Relativity

One of the clichés about growing older is that time moves faster and faster.

It’s cliché because it’s true; grade school felt like an eternity, college went relatively quickly but still with a million individual moments that I can recall with crystal clarity, and since my kids were born everything has been a full sprint blur.

I think that part of this stems from a transition from the novel to the mundane. When you’re younger, every experience is new, the future is completely unknown. As we age and get a handle on the world, society, and existence in general, we start picking up on and ignoring the patterns of daily life. In the same way your eye glazes over its blind spot, and how you can drive all the way to the grocery store without a single conscious thought, we go on autopilot and began to encode less and less of our day into our subjective experience and memory. This goes into overdrive once we join the working world, and 40% of our day (at least) is taken up by our career.

Fewer novel experiences, fewer moments to hold on to, time goes by faster.

We haven’t felt like that the past two weeks.

The average bear market in the past century has lasted about a year. In the lifetime of an investor, that seems like a blip. But I’m thinking back to last Wednesday, one week ago, when I think this became ‘real’ to many of us, and I feel like I’ve lived a lifetime since then. Extend that out 51 more times to make a year: that is a very long time to spend in uncertainty and fear.

Right now we’re living through the appropriately, ironically (though entirely apocryphally)-named Chinese curse “May you live in interesting times”.

They sure are interesting, and we’ll remember every second of it.

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