DLW is an occasional blog about how people spend the time of their lives (every moment) to enable health, balance, meaning and fulfillment. As a blogspot about doing, it draws from personal stories and from studies of everyday living. It's main idea is that to be well, people must be involved fully in what they do. The activities that occupy our days help to connect us to the world, define who we are, and keep us healthy.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Home again

It's hard to believe I have not posted a blog entry for three weeks, and I'm amazed at how fast time has passed. Of course, I've been busy; but then again, so have you. Which prompts a reflection in this post about the perception of time. That is, how it seems to pass so quickly on some occasions and so slowly on others.

As a person well into middle age, I have the distinct impression that time accelerates as we get older.  I can recall endless and interminable afternoons in my desk during the fifth grade (and perhaps on more recent occasions as I endured disengaging lectures). In the sixth grade I was fortunate to have a master teacher and felt constantly engaged; the time passed quickly and I excelled. I now wonder if there was a relationship between the two experiences (my performance and my perception of time).

Of course, there have been scientists interested in this phenomenon, both from a psychological perception perspective and a time use/accuracy of reporting standpoint. Not surprisingly, time use scientists report that perceived versus actual time spent working is inflated, while perceived versus actual time spent in leisure and social activity is underestimated. Go figure.

The whole complex matter of perceived time passage, performance, and happiness is immensely interesting, and invites the possibility that loneliness is associated with depression because of disengagement and the perception that time crawls mercilessly through uninviting terrain—rather than springing, as it should, through more pleasant surroundings. 

I'll have a look at the literature to see if any enterprising (engaged) scientist has cleverly considered these questions and report them if I find anything. Meantime, if you discover something, or have a thought to share, please feel free to post it here. Meantime, I wish you engaging moments.

4 comments:

  1. Your post captivated me as time is a concept I often contemplate. Perhaps my view differs in that I adhere to conceptualizations of "space time" which are more 3 dimensional in nature and do not always consider time a linear point. I am mindful that it is those most special times where we are engaged in what we are doing, or spending time with close friends, family or loved ones that time can seemingly fly by in a second, or stand still as if an eternity. I have always believed however that perhaps it too transcends the mathematical concepts of space time and ventures into the spiritual realm.

    If you are interested, here is a site that links to other sites with conceptualizations of space time. ..

    http://www.ws5.com/spacetime/

    though I believe time transcends the limits of mathematics and science, perhaps too, the 3 and 4 dimensional views bring us to venture beyond our traditional conceptualizations. ... I query why I am captivated by such conceptualizations.. perhaps because time is so precious?!

    Thanks again for your post.
    Kringle

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  2. I felt what you describe here too. I think some times time passes so slow because we do not accept the way situations unfold in our life and instead we keep our attention in our heads, thinking of how we could happily enjoy that moment, if it had the right circumstances.

    Secret: Accept the Now, no matter how it unfolds. Feel everything: love, hate, anger, rage, sadness, depression, but do not react to it. Allow it to exist inside you and choose to respond to what it's saying.

    From what I`ve read at some point, time is nothing but a mental construct. There is nothing but the moment Now, and what we call 'time' is composed of past memories and future projections of the mind.

    Check spiritual literature for this - sure, it's not scientific proof, but it's an interesting way of considering time. I recommend The Power of Now and The Presence Process for this.

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  3. Thanks for these comments. I too am a fan of the power of now. It is difficult, as Tolle says, to be fully attentive to the now, without getting distracted by our emotions and memories. I'd be interested if you think that memories encourage thinking forward, or anticipations? We interpret events in a cause and effect relationship. But how much of the connection between events is our own interpretation and explanation rather than what really happened? And...to belabor the point even more, is there such a phenomenon as what REALLY happened? Since meaning is entirely constructed within minds it cannot exist outside of thought and the brain.

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  4. As I just revisited your post I was captivated by your query. Your contemplation about thoughts, perceptions and reality is uniquely interesting as yes, I do believe events occur outside of our thoughts, and yet too it is our emotions, perceptions, and fundamental being that creates that which is, that which is experienced and that which is to come. You too questioned whether memories encourage thinking forward or anticipation... I believe that memories and past events seed current and future events and that they are directly influenced not only by the past "as was", yet too the past as experienced for it is our emotions, our meaning, and that which we believe in that drive our development of self and thus facilitate construction with others, the good Lord and the world on that which is to become. Yet too perhaps it is a bit more complex as conceptualizations of dual time would not assume full linearity. ...

    You have me thinking this morn... yet too, that is a good thing (warm smile).

    Thanks for your thoughts, and for your questions
    Blessings
    Kringle

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About Me

I am a writer, lifelong student, former academic and new blogger. My passion continues to be everyday living. I am interested in what people do, how, when and why they do it, and what it means for their their understanding of the world and hence, their well being.