands of everyday living. It’s pretty easy to fall into a predictable, almost mechanical approach to life. We’re no longer creating new brain connections because we’ve slipped into neutral and things become a gray blur. Our days just wash by and it can seem like our life is melting away. And for many, time seems to slip by faster and faster with every passing year.
Good news. You can slow down the way time feels
“The bad news is time flies. The good news is you’re the pilot.” ~ Michael Althsuler
No, we can’t freeze time or rewind. Life and time move in just one direction, forward. However, the way we perceive it can change a lot if we shake up our neural pathways a little. Inject some novelty, engage in more mindfulness. Resolve to become a life-long learner. How does this help? If we learn to see life through new eyes this way, we’re back to building richer, more complex patterns in our brain.
What does it do for us? When we make choices to challenge ourselves, try something new or engage with people around us we build knowledge, find adventure and create great memories. We can look back on our years and see how much we’ve grown, how much we’ve learned and how far we’ve come. By tuning in to the moment, we can greatly enrich our relationships, too and experience far better communication with loved ones.
Way back in eighth grade, I had a teacher who was one part mathematician, one part philosopher. At the tender age of thirteen, we were warned of the danger of what she called “velvet-lined ruts.” They may feel so warm and cozy she cautioned, but they’re really a grave. She was far ahead of her time as she preached the need to get out of our comfort zone to grow.
Why not begin right now?
The more sand that has escaped from the hourglass of our life, the clearer we should see through it.” ~Jean Paul
Today marks the winter solstice. The long dark nights will begin to grower shorter, the hours of light will grow longer. Hallelujah!
Right now, this Christmas, is the perfect time to start! There’s no better gift you can give yourself or your loved ones than seeing life through new eyes. Become a noticer. Be present. Keep learning. Become aware of the extraordinary life you are living right now, right here, today! These ARE the good old days, dear ones if you’ll just open those new eyes to see it.
There’s so much for which to be grateful. There is so much wonder in the everyday if you’ll just stop and look around. I sure hope you’ll try it and I’d love so very much to hear from you! I’ll be back next Thursday, no post on Christmas Day. Until then, I wish you joy and love. Merry Christmas! See you in a week.