There are 24 hours in every day and 365 days in every year (except leap years) or so we learn at school. Although every day has the same number of hours it doesn't seem that way. As my life has progressed the years seem shorter and shorter and other people my age tell me they have had the same experience.
When I was a young child, a Sunday afternoon seemed to have a lot of time in it. After eating the Sunday roast for lunch I was free to do what ever I wanted. I had no responsibilities and I didn't have to think about getting jobs done the way my working Mum did. Mum's head would have been full of the things she needed to accomplish to be ready for the working week.
At that stage in my life I could just go and play. What bliss. Of course I didn't appreciate how wonderful it was to have that freedom. Sometimes a Sunday afternoon seemed very long, especially if I had no one to play with.
I recall thinking what a long time it was from one Christmas to the next. Wow, it was even eight months from Christmas to my birthday. How could I ever wait that long?
I laugh now when I remember how I thought there was a lot of time between Christmases. It is still the same length of time now as it was back then, it just seems much shorter.
This is probably because I have lived so much longer and experienced so many more Christmases. Instead of only having a memory of a few Christmases as was the situation when I was a young child I remember many. There are plenty of Christmases I don't even have a specific memory of.
Also it is my responsibility to organise any Christmas celebrations, buy presents, send cards and the like. There seems to be so much to do. At times there have been feelings of exhaustion, worry and frustration associated with the Christmas season. As an adult Christmas hasn't been all about playing games with my cousins, unwrapping presents and eating scrumptious food the way it was when I was a youngster.
Many things influence how we perceive time including the number of tasks we are trying to fit in. The more we attempt to squeeze in, the less time there seems to be. Time appears to go faster.
When I was pregnant with my first child I was working full time. I had other responsibilities and was always busy. Then I developed pre-eclampsia and spent the final three months in bed. At first the time dragged with no job and other responsibilities to fill my hours. Suddenly there seemed to be so many hours in a day.
Soon I adjusted and found plenty to occupy my time. There still seemed more time than when I was working but the hours didn't drag. I appreciated having time for hobbies and the opportunity to develop new interests.
Some years ago an elderly neighbour came over with some oranges from his tree. I offered him a cuppa but he said he had just had one with his wife. He said they had one mid morning and another mid afternoon and that 'It helps to make the time pass.' At the time I had a pre schooler and being always busy, couldn't conceive of having to do things to try to make time pass quicker. Perhaps, though, I will be in that situation one day down the track.
Our perception of time changes with changing life situations. Age influences how we feel about time. Different people experience time differently. Time is relative.