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ChangingMinds Blog! > Blog Archive > 22-Dec-13


Sunday 22-December-13

The Flight of Time

This time last year we'd just moved to the Welsh countryside and were covered in boxes. And now, a year has flown by. We've rebuilt the kitchen, the main bedroom, repainted loads and replace a roof. We've also grown vegetables and started to figure out what we'll do when all the DIY is done.

It's been quite an experience. But most of all, the experience has been of time flying by. We're both relatively recently retired, a state which has the effect of breaking the pattern of getting up at what used to be 5am for the long commute into London. The weekends back then used to mean something, but now it's just when the shops get busier. There was an amusing quote on TV's Downton Abbey just after it started, when the dowager countess looked mystified when somebody mentioned the weekend. 'A weekend? What's that?' she queried. Only now do I really get it.

I still work on the website and do occasional consulting contracts, but the weekends that were such a relief from the intensity of a 'proper job' now are just as busy as other days. And it has been pretty much non-stop. We may get up as late as 9 or 10am, but by that time I've spent several hours writing or researching. I've a seven inch Nexus tablet which means I can work when I'm horizontal as well as when I'm out in town. After the daily write-fest, I get on with the house work, which currently is a complete revamp of the main bathroom. When the weather improves, there'll be more outside as I've covered up a big area with black plastic and will be growing lots of our own vegetables. And one of the great luxuries of retirement is being able to spend more time with my wife, who's also highly practical about the house and garden.

Time. It's the great leveller. No matter who you are, we each have the same amount each day. While physicists know it as one of the great variables, along with space, energy and matter, it is experienced very differently by each of us (and each of us experience it differently every day). While solid things stay the same size, time seems to speed up or slow down depending on your situation. Yet as we get older, so I've found, it just accelerates more and more. It seems that there's an inverse law involved: the less time you have left, the faster it goes and more precious it becomes. One day, I'll hit the end-stops and then maybe get some empirical evidence of what happens when we die (or not, as the case may be). But until then I'm going to live as much as I can. And that is one of the joys of retirement -- you are in charge, at last, of the whole day.

So whether you are young and carefree with your life stretching out seemingly infinitely before you, or like me you're making the most of your final years, please do have a splendid seasonal break, whatever your beliefs may be.

And do enjoy every fleeting moment.

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