I’m not sure what I had for breakfast yesterday but let me tell you what I had last Sunday– crepes slathered with Nutella, hand-curled into a cone of sorts, filled with fresh-picked strawberries. Also tabbouleh salad (it was brunch) and small fruit tarts shiny with butter. I can go on and on because this was an extraordinary meal. Regarding yesterday, I must have had my default breakfast of cereal and an egg.
I just finished Jonah Foer’s new book on memory, Moonwalking with Einstein. Foer points out you remember most easily moments of total engagement. This makes intuitive sense. But Foer also found the more engaged you are in your own life (because its super-interesting and extraordinary– like my Sunday brunch), the longer your life seems to you. The idea that time flies when you’re having a good time may mean your “good time” really is not that interesting. Cognitive scientist Ed Cooke says,
The more we pack our lives with memories, the slower time seems to fly. Our subjective experience of time is highly variable.
I love this idea! Older parents catch me and my children at Trader Joe’s or the UPS Store to say, Enjoy this time when your kids are little, because it flies by. This advice comes my way at least twice a month and its been coming for over a decade now so it’s gotten old. But it has also prompted me to check how I experience time with my small children. My time with small children does not feel fast in any way. I could be exaggerating here but I did use the subjective word feels. Time with me feels mostly very, very slow. After reading Foer’s book I can just assume those old-timer parents were bored silly when their kids where young. And I can pat myself on the back for being so super-engaged with my life. Nice all around.