Thanksgiving Parade (copy)

The SpongeBob Square Pants balloon moves down Sixth Avenue during the 2016 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York. File/Bryan R. Smith/AP

Anybody want to take a stab at why Thanksgiving and the holidays are almost here again so quickly?

Are our weeks getting shorter? Where has the year gone? I feel like I’ve got no control of the time anymore. It just flies by. How can I have such long days but short years?

As children, it seemed Thanksgiving and Christmas took forever to get here. Now, it feels like a turkey was thawing in the sink yesterday and we put up our tree, like, last week.

During some research on this topic, two different groups were asked to describe time. The 18 to 20 age group described time as a motionless ocean. Those aged 71 and over likened it to a speeding train.

Those are two profoundly different impressions.

There’s definitely a correlation between age and time. When you’re young, you look forward to various moments. As we get older, routines develop that make every day seem the same.

The day still has 24 hours, right? Every week is supposed to have seven days, but it takes forever for the weekend to arrive, and suddenly it’s Monday again. How is that possible?

It’s not just children who spend time wishing for an approaching event. The college football season seems to take forever to arrive, and when it does, it seems to end in the blink of an eye.

Looking forward

Here’s the quandary we all face if we’re willing to admit life has us strapped in to a speeding car that’s permanently positioned in the passing lane: Is the only answer to slowing down time achieved by not looking forward to anything?

That’s a lackluster, boring way to live. In a sense, it’s not living at all.

With no sense of anticipation, we eliminate hope and excitement. I think the entire essence of this time of year is wrapped in those two emotions. I don’t especially like rushing the holidays by listening to Christmas music as we dismantle the decorations from Halloween. I suppose, though, that this permits an extended period of enjoyment for a season that zooms by if you wait for the first parade.

Psychologists tell us time is measured by memorable events, age and stress. We all probably remember our first kiss or first car. As we get older, routines dictate the next doctor’s appointment, church service or oil change. We also allow demands on our time to create angst or fear that something will not get done.


Does each decade seem to pass quicker than the previous one? It sure seems that way.

I’m now in my mid-60s. Statistics say I may have another 20 or more years left. That’s actually a rather long time, or so it would seem.

Apparently, the best way to slow things down is opposite to what we might think. Visiting new places, keeping the brain active and constantly learning new skills are believed to be the proper prescription for making our time count.

I spend more hours in my recliner than I care to admit. There are some days I just don’t want to shave, get dressed and go to work. If I don’t, though, I might miss the chance to learn something or meet somebody new and interesting.

So, even though these approaching holidays are familiar and traditional and seemingly just happened, it’s much healthier to anticipate them rather than dread the sameness of it all.

Who knows how many of these moments any of us have left.

Don’t worry if there won’t be enough time to do something, enjoy the moment you’re doing it. And if the urge strikes to lean back in the La-Z-Boy for a nap, then make it a short one. Otherwise, another year will pass before you know it.

Reach Warren Peper at