Keeping time

I am doing NaBloPoMo this month. 30 blog posts in 30 days. You can read more about it on San’s blog the in between is mine. #nablopomo2022

Lands and labyrinth that is not anymore

I just met up with a friend for dinner and realized that the last time we set together was a little over 6 months ago. I never really think about how often I see (or not see) people but considering we live so close it’s not that often. It just made me think back to the good old days when I saw my friends almost on a daily basis and then when I moved out to the “big” city I had my class mates and later colleagues who were about the same age and then friends I hung out with on a regular basis. Birthdays back then were a big deal, right? Every year I got older came with new accomplishments- drivers license, moving out, moving in together for the first time, first job, getting married, moving abroad, having kids.

Ah yes, having kids. Everything after that becomes a little hazy for me. It’s not like I stopped doing my own things and it’s not like I don’t hang out with friends anymore but there is definitely a whole new set of friends and new activities, too. And time passes according to the kids’ accomplishments (first steps, first words, soccer games, first year in school, etc.) and them getting older.

I sometimes have the feeling I lost my sense of time during those years (they are 13 and 11 now so this is still ongoing). Suddenly my colleagues are way younger than I am (how is it even possible I could be the mother of some of them now?) and I definitely see the beginning of some lines around my eyes. It’s like I missed at least 10 years of my life. I know, it’s all there proven by a multitude of photos I took over the years

Don’t get me wrong – I am not complaining. It just baffles me. Is that a normal thing getting older and does everyone experience this or does it have to do with having children and shifting the focus on them? It’s a mystery to me. I actually enjoy the age I am now (48 today). I know what I like and what I don’t. I don’t have the urge to please all the time anymore (sometimes still a little but that’s just me). I know my weaknesses and at least try to work with them. There is also some things I don’t like, like e.g. the ache in my shoulder that is very persistent. But I am more at home in my body than I was before. It’s all good.

One of my colleagues mentioned the theory that as we get older time seems to pass faster since we have less of the total time left that makes up our lifespan. It made a little sense at the moment but then again not really.


16 thoughts on “Keeping time”

  1. Happy Birthday!

    I was considering friendship yesterday. There is a pasta restaurant nearby that I would like to go to for lunch, but they don’t have much beyond pasta, and most of that is meat based, so my husband (low carb) and my daughter (vegetarian) likely wouldn’t want to go. So who could I go with? I’m sorry to say that most of my friends have moved away, and I don’t have any new ones, so I am having trouble thinking of someone. It made me sad.

    But just now, typing this, I thought of two friends who might be interested, we get together a couple of times a year. I knew them at my college job, MANY years ago (I’m almost 10 years older than you). So YAY!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hurray! I think friendships do change in the years we get older. We see them less frequent and old ones often live farther away but that does not make them less valuable just different, right? I have been thinking about that quite a bit too recently. Hah, 10 years is all relative. I feel like college is MANY years away as well.


  2. Happy Birthday! I also like the age I am now (56.) I heard somewhere that research shows people get happier with each passing decade- so 40s are happier than 30s, 50s happier than 40s. etc. Until you get till your 80s- they didn’t really elaborate on that decade and I’m not sure I want to know.
    Anyway… I wonder what those years would have been like if we didn’t have kids. Having kids definitely puts you on a different path and those years can be a blur (wait, what happened? How did I get here?) But maybe everyone feels like that.
    Anyway, I hope you’re doing something fun to celebrate today!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Jenny! So it is even getting better from here? I am glad to hear that 😊 it’s going to be more or less normal day with cake for breakfast and lunch with my lab mates and then presents and dinner in the evening.


  3. There are distinct seasons to life and it can feel almost surreal to look into the past, present and future and see how…things change and ebb/flow.
    Overall, I am SO much happier now than I was a decade ago (or even last year, to be honest). Having kids dominated my life for YEARS – there is so much hands-on work that has to happen when they’re little. I also had children when I was young, so I went from being a young student in university to being a parent and never really got a chance to think about what I wanted in “adult” life. I’m really taking the time to unpack those things now that my kids are older. It is taking time, but I’m really happy to feel more at peace about my life trajectory now. I can separate out my roles – as my own entity (what do I like!), as a mother (what is my role in helping them grow up to be empathetic, well-adjusted members of society), as a wife (how can we mutually support each other and grow), as a friend (ditto the marriage point).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. In some ways the added life experience does help, right? I kind of had a couple extra years thinking about what I wanted from adult life but I am not sure I ever did. In my mid 20s I thought I was all set and then went through a breakup (because I suddenly knew what I did not want), but had the feeling to start all over again. I think In the end it all worked out for me and hopefully there is still more good years to come 🙂


  4. Happy Birthday!

    I’m 52, and I understand your want to no longer please others. What took me  so long? Yes, perhaps because I was parenting small children and my needs were disregarded. But I admire how this younger generation is learning that their needs should never be set aside. They can coexist with all of the other needs. 💕

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I think this is an age thing, not a kids thing. I don’t have children, but I frequently wonder what exactly happened to me during my 30s. How did I get here, to my 40s? Where did the years go? But I hope things don’t go too much faster as I get older – everything seems to be going by quickly as it is!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Ok, first let me tell you: this time perception thing has nothing to do with having kids – I also feel like the last 10 years have gone by in the blink of an eye. While I am sure the experience for me has been “different” from yours and your focus has shifted a lot when you had kids and you might think that this is why the passage of time has eluded you, I think the phenomenon itself has more to do with get fact of getting older.

    I’ve heard the theory before that as we get older time seems to pass faster since we have less of the total time left that makes up our lifespan. Another one is that as you get older you have less “first-time experiences” and therefore your day-to-day is often the same and time “blurs” together more because of that. I think it’s probably a little bit of both and maybe some other factors.

    I definitely feel like the first 20 years of my life lasted MUCH longer than the last 20 years.

    Most of my close friends live far away so I don’t get to see them often – the good thing is that with these friends, you can always pick up where you left off, regardless of how much time has passed.


  7. Weird. I was sure I had commented on this post already, but my comment is not here… so it got eaten by the Internet.

    I agree with NGS that time perception is an age thing. I am sure parents have a somewhat different experience, but us childfree people feel the disappearance of time, too. The first twenty years of my life definitely felt MUCH longer than the last twenty years.

    I read somewhere that it also has to do with the fact that you don’t have as many “first time” experiences anymore, as you do as a kid and young adult. When the day in and day out is pretty much repetitive, time blurs the days together.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha, yes I had that happen a couple of times that I thought I already replied to a post and then it would not show.
      I guess since we became parents around the time when the days start to blend together I might have assumed it has something to do with it? I guess not. The first experience theory makes a lot of sense to me. I really wish a week off from work would feel a little longer than it does though.


  8. I would imagine that having children DOES skew your perspective of time a lot. There’s just this whole decade, really, of time that’s dedicated to bringing up these tiny humans. I mean, you’re still doing that when they’re a bit older but it’s much less intense as those early days. I don’t have kids, but it’s also something I notice, too. Especially once I started to realize that I’m not longer the young one at work! That was a real hard realization for me, ha.

    Happy belated birthday, by the way!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Time is so fluid, isn’t it? I was just saying to a colleague that every single semester goes even faster than the one before, which I did not think was possible. And that also means, of course, that I continue to get older! I agree that specific experiences of parents (you) and non-parents (me) will differ, but I agree with San and the other childless commenters that we definitely experience the same phenomenon!

    Liked by 1 person

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