I’ve been thinking about time


Upon returning from a school trip to the beach at the age of about 6, I made this comment to one of our teachers: “The journey to the beach took ages, but the journey back is going really quickly.”

“Yes,” she replied indifferently.


My teacher considered my question for a moment and then conceded that she didn’t know.

And I wondered how could she be as old as that and not know something so simple as how TIME works?

And so, lest I am ever under the gaze of a young child asking why time appears to bend and change and fly as the years go by, here is the Science bit:

So, at age 1, the previous year makes up 100% of all you have ever known. By age 2, the previous year makes up only 50% of your entire life, and by age 7, this drops significantly to 14%. By the time you are in your mid-20s, each subsequent year makes up less than 4% of your entire life. In fact, if you’re fortunate enough to live to 100, then by the time you hit 20, you have already entered the last third of your life (in terms of time perception) so it’s really no surprise that time appears to be whizzing by.

Of course, you can apply this theory to all manner of time-related activities; including why holidays go faster towards the end, why the first few minutes of a lecture appear to drag on the longest, and why such a fascinating blog entry as this comes to a very abrupt—.


3 responses »

  1. Hey Karen, just clicked on this by accident – I like it! I was going to ask if you wrote this after we had a conversation about it, but then I saw that you said there was a video on it… I’m sure I must have waffled about this one to you on one of my random thought trains. I realized the same thing not too long ago (maybe last year or the year before), but then I never thought about illustrating it – it’s really cool! Xx

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