A Fraction of Time

If the TimeHop app is good for nothing else, it serves as a constant reminder of how fast time is flying by.  Today’s lesson came via a 7 year old pic of my daughter.  She was just 4 at the time and sporting my Poppie’s cowboy hat with her long curly hair blowing in the wind.  Add her tiny little jeans and a couple horses in the background and the whole scene was like a postcard from the South.  It was perfect …except that it was no longer mine.  Seven years has taken my little girl and turned her into a beautiful, smart, crazy young woman.  How did it pass so quickly?  Where did that little girl go?

The whole thing got me thinking about something a friend shared recently.  She said the reason time seems to move so much faster as we age is because each measurable moment IS actually a shorter percentage of time for us the older we get.  For example, a year to my daughter is 1/11th of her entire life.  The same year for me is 1/37th of my life.  It’s no wonder it seems to be going by faster each year.  With every birthday, the amount of time between them is smaller and smaller when viewed from this angle.

Remember how long it used to take Christmas to get here when you were a kid?  And now, doesn’t it seem like you JUST got done putting the decorations away when it’s already time to haul them back out again?  Prior to this percentage-of-life revelation, I had attributed that feeling to my change in attitude towards said events.  Christmas used to be all about getting presents and now it’s about buying them.  Birthdays used to lead to milestones I couldn’t wait to hit and now each one seems like a reminder of my impending doom.  I used to count down the days for the things I now wish would take their time getting here, so it made sense (in my mind) that the slow ticking clock was like the watched pot that never boils.  While that still makes a lot of sense, compounded with the shrinking percentage theory it’s no wonder we blink and lose 6 months.

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Now apply this idea to the time you have to make an impression on your kids.  When you’re teaching them things at …let’s say 5 years old, that knowledge spans a fifth of their entire known lifetime.  Think of the weight those lessons carry compared to if you try to do it on the back-end (like after they’ve already screwed up and you realize you forgot to give them the tools to NOT screw up).   And let’s be honest, you only have about 13-14 years total before they think they know everything and don’t listen to you anyway.  There’s no pressure at all once you stop and think about it (sh*t!).

I’ve been really lucky in that my wife and I have both found ways to work from home so we can enjoy Maddie’s childhood and have the most impact as possible.  If not you, someone’s voice is filling their head during these impressionable years.  THAT should motivate all of us to make sure we’re THE voice.
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