Is it me or has time sped up since I was a child? We are now in February 2013 and it only seems like yesterday that I sat watching the Olympics…perhaps now I’m getting on a bit I walk around in more of a daze trying to get as much sleep as I can.
It’s a little like chocolate bars. As a kid they seemed massive, far too big to take a huge bite out of. Lion Bars were a scary thought but worth the possibility that your jaw would snap open forever once you took that first nibble. And Cadbury’s Creme Eggs are no fun any more. Not only can you no longer get a whole finger in to scoop the gooey centre out but the centre just isn’t very gooey any more. I remember being chased out of my aunt’s lounge as I peeled open the foil on an egg; there was too high a chance that the goo would go all over her brand new cream carpet.
So time and chocolate. All changed since I grew up and became a working adult, shackled with responsibilities and bills, no longer able to cry in public without people moving swiftly away, having to refrain from just having sweets for lunch and ice cream for dinner.
Summer holidays are still six weeks long which feels like nothing now but as a child the days seemed to stretch forever. I could create many, many things out of cereal and egg boxes in six weeks. And annoy my mum asking for more stuff to turn into magical playthings I had seen on Blue Peter. I cannot imagine what it must have been like to have to keep every yoghurt pot, box, piece of sparkly foil just in case the small creative child in the house wanted to make something. Where was it all kept? (I never could figure that out)
Perhaps the shorter days that children have gives the illusion of longer days. Most of us work 9-5 and spend a least 10 to 11 hours out of the house travelling and working. Kids, as far as I can tell from my nieces, have days that last about 7-8 hours and they never want to go to bed. Unlike me and my friends who crave our beds in the first and last few hours of work most days (especially in the winter).
Weekends are precious and here is the rub. We all want to relax, to get away from the daily grind and do what we want to do yet have this nagging voice telling us that we are wasting our precious time. We see posts on Facebook and Tweets with fabulous photos showing us just how what we should be up to. We should be travelling the world, or eating at a fancy restaurant. Going out and staying up late, or just spending it with close family.
We get social envy as we sit at home in our PJ’s or onesies and dread the Monday morning “how was your weekend?” quiz.
At school nobody cared what you did at the weekend. All anyone ever cared about then was what you did on your holidays (although that is another kind of social pressure). I find myself thinking up things I might have done that was exciting, things to make them feel the envy. But I generally fail.
It shouldn’t really matter and I try not to let myself get social envy but when I’m sat in bed reading Twitter on a Saturday morning and watch the joggers go by I sometimes get a quick pang of “I should do something cool today” before thinking “actually, a lot of people have social envy because I’m being lazy in bed”.
When I’m fully relaxing time seems to slow down for a while and although a 20 minute nap feels indulgent I’m sure I’ll be glad I did it once the Monday morning crawl starts again.