Whoosh!! Where the heck did that go ... I wonder how many people have said to themselves "I can't believe where this year went".
I know I vividly remember a few years ago - on my 21st birthday actually - a lady saying to me "enjoy this one David, each year will get faster from now on!" I have to now accept that the advice, dismissed at the time as the ramblings of a mad and aged 36 year old, was spot on. And there are few people I have met who would disagree with the concept.
The world around us is getting faster, and we are suffering as a result. So I had a think about why this might be the case, and came up with some answers. Now I accept they might not be the right ones - but they suited my simple mind. It's all our fault!
When I started working on the international circuit, much of our mail was sent by sea so it arrived, and we had a while to deal with it before the ship called in on its return journey. With the advent of the telex machine, things started to move a little faster, but you had to spend some time in coding or decoding messages, especially if they were orders to pay someone. Telephone calls to the Head Office of your company were often put into a queue - or you could book a call a day or so in advance through the local telephone company or Cable and Wireless. If you wanted information on a particular subject - any subject - you could try an encyclopedia or an almanac. If you were lucky you might actually find someone who knew the answer, or go off to the local bookshop to find out if there was a book on the subject.
Life therefore was leisurely, in many ways, although it brought different stresses and strains from those in existence today. People had to use their initiative, live in conditions that were normal for the time but would be considered a hardship today, make judgement calls which could go horribly wrong, and most importantly be accountable for what they did. But as each year progressed, communications got faster. Travel got faster. Instant gratificaction became the goal.
Fast forward to today, and what do we see? Pub quizzes where people surreptitiously have their iPhones under the table to look up answers they never bothered to learn. People in restaurants enjoying each others company:
It was Einstein, I believe who said "I fear the day when the technology overlaps with our humanity. The world will only have a generation of idiots."
No wonder the world is moving faster than ever. We want an answer? It is usually in the palm of our hand - and don't get me wrong, in some cases that's a good thing! But you get the answer and you move on to the next thing. And so the world speeds up - faster and faster, and the years go by similarly faster. Even parenting is likely to succumb:
So, the mystery of why our years seem to go faster and faster is resolved by the fact that as we develop and fine tune our skills, the world around us becomes impatient and hurried. Lunches and dinners are taken on the run, not at the table. The pressures are different. We are on call - unless we find the off button on our devices, which seems to be an affliction affecting many - 24/7. If we are not responding to the call from the office we are using (anti) social networks to have "conversations" with people we don't really know. We tweet 140 characters to let people know we are going to the bathroom. No wonder we live in a faster and faster world - and we only have ourselves to blame.
Have a happy 2013, and enjoy it because it will soon be gone!