What, for you, were the most unexpected things about aging?

Old enough to remember the funny news story about the Exploding Whale in Oregon? It happened 50 years ago this month. I would’ve guessed 10 years ago, max.

Snark-o-meter moving some?

At any rate, I’m talking about stuff that happened in my personal sphere in the last 10 years or so, when I’m talking about the apparent shrinkage of time.

I have thought about the percentage of life angle, but it doesn’t explain all. It is general knowledge that to children, a summer is an eon, while to a pensioner it is a small fraction of one’s life. In the middle there’s adulthood, where, from, say 27 to 42, time seems to speed up dramatically. I find these days I have to keep on my toes to not miss seasonal things due to this. And it’s not because I have so much more on my plate than I used to have, since I don’t.

I don’t think that’s what it is.

My theory is it’s about expected change. Younger people are constantly looking forward to expected changes (various levels of school, life-cycle events, acquisition of adult status and privileges, etc.). As a result, time seems to move slower for them, as the expected future takes its time in arriving. As people age, they are less and less focused on anticipated changes to occur over time, and as a result they pay less attention to the passage of time altogether.

No snark intended, sorry. Aiming for humor and commiseration. I’ve noticed similar stuff when my (adult) kids view a year’s delay as a huge problem. I’m thinking “Seriously? It’s only a year.”

Cool - this is the best place on the internet for finding holes in your mundane arguments, often with a seasoning of friendly snark. But I can certainly read your reply straight, or as you said, with humor and commiseration.

One day, I looked in the mirror and thought, “I look a bit ill and tired.” Then I realized I’d been thinking that every day for a long time. :confounded:

There’s an old joke that goes:

Doctor: How are you feeling today, M Smith?

Patient: I’m feeling pretty good. – If I’d felt like this when I was 30, though, I’d have thought I was awful sick.

– in my case, however, it turned out that I’ve got a congenital heart problem that very gradually started to cause symptoms in my 60’s. Worth checking out. There’s also, after all, the one that goes like this:

Patient: Doctor, my shoulder hurts.

Doctor: Well, Mrs Smith, you’ve got to realize that you’re 93. You’re going to have some aches and pains at that age.

Patient: My other shoulder’s 93 too, and it doesn’t hurt a bit!

– followed by the doctor diagnosing something treatable, once they actually look.

Me too !! Weird. They’re really coming on the last few years.
I’m 58. Overweight and with a new right hip. That went okay but not great and so I’ve lost my career and resent the chronic pain. Yes… losing 75 pounds swould help.

Haven’t had sex in about 5 years. Seems to be what is wanted by my Dearly Beloved and that’s cool.

Various other bodily issues need tending. I do detest having to pee every 90-120 minutes, but I figure an enlarged prostate is God’s way of balancing out women’s having to deal with periods for 30 or 34 years. Seems fair.

As a cameraman, the loss of what WAS 20/15 vision continues to irritate.

I’m not much mellower than I was at 35. Meh- that’s okay.

I have zero interest in music made after about 1985. I used to shoot a ton of rap videos- and found little art or craft in most of the lyrics OR music.

I’m still being creative in a variety of ways. If that fades away I might as well cash it in.

Now that I’m thinking of retiring (at least just working part time) in 4 years, it’s started going slowly for me again. I mostly like my job, though; it’s just more tiring than it used to be.

Also, the need to pee arises more quickly. Used to be, I’d have plenty of time. Gotta pee – some time in the next hour. Now, it’s some time in the next five minutes, and I mean by damn it need to!

Pretty close to what I think too, since we also see this on a smaller scale. If you’re doing some new activity that is very different to anything that you’ve done before, and requires a lot of concentration, time will feel like it’s passing more slowly.
As you get older, that happens less often :slight_smile:

To people who enjoy rap though, much of 90s rap is seen as a golden age of fresh beats and inventive new forms of lyricism.
If you’re skeptical, I can recommend some channels that break down all the details of the construction of various popular rap and r&b songs. As with many things, it takes a lot more skill than may be apparent just from seeing the final product, especially if the final product is not to your taste.


If I’m doing something new and interesting that requires concentration, time goes faster. When I was a kid in school, the time that dragged on forever was the time when nothing interesting was happening and I didn’t feel like I was learning anything new.

(Now time seems to move too fast whether I’m doing something interesting or not; but it still moves slower if, say, I’m standing in line someplace than if I’m, say, reading something fascinating.)

I think you’re talking about boredom vs fun, and that wasn’t what I was talking about.
I was talking about routine vs novel activity, and it is pretty well established that the subjective experience of time seems slower in the latter (here is a good description, although for some reason this article has a bunch of giant text).

WRT the fun vs boredom dichotomy, it may be more complex than fast vs slow perception of time. There is something known as the “Holiday paradox”, where at the immediate end of a fun holiday, it can feel that time passed quickly. But later, in retrospect, we can’t believe it was only 1 week or whatever.

I’m not so sure.

Later on, I had a job in which there were periods of little activity interspersed with periods of frantic busyness. Time went subjectively much faster for me during the busy periods, but I didn’t think they were fun.

But was the busy activity novel? Or just densely packed routine activity?
Because if it is the latter, then our observations are still tangential.

I completely understand. I just not find it to be high art. That was when I worked on them.

I probably shot the first one in the very late 80s through about 1997. I shot Notorious BIG’s first video entitled " Juicy "

Mostly routine, though occasionally it involved figuring out novel places where somebody might have left a file that we had to find.

But the reason time was going subjectively faster for me still can’t have been that I was having fun.

We may however be talking past each other in some fashion.

Yeah. But true be told, I probably know as much nothing as I did 20 years ago.

One thing I find kind of strange is re-watching old shows or movies from when I was a kid. Like when I first saw Point Break, I was 7 years younger than Special Agent Johnny Utah. Now I’m older than Gary Busey was at the time.

Similarly, I saw watched the first episode of the new HBO show “Industry” about a newly hired class of London investment bankers. I just couldn’t get into it. Aside from being the first show I’ve seen that accurately captures how dull investment banking actually is. I just can no longer relate to the “excitement” and “pressure” of landing your first real professional job at some Big City finance / consulting / law / tech unicorn firm. I mean I vaguely recall feeling something like a combination of “freshman year in college”, “winning the lottery” and “being sold into indentured servitude”. But now I’m more “Lundberg”, “Michael Scott”, or “Pointy Haired Boss” than “Peter”, “Jim”, or “Dilbert”.

In my later years, I have developed a preference for foods that get the bowels moving.

That has happened to me, too. I like veggies but now I seem to crave certain ones almost daily, and it’s not all about their flavor. My brother laughed at me for making my Sunday breakfast eggs, bacon, and broccoli instead of eggs, bacon and toast. But he drinks Metamucil and I don’t. (Truth be told, I’m a broccoli fiend anyway.)