The Abstract of Time (nothing to do with Filipino Time!).

A Philosophical Concept of Abstract of Time.

Have you ever felt the connection between aging and the speed of time? If you have passed the half-century benchmark of living, you absolutely have. Did you know there is actual evidence related to the general impressions of the speed of time, including theories of the purported subjective acceleration of time with aging. We all have a set of so-called clock genes that keep us wired on a 24-hour cycle. In the morning they wind us up, and at night they help us wind down. Recent studies found that those genes might beat to a different rhythm in older folks. In a nutshell, the experience of life’s changes and time-pressure equate to a simple correlation… the older we get, the faster time seems to slip by.

My take on this is that the closer we get to our “end,” the more anxiety we experience with time-pressure… that self-induced pressure we place on ourselves because we have not attained a certain set of goals, or more simply, not having checked off all of the things we’ve placed on our lifelong “bucket list.” And in short, we realize that time is running out.

What I have Learned.

As I look back on the year that just passed, I tend to reflect at what I have both accomplished and learned. While the list of accomplishments seem to slow down with age, the knowledge does not. We continue to learn (some forget more than they learn). One of the more simple things I have learned since retiring to the Western Pacific Islands… I like sleeping in my own bed more than ever! While travel still interests me, sleeping in modest and strange accommodations does not. And while we can purchase all the best creature comforts that may be available while traveling, we tend to choose not to as we become more frugal. I’ve also learned that when I travel, I don’t necessarily want to fly any more. I’m not in any hurry, so why the big hurry to get somewhere? These days, I don’t mind luxury bus travel, or travel by ferry… when on continent or in-country anyway. I’ve also come to realize that I should not be critical of my food choices – after all, I choose to live my life within another culture that is much different from the culture I was raised in. I’ve learned that eating 3 good meals a day is a privilege that many families in underdeveloped countries never enjoy.

I am also learning to adjust to the everyday noises experienced when living in a crowded society such as the Philippines. This has been one of the hardest adjustments I have had to make, and because I cannot effect any change, I am adapting to it and I am able to tune much of it out. All that extra noise that is produced during special events and holiday celebrations… let’s just say that I’m still making progress on that front. One more thing I have come to understand is to never expect customer service equal to what we receive in the west. It just doesn’t exist… not on my budget and not where I reside in the Philippines anyway.

Sunrise over Tomaligues.JPG

One of the brightest light bulbs that have turned on for me since coming to the Philippines is nothing in the abstract, but more in the realm of “realisms”… that you can really turn back the hands of time living life in this country. While it doesn’t actually slow time down, it may have some effects on the aging process. My wife says I am loosing my grey hair… believe that or not! (No, it’s not falling out… just reverting back to a darker color!) All learning and adjustments applied, life does move slower here and I have learned to take life as it comes, one day at a time. There is no big need to stress out over the many things we as individuals have no control over. While technology surrounds us here, as it does everywhere, there just is not a big emphasis on change. And I try not to place much reliance upon it. And that reluctance to change seemingly helps slow things down, from a westerner’s perspective anyway.

And I’ve learned to like that.