Time Keeps Ticking
When I was in my teens, I read this article in Reader’s Digest about time and how when we’re young it seems to go so much more slowly than it does as we age. The author proposed the idea that this was because each day becomes an increasingly smaller portion of our lifetime and thus is relatively shorter. For instance, at four-years-old, a day is 1/1,461 of our lifetime. At 44-years-old, however, it is 1/16,071. A day becomes a smaller portion of our overall lifetime, thus getting relatively shorter. Obviously, the concept struck a cord with me, and I have used it as the basis for trying to understand this phenomenon that vexes me.
Lately, as I see the gray in my hunny’s beard overtake the brown and contemplate my big sister’s sixtieth birthday and accept that I am solidly in the grips of middle age, I’ve become more anxious about time. I don’t believe I ever took it for granted, but these days I occasionally feel it racing away—out ahead of me in such a way that leaves me breathless and scared. I feel like I’ve only begun to understand how to make the most of life, and already it is half gone.
This poem came of that anxiety. I hope you enjoy it.