How to Slow Down Time
This year, I celebrated the eve of my 36th birthday watching a movie in a hotel room, thinking about the problems I had to fix once I got back to the office. I was also trying to remember how I celebrated my previous birthdays, and felt bad when it took me a while to remember.
Was my memory getting really bad? Was I getting too old to remember?
As I thought more about it, the reason I couldn’t remember was I never really cared much about my birthdays. And the only reason I cared now was because other people cared enough to make sure I had a something to remember.
The best way to show my gratitude was to stop, think of how great the past birthdays were, and to slow time for the day.
For a lot of people, the real sign of adulthood is when time goes so fast, it feels like you went to sleep 18 years old, woke up as 25, slept 5 more minutes, and suddenly, you’re in your 30’s.
When you’re young, time seems so slow, and you can’t wait to grow up. And then, it seems like the older you get, the faster time goes, and suddenly, the best years of your life are suddenly behind you.
But does it really have to be this way?
On the plane ride to my birthday trip, I was reading a book by Benjamin Hardy called, Slipstream Time Hacking. In it, he uses Einstein’s theory of relativity, and how you can use this concept to control time. He used the example of time when were kids, vs how we viewed time as adults.
When we were children, we weren’t racing for anything. There were no promotions, deadlines or bills. Back then, our concept of time was now. There was no linear perception of time that lead to somewhere we wanted to be. We had no idea we would run out of it eventually.
Then as we got older, we were slowly presented with the concept that life was a race. We had to graduate, we needed to get a job, we had to get that promotion, get married, have kids, prepare for retirement. It was full of stages that we had to get to at a certain age, and if we didn’t measure up, we were failures.
The more aware we were of time, the more we would take the time we had for granted.
Slowing Time and Creating Memories
One of the main reasons why we have less memories as we become adults is because we have stopped enjoying time. When we continue to do so, we fall under this awful misconception that we’ve done nothing of value with our lives.
I had fallen into the trap of adulthood where happiness means fixing that problem or getting that goal, that I forget to enjoy the fact that getting there was also fun. A birthday, or any other day shouldn’t just another day that passes by while I was working on something.
So, on my actual birthday, I enjoyed the fact that I could take a nap even if it was the weekend. It was one of the best sleep I’ve had. I was thankful for all the people at the office that I could count on when I needed to take this break.
Yes, there were problems I had to get back to, but I was grateful to be taken on this trip, to be miles away from the office even if only for a few days.
It has allowed me to enjoy a longer day, read again, clear my mind and think of things differently, so that when I get back to work, I learn to appreciate things again.
Whenever we think that our adult lives have less value because it has less beautiful memories compared to our childhood, we have to consider that maybe it’s partly our fault.
As adults, we look for extraordinary occasions, life-changing events, over the top gestures. But the wonderful memories we have as kids were never just the spectacular ones. It was also the dinners at home, the games with friends, the fun activities at school.
We never stopped creating wonderful memories, we just never stopped to enjoy them.