TIme Flies By
Here we are, close to the end of January of 2016. If you, like me, are thinking where the heck did all these days go, then perhaps it is time to take a short break and count your blessings. Quite literally, really. Some studies show that the sense of time passing by really fast happens when we are busy, happy and just quite engaged in our lives.
On the contrary, life can be such a drag when we are going through a tough time. If you think back, you probably can think of periods in your life when it felt so - that time when you were carrying for someone with a chronic illness, for example, or the few weeks that you were unemployed, or depressed. You may shiver at the memory of it and want to shake off that image, hoping it doesn't come again - and that's a good thing to hope.
Fact is, we experience time not just in hours, days and months, but for the emotional context it has for us - though of course, in certain other conditions (such as altered states of consciousness, sense deprivation, age etc) time feels longer or shorter, or just fungible, but under regular circumstances, it is our emotional state that decides how we feel the time pass by.
That said, what of it?
Think of living as a period of collecting life experiences. Imagine you are going through all your life collecting memories, sensations, thoughts, feelings, perceptions - the whole rigmarole of what it means to be alive. If the happy times seem to speed past and the not-so-happy times slow down, does it mean that the not-happy memories linger and stay on longer? Is that what one would want?
From an evolutionary perspective, one could argue that memories of not-happy times serve the more useful purpose as learning experiences for us to try and avoid such experiences in the future, but then, as people, we would really want to remember and cherish the happy times as well, because those are what we really live for and enjoy - not just a series of avoiding unfortunate times.
That brings us back to what we started with - if the month seemed to just rush past, remind yourself that you want to cherish it, you want to mark this period for yourself and keep memories alive and kicking about this period. Get proactive about it - be sure to spend some time thinking over the busy, happy times, make these memories concrete. Save some pictures, maybe a video or two.
May the year continue to be happy for all of us.
Ajanta, Mahesh and other InnerSight counsellors and guest contributors are happy to share their thoughts here.