When I was young, it seemed that the days stretched out in front of me endlessly. If Daddy and Mama told me that we were going to the July Jubilee, and it was the middle of June, it felt like it was years before the time finally rolled around and we could go to the carnival. If they told me that we were going fishing this evening, and it was 10:00 in the morning, I was sure that I would grow old just waiting for the afternoon to pass.
Albert Einstein pointed out with his theories of relativity that time is,,,, well, relative. He was discussing the passage of time for people involved in travel at speeds approaching lightspeed. But, it applies to numerous situations that are directly tied to one's age.
The time elapsed between a fifth and sixth birthday is much greater than the time elapsed between a 65th and 66th birthday. Don't believe me? Just ask someone who is in the higher age bracket and they will tell you that it passes all too quickly. The five year old will check every month to see if they've reached the sixth year, being quite certain that a year must have elapsed.
I'm not sure when we start to change our concept of time. Perhaps it's when we begin working for a living, trying to find a way to juggle the responsibilities of adulthood with the desire to still enjoy ourselves. Maybe it's when we start families and watch the children go from gurgling bundles of pink to dirt-covered munchkins in what seems like days. Having children around, says the old axiom, makes you feel younger. In my experience, it simply reminds you, on a constant basis, of just how old you really are.
When you have class reunions and discover that you've lost another classmate since the last gathering, you definitely feel that time is racing past you. At that same reunion, looking at the graying hair, the slower walks, the wrinkled brows,,,, you know that all the world is moving much too quickly.
The Mason High School class of 1978 is about to hold its 35th reunion. Though I'm eager to see my old classmates, I also know that this is a recognition of just how much older we've all become. It will be fun to sit around and reminisce about our youthful escapades. It will be great to find out how marriages fared over the years, to see photos of children, grandchildren (and even some great-grandchildren), and to learn where the roads my old classmates traveled have taken them. It will also be painful to hear about the friends who have departed this life, about the trials that many of us have been through, and about the decisions that some friends made that did not end well.
We learn as we grow older that, in the blink of an eye, life changes. What was once so easy to do has become challenging and difficult. What was once the far off future has become the present. And, what once was the promise of tomorrow,,, has become the reality of today.
In the blink of an eye, life changes.
But, even though time races by, that does not mean it is over. Youth don't learn the value of savoring each day unless those of us who have lived our lives share with them the lessons we have learned. The reason their days can stretch on to the horizon is because we have traveled the road ahead of them, preparing the way. We didn't always do a good job; but, we did our best at the time.
The reason that our days are short and theirs are long is that we no longer need as much time to learn our lessons. Life has taught us to see things as they occur and to know that we must react before the situation gets out of hand. The young not only think they have forever, they also sometimes feel that they are immortal and don't feel the urgency to deal with the problems of the world. We who have preceded them, and those in front of us, know that immortality is not a human capacity.
In the blink of an eye, life changes.
But, it's the same life that we've been living since we appeared on this earth, and only the surroundings have really changed. Life stays the same while everything around us changes. Life the best one you can.
It’s all just my opinion.