Time in retirement part 2

I wrote previously that when you are postwork a funny thing happens with time - it’s as if time stretches.  It means that you can feel very busy with your activities even though, by the standards of when you worked full-time, your diary may now look patchy and bare.

But time is a strange thing. Unlike vision and sound – which we perceive directly through eyes and ears – we can’t directly perceive time: we can only notice things around us that our brains then fit into a sequence of time.

What? If you are doing a boring job that causes you to look at your watch (substitute iphone) all day long, then you are measuring time in one way. If you are playing tennis with such joy and attention that you only notice the time when the next players ask to use the court, then that is another measure.

Here is a definition of time. It is the way that we record, think about and are struck by the movement of the events of life around us. Or, a trace of our memories of other things. So time is a very personal deduction from experience. And yet we think that the clock is a universal measure of time. It’s not that simple.

Our language reflects these very personal experiences of time: “I lost track of time”; “time weighed heavily on me”; “I have time to kill”; “time flies, doesn’t it”.

To return to my previous examples. If you spent a whole day only looking at the clock then you would judge that time went slowly; whereas if you spent the day captivated by some activity special to you then you would judge that time sped past. What about a year or a decade?  A different kettle of fish perhaps. This is a very timely question for a retired person.

In retirement you will have the time to think about these things.

Retirement: You won’t know what it is like until you get there.