Planet Retirement can sometimes be a bewildering place and with a scarcity of UK retirement blogs out there (other than those proffering financial advice) I thought I'd keep my own.

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Saturday, 20 February 2016

The Perception of Time

The end of another week and I can hardly believe that it's just over a week since we returned from London and less than a month since we spent a week in the Lake District

When I was really busy at work, time seemed to fly.  So much so that I could never quite believe, when, for instance, the dentist sent me a reminder for an annual check-up, that a whole year had passed since the last appointment; it seemed like yesterday. Now every day seems to have so much activity crammed into it that time stretches out behind me and I'm actually surprised that events took place only a matter of weeks ago, instead of months.

The changing perspective on time is, of course, a welcome one. I understand that the variety in my activities and lack of  a recognisable routine may account for this change, compared to the previous decades when the humdrum nature of work dominated. Whether the perception has a scientific basis or not I was unsure. After all I don't think Albert Einstein was thinking about activity in retirement when he published his Theory of Special Relativity, even though he did recognise that time runs at different rates for different observers travelling at different speeds.

I was also aware that current scientific theory increasingly asks if there is really such a thing as time or is it an illusion? However, a little more digging uncovered the fact that research in the field of neuroscience has  discovered cells within the human body responsible for governing the way we each perceive the passing of time. It is suggested therefore that time is indeed a subjective experience measured by each individual's own perception of the duration of  events.

There is a scientific basis for the slow time phenomenon that I am experiencing! 

Sadly, however, experiments conducted have suggested that it is as you grow older that you generally experience time passing more quickly.  I am, therefore, grateful that not only has retirement  not yet slowed me down, but the cellular structures within (at least for the moment) seem to think the passage of time has diminished rather than increased in speed.

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