Where did the time go?
You know what I’m saying — it feels like just yesterday that gorgeous girl who looks like a princess in her strapless prom gown was a toddler playing dress-up. That handsome young dude holding up his driver’s license was last seen playing with trucks on the living room floor. Even the dog who used to have a thick, dark coat that gleamed in the sun when she romped and played is sporting grays and spends hot days napping instead of frolicking.
Where does the time go? is the popular refrain when we look at pictures of our growing, growing, (sniff) gone babies.
As we age especially, time feels like an over-caffeinated bitch, speeding away and laughing at you as it leaves you in the dust desperately trying to figure out where the hell it went.
Neuroscientists like David Eagleman have good explanations for why this is — beginning with the fact that the passage of time is a perception, not a clear-cut sensory experience like smell, touch, taste, and sight. While these faculties reside in distinct areas in the brain, time is embedded throughout the senses — for example, in the persistence of a smelly diaper, the eternity of a screaming child’s temper tantrum, or the endless throb of a finger burnt when hurrying to make dinner.