As you get older so people say that time goes quicker. One minute it is nine o’clock on a January morning and you are contemplating your New Year resolutions to learn a musical instrument and write a book and suddenly it is mid-August and you are wondering how to avoid Auntie Flo’s Christmas family get together.
Well, I’m no Stephen Hawking or Brian Cox (or even David Barney, the cleverest pupil ever to leave Gaywood Park High School), but I think I have the answer to the perceived speeding up of time.
My theory is based around a lifetime’s accumulation of things that take you time to do. It all begins when you are learning social skills. My mother taught me to brush my hair forty times in the evening, brush my teeth for two minutes after breakfast and before bed, even chew each mouthful of food forty times before swallowing – the last one went out of the window the minute I was given a plate of jelly and blancmange.
When you start to add those minutes up, you realise that you are eating into your allotted 24 hours in the day.
As a student, you claim a little of that back. Teeth brushing becomes less important, you can certainly do without the prescribed eight hours of sleep and eating becomes something you just do after a few beers – curry anyone?
Post university however, and it all starts to go downhill in terms of time. Everywhere you look there are things eating into your day. A visit to the dentist sees you emerge with a packet of floss. Do you know how long it takes to floss properly? A casual flick through a health magazine and suddenly you are devoting “30 minutes a day to moderate to intensive exercise”. No longer are convenient ready meals (pop in the microwave for 45 seconds) acceptable, no, you have to subscribe to the slow food movement and cook your meat for no less than four hours; your vegetables should be loving put through a spiralizer; rather than simply eat an apple, you should juice it with some kale; and bread simply has to be home-baked.
There are other things sent to steal our time. I daren’t add up the total minutes I spend checking Facebook to make sure no-one is having more fun than me. Box sets just gobble up time and leave you wanting more; and if you go into the office and haven’t watched last night’s Gogglebox then you become a social outcast.
Those New Year resolutions were ridiculously optimistic. When was I ever going to find the time to learn an instrument when I haven’t even got time to floss properly?