What makes time slow down

4837774727_ed15e3116b_zWith the light lasting late in the evening and the temperature — here in PA at least — beckoning me outdoors, I love summer weekends. It seems possible to wring more joy out of these long days than it is at other times. And perhaps it is. I read an article at Inc this week pointing out that the more detailed the memory you’re creating, the longer a moment seems to last. That’s part of why life moves slower as a kid. Things are new and your brain is recording everything. By adulthood, we’re recording less. But if you have lots of varied fun, time can still slow down a little.

Last weekend was one of those full weekends — a weekend that felt longer, looking back on Sunday night, than it seems two days could be. In a good way. Friday evening started at Ocean Grove with a trip to Day’s for ice cream. My sons both decided to be adventurous and get “Pirate’s Treasure” as a flavor. After they went to bed, my husband and I chatted on the porch with the friends we were sharing the house with. We’ve been friends for a long time; I was actually meeting the female half of the couple at the bar where I met my husband on that fateful night ten years ago. So it was fun to chat, drink our wine, catch up.

Saturday AM we had to be out of the house by 10. I took the kids to the beach for an hour while my husband loaded the car. The kids loved getting a last chance to splash and play in the sand. They were reasonable on the 90 minute drive home (the baby slept, so that helped) and we added spontaneous fun to it by going through the drive-through car wash at the end. So exciting to put the car in neutral and get pulled through!

We proceeded to have 12 people over for dinner. While that sounds intense, at this point, my husband and I are a well-oiled machine on getting the corn boiled and the meat and veggies grilled. One of our guests brought little cupcakes for dessert and — even better — they all started cleaning the kitchen while I was putting the baby to sleep. Consequently, after everyone left, I caught fireflies with the boys in the backyard. We looked through vacation photos together. My husband and I sat on the back porch for a while. I read a profile of Dr. Oz from a February issue of the New Yorker. I just hadn’t gotten around to reading it. But Saturday night I did!

Sunday, I woke up 45 minutes before the baby, and enjoyed a quiet cup of coffee while surfing the internet. It was a relaxing way to start the day. We all went to church, then we had a babysitter come from noon to 4. This allowed my husband and me to work out (I did my favorite 3-mile trail run) and to start digging out of the work that piles up when you’ve been on the road for roughly 2.5 weeks. Then we went swimming with the kids, and had dinner. I went for a short bike ride after — making it a “tri” day with running, swimming, biking. Evening brought a fantastic rain storm. The water poured down but the sun was shining. It was quite something to watch from the back porch. When the rain stopped, I caught fireflies again with the boys. We got muddy, but on summer nights, that’s not a bad thing.

I wrote this on Sunday after the kids went to bed. As I looked back at the weekend, Friday seemed ages ago. Was it really only 48 hours? But that’s a function of having lots of varied fun. The minutes stand apart from each other. The memories are stronger, and summer weekends are great to remember.

In other news:

I was on New Hampshire Public Radio, talking about women’s magazines from 1963 and today.

The Ladies Finger, an Indian publication, runs an essay from the creative director of JWT India on how she leaves the office at 5:30 p.m., and why she thinks her male colleagues don’t (hint: it’s not because they’re working harder!)

Photo courtesy flickr user Francis Storr


9 thoughts on “What makes time slow down

  1. This made me smile. Sounds lovely for all of you. I’m loving summer this year…not having an newborn expands possibilities for enjoying the later sunset. I saw my first fireflies of the year this week and I was as delighted as a child! (I grew up in the south and we don’t have them!)

    1. @Ana- not having a newborn is nice! Time starts to open up a bit. I think it will even more once my littlest is 3. And fireflies are awesome. Maybe that needs to be part of the title of the time log book. Dandelions and fireflies. That or dandelions and chardonnay 🙂

  2. You’re right, that was a very full weekend! I have a couple of completely unscheduled weekends coming up, and I’ve been trying to come up with some fun but low-key ideas to make some summer memories with my 3 1/2 yr old before I have my second baby at the end of the month.

  3. fireflies and chardonnay — there’s an upper middle class female title I could aspire to.. I prefer my wine like my men – with a little color — so probably I’d be red red wine or sangria dark but the rest I’m into !

  4. Sounds like a great weekend! I adopted your anchor event idea from your weekend ebook. We made a summer fun list at the beginning of the summer and pick 2-3 things to do each week. Tonight we are going to an outdoor movie in the park and tomorrow we’ll go to one of our local museums for their monthly children’s craft activity. I love making memories and being more intentional with family time!

    1. @Natalie- I’m so glad to hear the summer fun list is working out! We try to be intentional about these things, too. We’re having a lot more cook outs this year…

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