Years ago I was reading The Elegant Universe and came across a mind-blowing idea - both then and every time I remember it: we’re always traveling at the speed of light through four dimensions - the three spatial dimensions as well as time. It just happens that almost all of that speed is through time. But that does mean that as you speed up in the spatial dimensions, time slows down - which has been shown to be true by measuring time drift in airplanes.

There’s a strong parallel here to how we spend our time. Time moves the same for all of us and yet we all use it differently. Some of the demands are non-negotiable, or seemingly non-negotiable, but most of us can control at least the way we use some of our time. It’s a battle I constantly wage and modern distractions make it incredibly difficult to stay focused.

Time is one of those things that’s easy to ignore in the moment and yet regret losing as you age. I felt the freest in my twenties and now wish I spent it differently when I had fewer demands on my time. I’m sure I’ll feel differently in the future but it does seem as we get older there’s less and less truly personal time.


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