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…and we don’t!

Again, another reason I’m sure I was switched at birth.  My brother, Charlie, is one of the smartest people I know.  He’s a math guy.  You may have heard, I don’t do math.


But Charlie does.  Recently, when I discovered it was December already, I made a comment about time moving faster as one gets older.  Charlie, the math whiz, came up with an explaination.   If it wasn’t so good, I’d be quite annoyed.  And if I had ever listened to any of the Math teachers I had, I may have thought of it myself…but I doubt it!

The older you are the faster time flies

(my smarty comments will be in italics.)

Ok you who are 35 and older, have you notice how fast time flies now?  It seems that just after New Years we have Easter and then the fourth of July and then Labor Day, which is quickly followed by Thanksgiving and Christmas, and then New Years again. Come on, weren’t there some other days in between all those so-called holidays?  Well now that I am over 60 (he’s 65) it really does not always seem like there are any days between the holidays.  I think I have a good theory as to why it seems that way.  Follow this. (IF YOU DARE!!)   When you were 2 years old each week was about 1% of your life or about 1/100 for those of you who love fractions.  (For those of you who LOVE FRACTIONS…what is wrong with this man?) Really there are 52 weeks in a year so I am rounding some here to make the numbers easier to follow.  (He is channeling Olin Matthews, our high school math teacher here, I’m sure!!)  You can grab a calculator and determine the exact values if you like, (oh, yes, I’ll be right back after I get my calculator…suuuuure.)  but for most of us the round numbers will make the point.  (For most of  us, round numbers are about all we know!)  Now when you are 10, one week is only  1/500 of your life, or about two tenths of one percent.   (OMC!)  And when you are 20, each week is only about 1/1000 or .1%.  Let’s jump to 50 years. (Why not, this is aging me as I read it!)   Now, one week is only about 1/2500 or .04 % of your life.      [Remember that fractions with the same numerator (top)(thank you, I was going to have to google numerator!!)  but different denominators (bottom) (and denominator) are easy to compare since the one with the largest denominator will have the smallest value.]  (You may want to take a break here for some TYLENOL!!)

Look at this chart.  (Serioulsy, it makes it better, I promise!)

Your age in years

Your age in weeks

Each week is as fraction of life

Each week is as a percent life


2 50 1/100 1%  
10 500 1/500 .2%  
20 1000 1/1000 .1% Now a week is only half as much as of your life as it was when you were 10 and one tenth as much of your life as it was when you were 2.
30 1500 1/1500 .06666…%  
40 2000 1/2000 .05 %  
50 2500 1/2500 .04 %  
60 3000 1/3000 .0333…% Now each week is only half as much of your life as when you were 30 and only one 30th of what is was when you were 2.
You can fill in the rest.        

So here is what I think is happening.  We compare the basic unit of time usually one week to our entire life, so as we age each week is a much smaller portion of our entire life.  That makes time seem to go so much faster as we get older. 

See if this helps.  I did not think about time until I was maybe 5 or 6 years old. (I do not remember what I was thinking about at five or six, but it was for sure not TIME!!) A week seemed like a long time. When I was 6, a week was a fractional portion of my life.  However when I was 12, a week was just half as much of my life as when I was 6.  That means it took 2 weeks to be the same fraction of my life as a week was when I was six. 

(UP here…I’m frazzled at this point!  And my toilet paper analogy is so much simpler!)


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