The time thing. And we’ll not get into relativity stuff here. Way too deep. My preference is to think in terms of perspective.

My favorite story — and I tell it as a good example of perspective  — goes way back to a Sunday school class that was taught by an older man who my callow friends and I referred to as “Old Frank.” We considered him to be well beyond any age redemption, which means he was most likely in his mid-sixties. One Sunday, Old Frank looked at his 11-year-old students and said, “Boys, 50 years will pass through your fingers more quickly than you can possibly imagine.”

We howled with laughter.

Little did we know. Then again, that’s the backward view. From your current vantage point, it all seems to have happened so quickly, but think again of the achingly long time it took, when you were a kid, to go from 10 to 20, to say nothing of how you saw the future and how you figured it would play out. When I was in the seventh grade, I thought of high school seniors as tantamount to college students, and college students as arrived adults. The very notion of actually driving a car was beyond real consideration.  All of which informs my attitudes of high school reunions. One to 18 is an entire lifetime; revisiting those epic times 40 and 50 years later is made by mature adults who have created and processed totally different lives.

For sure, the passage of time increases in speed as we age.

Ah, you’ve hit 30. Took less time than you thought, but the kids are still kids.

Oops, somebody said you’re 40 (wasn’t I just 35?); I’ll be wanting  proof.

Good grief! 50! But wasn’t it just yesterday…?

Arrggh! 60! Aren’t you retired? someone asks.

And then you start thinking about those 50 years slipping through your fingers, and what about the next 10 or 20? Was Satchel Paige right?

So back to New Years. Well, and for that matter, birthdays, too.

Do the numbers have any relevance at all if you simply say no? Do you really have to count your way through life? And to what advantage is it, outside of a Social Security or pension check?

Numbers (age) meant nothing to Mozart, who wrote his first symphony when he was five; Richard Strauss composed some of his finest works beyond his eightieth birthday. Once, when I was a kid — and apparently annoyingly precocious — I asked my grandmother if she felt her age. She replied that inside she felt exactly like she did as a young woman in her 20s. And in inquiries in recent days I keep getting the same answer, albeit with the obligatory complaints about failing knees.

No Einstein? Hard to avoid if you get messin’ around with time and aging, and especially with how they relate. And you probably already know the big one: If you could instantly travel to a distant star and were equipped with a massive telescope to peer back to Earth, you’d see events like Columbus arriving in the Western Hemisphere. Something like that. The speed of light and so forth.

The point? Time is what you make of it, AND SO, the turning of yet another year is completely an arbitrary thing as it relates to our lives.

But fun, and a foolproof reason for a party!


Have I completely lost it? Please take the TIME to offer a comment at the place below. If I can figure out how to do it, I’ll post it, even if you’re moved to less than kudos. Hey, I can take it. I’m the guy with a sense of humor, right?