Perception of Time

There is always 24 hours in a day.  Why is it then that so many different factors can cause us to feel as if we have more or less than those 24 hours? 

A friend of mine in high school who was very into and good at science once tried to explain to me how time can literally speed up or slow down.  It had something to do with the shape of the universe and space bending.  Something strange and far beyond my brain’s ability to comprehend.

I raise the question as fall approaches causing the sun to set earlier and also from the fact that my work schedule has now become 9:30-6 after enjoying a wonderful summer of training on a schedule of 8:30-5.  I now feel as though I have less time than I did a few weeks ago.  My evenings now feel shorter and more rushed to try to get in cleaning, cooking dinner, a shower and time to relax.  Some might say well you can stay up later and sleep in later with a change in your work schedule.  Psychologically to me though it doesn’t work that way.  I had a set routine all summer of what I did at what time and now that it’s been disrupted I must adjust and create a new schedule. 

I think most people would agree that most often we have less than 24 hours in a day when we have a lot to accomplish that day.  When I think back to my one semester in college I literally don’t know how I fit in everything I did.  I went to classes, then went to the high school to coach, then went to work.  When exactly I ate and did homework (which I definitely did my homework, too much of a “good girl” not to!) and showered is beyond me.  Some days I’d drive into college for class, drive home to coach, and drive back in for a night class.  It’s a good thing gas prices weren’t what they are now or I would’ve been broke.

A day off from work also seems to feel as if 24 hours pass differently than when are at work.  Many people say vacation goes by too quickly, but for me it usually seems to slow down to be the right amount of time to really enjoy things.  If you’re off due to sickness though that can make a day feel extremely long as misery sets in and you want nothing more than to feel better.  I’m sure anyone who has dealt with sick kids would also say time seems to slow down even more.

Whether the perception of time is influenced by changes in the universe or if it merely is our psychological interpretation, I think I can speak for most when I say I really wish there were more than 24 hours in a day.

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