Perceptions of Time


I have been fighting a cold for what seems like ages now, and to that end, I decided to Nyquil up and spend the whole day sleeping and recovering.  When I awoke in the evening, though, it seemed like the next day to me.  I really thought about and planned for the evening based on my usual schedule (nothing grand, just a bit of tv watching—quick nudge to Tally) and was disappointed when I worked out that I was a day off and had to wait twenty-four more hours for it to be the time I thought it was.  I guess I sort of gained a day.

This got me thinking about time and how we experience it.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve taken a “nap” only to awaken with a start, glance at the clock, see that’s 8:00, leap out of bed in a panic, and rush around in an adrenaline-fueled dash until I realize it’s 8:00 p.m. not a.m. and that I’m not late for work at all. 

And what about those times when you’re driving along and then you’re home or at some gas station/store/whatever, but you don’t recall how you got there, the driving from point A to point B, the parts in between.  Not like amnesia or sleep walking, just that sort of “autopilot” that happens when we’re driving roads we know well and drive often.  I guess we’d know if anything out of the ordinary happened, but as it hadn’t (we hope), we don’t recall the details of the trip.

And that whole “time flies when you’re having fun” thing is far too true!  It also flies when you’re procrastinating on something (as I know all too well).  Or when you’re not so much having fun as trying to beat a deadline, then those hands fly around the clock.  But just be bored for an hour, and it’s an eternity.  Wait for something good, and it takes forever.  Watch that pot, and it’ll never boil—that sort of thing. 

The mind, they all say, is a powerful thing, and since it seems capable of speeding up, slowing down, even stopping time (at least perceptually) maybe we can try to harness that power?  Maybe we can psyche ourselves out and when we’re waiting in line or sitting through one of those slow boring days at work we can tell ourselves that we have ONLY five more hours and so much to do or that we’re having the time of our lives, and isn’t this a blast, wish it could last forever.  Just a thought I was thinking on my way home from work . . . not that I remember anything about the driving home part.


9 thoughts on “Perceptions of Time

  1. O Fuzzy, I think I stay on autopilot all the time. I remember once driving home from work and it was quiet a drive and I took a different route because of some traffic issues..Well, I was driving along merry as you please and listening to music on the radio when all of a dash my mind snapped to attention and I thought to myself, “Now where do I live?” I mean really! I had moved several times after a very messy separation from a live-in partner and I guess the upheval and stress and changes had burned something out up there in the old noggin and that day in particular I could not recall which one of the three homes I had been in over the past year I was actually living in at that time! And wow was that a scary feeling. Time stood still for me that day. It took me a long span of time pondering before I could recall which roads to take to get me home that day. I felt sort of like your picture you posted up there. By the way that is one of my favorite Dali paintings. But that glob in the middle of the page always reminded me of a dead horse. ewwwwww.

  2. I love Dali, great pic.
    Sorry about your cold, I seem to have one all the time, my son brings them home from school, blah.
    But at least you eventually got your SPN fix! Better late than never.
    I know what you mean about the autopilot thing, it’s little scary how your mind can zone out like that, leaving you wondering how you got here. ENjoy your day, hope you feel better 🙂

  3. Time flies by in years too. Looking back, its like wow, where did they go? I hate the car time too and have almost literally rearended people by being in “another world.” Hope you get to feeling better…I was doing the nyquil thing earlier this week and had to come off it, was just knocking me out to much.

  4. oh i have done the wake up at 8pm and think it is 8am. It really messed up my head. But once I got my thoughts together I laughed.

  5. Aw, Mavis, I think that’s just the usual emotional shut down we all need sometimes when things are just too much! And that glob looks like a duck to me, also dead. 🙂 Huggs.

    Hey Tally, yeah, the mind-zoning thing is scary! Scarier still is watching SPN with that Wincest idea you implanted in my brain!! lol. Actually, I was very disappointed with the conclusion of last night’s episode . . . we’ll chat. Huggs.

    OMG, Pris, that is so true. I can’t get over how time rushes by at top speed; I remember my parents telling me this when I was a kid and thinking they were crazy, the kid time perception is that it’s pretty slow, like a really viscous substance on a cool day, you know? And then all of a sudden someone somewhere steps on the gas . . . I guess I get that saying that youth is wasted on the young; it must have something to do with having such a slow sense of time and not being able to enjoy it because kids always want time to go by, to be older, more “mature,” etc. oooh, good food for thought, Pris. Thanks! Huggs.

    omg, Bert, it’s such a disorienting feeling, isn’t it? And that panic. And then there’s that sense that you’re not at all tired, like you really did get enough (or even too much) sleep and are late for work. But it’s funny (at least a relief) when we realize what’s happened. Huggs.

  6. Hei Fuzz.

    So SORRY for lateness with me comment.
    TEMPUS FUGIT and all that. Tis really so. I can also relate to what you are saying about the ‘autopilot’ and of the time waited being so looong n the opposite as well. Great thoughts. Rii xx HuGGiz

  7. You’re very busy, Rii, so no worries about “lateness”!! It was just an off the top of my head thing, anyway. But it seems we all experience that time warp thing; how cool is that? huggs!!

  8. Hey Fuzzy,

    I know what you mean about driving home and to places and not rememberng. Its really quite scarey really to think that you are in charge of a vehicle that can kill someone and you have no idea what you are doign and are on auto pilot. Has happened to me loads of times especially when things are on your mind.

    Thanks for the blog. x

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