Most of us know that as we get older, time seems to move more quickly, and nobody feels this more intensely than baby boomers, especially around the holidays. It’s almost a common complaint, particularly at the end of the year, that time flies, and there are various theories as to why this happens. What makes the most sense is that when we’re young, we encounter a lot of “firsts,” such as our first day of school, our first sleepover, our first kiss, or getting our first car. When thinking about the firsts in our lives, we tend to recall the details of these events more clearly, and the more detailed our recollections, the better we remember them.
Many people will also agree that when we’re on vacation, for example, the first few days seem to go very quickly. Then, all of a sudden, it seems as if our holidays take a huge leap in time and start moving much more quickly. Before we know it, we have to return home. This is because everything becomes more familiar during the second part of the trip.
Psychologist William James believed that time passes more quickly for older people because as we age, there aren’t as many memorable events. Some people may disagree with this sentiment, but one thing’s for sure: there are fewer firsts and many more repetitive events in adulthood.
Acknowledging that time seems to be moving quickly is a reminder that there are also things we can do to slow it down. Remaining positive and present is an excellent way to start. Maintaining a mindful attitude is another way to slow down time. Being mindful means paying attention to the details of our lives and incorporating all our senses into the remembering process — that is, stopping to smell those roses, savoring each bite of a fine meal, and really listening to the songs of birds or the sounds of waves on the shore. Each experience may last only a moment . . . but moments are what our memories are made of.
Another way to be mindful about the occurrences in our lives is to document them in pictures or video, or write them down. Year’s end is as good time a time as any to do so, as many people are reviewing and remembering the events of the previous months. You can note these experiences in your journal or, if you’re more comfortable, on your computer.
Here are some subjects to write about to help you recall and document the events of 2016:
- The highlights of your year.
- Any births or deaths in your family or your circle of friends.
- Your accomplishments, big and small.
- One new person you met and why it was a valuable connection.
- An adventure or new experience that changed you in some way.
- People you appreciate for the things they did for you, or how they made you feel.
- The best part of your job / profession.
- A new passion you developed.
- Any positive transitions you made.
- The joys and miracles of 2016.
Diana Raab, PhDis a memoirist, poet, thought provoker, and blogger with a Ph.D. in Psychology. Visit her at: dianaraab.com.
Originally published at www.huffingtonpost.com on December 12, 2017.